Restatement and creation of banking regulations for payment

Published 05 April 2010

On April 6, 2010, the Central Bank of Argentina (the “Central Bank”) issued Communication “A” 5060 (the “Communication”), restating and creating new applicable regulations to access the Free Exchange Market (the “Market”) for payment of imports of goods.

The Communication sets forth that individuals and legal persons residing in Argentina may access the Market to make foreign payments for Argentine import of goods provided that the necessary requirements are met.

Likewise, financial entities may also access the Market to pay their foreign obligations, for guarantees securing import transactions, and for cancellation of foreign credit lines aimed at financing imports.

The Communication creates:

•        Registration of customs entry. An import has its customs entry registered for exchange purposes, when the importer has made the import clearance official for further port clearance of the goods, or when the customs procedure for the entry of foreign goods into national duty-free areas has been complied with, and for the entry of foreign goods upon special request with port clearance of goods or by Courier.

•        Follow-Up System for Import Payment (the “Follow-Up System”). The Follow-Up System allows the monitoring of payments related to making a shipment’s declaration official and the demonstration of the entry of goods into the nation with relation to payments made before the registration of the customs entry of the goods.

•        Local Currencies System. The Local Currencies System is a payment system for commercial transactions of up to 360 days, which allows Argentine and Brazilian importers and exporters to bill and make payments and collections in their own currencies.

Apart from that, the Communication sets forth the following requirements in order to have access to the local exchange market to pay imports:

i) Commercial invoice issued abroad in favour of the individual or legal person residing in Argentina and who makes the purchase from abroad, containing the quantity, description and value of the products;

ii) Copy of the transport document;

iii) Registration of the customs entry of the goods that create the debt to be paid. The information in the commercial invoice and the information in the copy of the transport document must be consistent with the information in the customs registries;

iv) The payee must be the foreign supplier or the non-resident supplier stated in the document issued by the exporter, or if applicable, the non-resident who financed the purchase (provided that transactions qualify as commercial debt for imports of goods), or the non-resident who purchased the credit from the foreign commercial creditor;

v) The amount of the payments made on account of the foreign obligation shall not exceed the amount billed in the agreed condition of purchase;

vi) The sale of foreign currencies shall be made against personal check of the applying party or credit against his account in local currency, through any of the methods of payment available;

vii) The debtor must have complied, if applicable, with (a) the Reporting Regime on Foreign Debt Securities and Liabilities Issuance (set forth by Communication “A” 3602 of the Central Bank) regarding the foreign obligation to be paid, and (b) the Reporting Regime on Direct Investments (set forth by Communication “A” 4237 of the Central Bank), in the event that the foreign creditor is member of the same economic group.

The Communication came into effect on April 7, 2010.