New Resolution No. 581 of the Board of the National Bank of Ukraine (“NBU”) dated 3 September 2015 enters into force as of 4 September 2015.
Resolution No. 581 was adopted to replace the earlier “anti-crisis” Resolution of the NBU No. 354 dated 3 June 2015, as amended, that expired on 3 September 2015. As a general matter, the Resolution prolongs the previously effective anti-crisis measures, introduces some simplification for businesses and enters new restrictions.
The prolonged measures include, among others, the following:
- The mandatory sale of 75% of foreign currency proceeds received from abroad by legal entities (except banks), individual entrepreneurs, and foreign representative offices (except for official (diplomatic) representative offices).
- The restriction on cross-border payment of dividends to foreign investors.
- The restriction on early repayment under loan agreements between Ukrainian borrowers and foreign creditors (subject to certain exceptions).
- Prohibition for banks from providing loans in national currency (including prolongation of previously provided credit lines), if such loans are secured by pledges of funds in foreign currency.
- With certain exceptions, banks are still prohibited from purchasing foreign currency for clients (except for private persons), that have their own foreign currency funds (either on current bank accounts or deposit accounts in banks).
- Banks are prohibited from the purchase and transfer of foreign currency to foreign investors in certain cases concerning the return of capital (e.g. a decrease of a company’s charter capital or the foreign investor’s withdrawal as a participant / shareholder in a company.)
- Certain restrictions have been prolonged in respect of transactions for the purchase of precious metals.
Among the new changes, we note the following:
- Increasing the limit of cash withdrawal of foreign currency through ATMs or cash departments of the banks from the previous threshold of UAH 15,000 expressed in foreign currency by NBU’s official exchange rate to UAH 20,000.
- A certificate from the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine confirming no indebtedness in respect of tax payments no longer has to be provided.
- While purchasing foreign currency for their clients, banks can no longer take into account the balances on the clients’ accounts in currencies, which are classified by NBU to the 3rd group of currencies and banking metals.
- Banks can discharge export operations of their clients if they were provided with documentary evidence of cancellation of obligations by offsetting of counter-claims in currencies which are not obliged for a sale. The amount of such claims shall not exceed US$500,000 per each contract.
- Prohibition to register amendments to cross-border loans regarding changes to the lender or the borrower/assignments of domestic loans to non-residents, save for assignment / transfer in cases of winding-up or merger of the obligor.
- Companies are prohibited from buying foreign currency to fulfill their obligations on an import contract, if the customs registration of such contract took place before 1 January 2014 and the borrower and/or lender was changed. In this case the company shall use only their own funds. This demand does not expand on life-saving goods.
Resolution No. 581 remains in force until 3 December 2015.