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BoG introduces fresh rules on repatriation of export proceeds

Caroline Otoo, BoG Secretary, noted in statement that ‘With effect from July 1, 2016 the portion of foreign exchange receipts from the export of minerals and cocoa (other than the proceeds of the cocoa syndicated loan) that was subject to surrender would no longer have to be surrendered to the Bank of Ghana

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Caroline Otoo, BoG Secretary, noted in statement that ‘With effect from July 1, 2016 the portion of foreign exchange receipts from the export of minerals and cocoa (other than the proceeds of the cocoa syndicated loan) that was subject to surrender would no longer have to be surrendered to the Bank of Ghana.

‘Exporters would be required from the above-mentioned date to sell the surrender portion of their exports receipts directly to the (commercial) banks.’

The BoG statement added that ‘all exporters, except exporters who operate in accordance with Retention Agreements and who have been permitted to operate accounts offshore, would be required to repatriate in full all their export receipts to banks in Ghana, for the credit of their foreign exchange accounts (FEA) or to be converted into cedis on need basis.’

In a separate statement on its website, BoG spelt out additional rules on repatriation of export proceeds.

The new rules are to establish the requirements and procedures that govern the repatriation of export proceeds.

The statement said, ‘The purpose of these Rules is to establish the requirements and procedures that govern the repatriation of export proceeds.

‘All exporters of goods and services, except exporters with retention agreements as stipulated in paragraph 3, are obligated to repatriate to Ghana all export proceeds on receipt.

‘Exporters who operate in accordance with retention agreements and who have been permitted to operate accounts offshore are allowed, until further notice, to retain in their offshore accounts the portion of export proceeds as provided for under the retention agreements [paragraph 3].

‘Exporters shall ensure repatriation of export proceeds in accordance with the terms of export, provided that all export proceeds shall be received and repatriated immediately within a period not exceeding 60 days from the day of shipment of goods.

‘Export proceeds shall be repatriated through an external bank to exporter’s Foreign Exchange Account (FEA) opened with a local bank (hereinafter called the exporter`s bank) which endorsed the export documents.

‘An exporter who has several FEAs in different local banks shall ensure that proceeds are repatriated to the FEA at the bank which endorsed the export documents.’

The statement added that the exporter's bank shall be responsible for monitoring export proceeds repatriated to the exporter's FEA based on the information provided by the exporter.

Export proceeds subject to surrender requirement shall be allowed to be sold by the exporter to any local bank, regardless of where export proceeds are repatriated. The prescribed period during which the above proceeds have to be surrendered is 3 working days from the date when export proceeds are repatriated, according to the statement.

The statement said an exporter who fails to repatriate export proceeds in full within the period prescribed shall be in violation of the rules and commits an offence under Section 15 (4) of the Foreign Exchange Act, 2006 and is liable on conviction to sanctions.

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