On 18 January 2013 Regulation of the National Bank of Ukraine (the "NBU") No. 500 dated 3 December 2012 (the "Regulation") became effective. The Regulation amends four NBU's regulations on granting currency exchange licenses.
Under the Regulation the NBU, before granting certain currency exchange licenses, will no longer be required to request opinions from the Chief Directorates for Fighting Organized Crime of the Ministry of the Interior and of the Security Service of Ukraine. In particular, the law-enforcement's clearance will no longer be required for the following licenses:
- general licenses on currency exchange operations conducted by non-bank financial institutions and the national postal operator;
- general licenses on currency exchange operations conducted by the banks and foreign banks' branches;
- individual licenses granted to Ukrainian residents for transfer of foreign currency outside Ukraine for the purposes of purchase of the external bonds issued by Ukraine; and
- individual licenses granted to Ukrainian residents for transfer of foreign currency outside Ukraine as a payment for currency, securities or precious metals.
Although these positive amendments do not apply to all NBU's currency exchange licenses (for example, the licensing procedure for making investments abroad remains unchanged), they perhaps may be viewed as the first step in the long-overdue deregulation of the Ukrainian currency exchange market.