In order to preserve the international reserves, the Argentine Central Bank implemented new restrictions on the purchase of foreign currency. It did so through Communication “A” 6815 dated October 28, 2019.

Below are the key takeaways of the new restrictions:

  • Creation of External Assets: The limit for the creation of external assets by individuals is reduced from US$ 10,000 to US$ 200 per calendar month. The transaction must be carried out with debit to an account in a local financial institution of the client, admitting the use of cash up to US$ 100 per month. These limits are not cumulative and include all transactions already performed in October. According to point 1.4 of Communication “A” 6776 and the press release issued by the Argentine Central Bank on October 28, 2018, we understand that credit cards are not subject to this limit.
  • Debit Card Cash Withdrawals: Withdrawals of foreign currency outside Argentina using local debit cards may only be made against deposits in foreign currency in local financial institutions.
  • Import Advances: Importers may access the foreign exchange market for the payment of import advances to non-affiliates. Customs clearance shall be obtained within the following 90 days. Prior Argentine Central Bank approval shall be obtained if the supplier is an affiliate of the importer. Note that, prior to this new regulation, advance payments were allowed, provided that customs clearance was obtained within the following 180 days, without any distinction between affiliates and non-affiliates.
  • New Information Regime for Transactions Over US$ 2,000,000: Financial institutions and exchange agencies shall report to the Argentine Central Bank on a daily basis of the foreign exchange transactions to be carried out in the following three (3) business days for amounts higher than US$ 2,000,000. In this regard, clients requesting such transactions shall inform their financial institution or exchange agency the proposed transactions with reasonable anticipation. On the day of the transaction, the client may use a different entity.
  • Non-residents: The limit to purchase foreign currency by non-residents, originally set at US$ 1,000, is reduced to US$ 100 per calendar month. Payments by ANSES (National Social Security Agency) to beneficiaries of old age pensions are exempt from that limit.

For more information, do not hesitate to contact Marcelo R. Tavarone, Federico Salim, Julieta De Ruggiero or Francisco Molina Portela.