Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 134

The end may be in sight for the customs declarations foreign visitors have to fill in when entering and leaving Russia. The Central Bank of Russia, which has already announced its intention of signing Article 8 of the IMF Charter and making the ruble fully convertible for current account transactions, has approved new regulations that will allow resident and non-resident physical persons (as distinct from juridical persons) freely to bring up to $7000 in cash rubles in or out of the country. To impede money laundering, the Central Banks proposes restrictions on ruble transfers in or out of Russia by physical persons, but restrictions on the transfer of rubles by juridical persons (that is, businesses) are to be loosened. Foreign firms will therefore be able to repatriate profits more easily (though tight restrictions still remain on the capital account). Russian banks that are licensed to handle foreign exchange (of which there are now about 1,000) will be permitted freely to transfer rubles in and out. This means that foreign banks that have correspondent accounts with Russian banks that are licensed to handle foreign currency will also, in practice, be able to move rubles in and out of the country. (Finansovye izvestiya, June 27)

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