Resolution No. 124 of the Board of the National Bank of Ukraine (“NBU”) dated 23 February 2015, as amended on 24 February 2015 (herein – “Resolution”) has introduced additional restrictions on foreign exchange transactions related to both importers and Ukrainian banks. In particular:
- It is prohibited to purchase foreign currency for the UAH funds borrowed, save for the repayments of consumption loans in foreign currency.
- The NBU is entitled to prohibit advance payments in foreign currency for the imported goods (works, services) under import contracts with the total value exceeding US$50,000 (or its equivalent in another foreign currency). Payments confirmed by the NBU may only be settled on or after the fourth business day upon filing information from the servicing bank of such payments with the NBU register. The Resolution is silent on criteria for NBU confirmation/non-confirmation.
- Advance payments in foreign currency for imported goods (works, services) under import contracts with the total value exceeding US$500,000 (or its equivalent in another foreign currency) shall be paid off via letter of credit to be confirmed by the investment-grade banks. For this purpose foreign currency may only be purchased for the coverage of the LC confirmation and payment fees of banks - non-residents; the payments under LC may be carried out upon due presentation.
If the total value of the goods (works, services) under the import contract is not fixed, the abovementioned restrictions shall apply once the total amount of payments starting from the effecting day of the Resolution exceeds US$50,000 or US$500,000 (or equivalent in another foreign currency) accordingly. Such restrictions shall also apply to all import agreements entered into between the same parties, if the total amount of payments under such agreements during one month exceeds US$50,000 and US$500,000 respectively (or equivalent in another foreign currency). Please note that the Resolution comes into effect on 24 February 2015. Additionally, according to the NBU Resolution, dated 24 February 2015 (in force as of 25 February 2015), banks are temporary prohibited from purchasing foreign currency for their clients upon their instructions (including requests that have been submitted before enactment of this Resolution) till 27th of February 2015 (inclusive). Meanwhile, the banks are allowed to carry out their own transactions on purchase of foreign non-cash currency within established limits of open currency position in amount not exceeding 0,5 percent of the amount of regulatory capital of the bank (its equivalent at the official exchange rate of UAH to foreign currency) during one business day.