May 2, 2023
Argentine Central Bank issues new regulations on foreign exchange controls
On 20 April 2023, the Argentine Central Bank (BCRA) issued Communique A 7,746 (Communique), which provides several amendments to certain foreign exchange regulations. This Tax Alert covers the most significant modifications issued by the BCRA.
On 1 September 2019, the Argentine Government published in the Official Gazette Decree 609/2019 (the Decree), which implemented foreign exchange regulations. The Decree requires individuals and legal entities to convert into Argentine pesos (ARS) in the local financial system, the value of goods and services exported, in accordance with the conditions and terms to be established by the BCRA.
On the same date, the BCRA issued Communique A 6,770, which established various rules for exports of goods and services, imports of goods and services, foreign assets, nonresident operations, financial debt, debts between residents, profits and dividends, and information systems. (For more information, see Tax Alerts 2019-1567, 2020-0014 and 2020-2458.)
Communique A 7,746
Blue-chip swap transactions
Regarding blue-chip swap transactions (Contado con liquidacion, in Spanish),1 the period during which entities requiring access to the official exchange market must attest in a sworn statement that they did not use the blue-chip swap mechanism has been increased from 90 to 180 calendar days before and after requiring access. The term of 90 calendar days will still apply to securities and bonds issued under Argentine law.
The extended term will be considered for transactions carried out on or after 21 April 2023.
Imports of services
The Communique states that taxpayers must wait 60 calendar days from the date of approval of the "Import System of the Argentine Republic and Payment of Services to Foreign Countries" (Sistema de Importaciones de la República Argentina y Pagos de Servicios al Exterior (SIRASE), in Spanish) to access to the foreign exchange market (i.e., purchasing foreign currency) to pay for the following services:2
Access to the foreign exchange market prior to the 60-day term will require prior authorization from the BCRA. The Communique clarifies that the prior authorization requirement shall not apply in the following specific cases:
Prior authorization must be obtained from the BCRA until 31 December 2023 to pay interest to related companies abroad corresponding to commercial debts for imports of goods and/or services and/or financial loans.
Collection agent of transportation services
The Communique also modified the regulations that address accessing the foreign exchange market to pay for services performed by related companies abroad when the local company is a collection agent in Argentina for freight services or other transportation services rendered by nonresidents. These types of payments now must be made 90 calendar days after the effective date of rendering of the service.
Companies doing business in Argentina and multinational groups interested in the Argentine market should evaluate these changes in the foreign exchange regulations and the potential financial impact on their operations.
For additional information with respect to this Alert, please contact the following:
Pistrelli, Henry Martin & Asociados S.R.L., Buenos Aires
Ernst & Young LLP (United States), Latin American Business Center, New York
Ernst & Young LLP (United Kingdom), Latin American Business Center, London
Ernst & Young Tax Co., Latin American Business Center, Japan & Asia Pacific
Published by NTD’s Tax Technical Knowledge Services group; Carolyn Wright, legal editor
1 Blue-chip swap mechanism is a transaction by which an individual or legal entity can exchange Argentine Pesos for foreign currency abroad, through the purchase and sale of securities and/or government bonds.
2 Until now, access to the foreign exchange market to pay for imports of these services was granted immediately after obtaining SIRASE approval.