The BCRA Has Improved the System of Payments for Imports

The Board of the BCRA has adjusted today the foreign trade payment system in order to face the extraordinary demand for foreign currency needed to import energy, and to support economic growth and SMEs' development so as to avoid speculative trading on imports.

The measures expand the import financing system to imports under non-automatic licenses and to the import of services, and will be in force for one quarter, to allow for the normalization of foreign trade.

Small and medium-sized enterprises are exempted from the requirement of financing their imports for the amount imported in 2021 plus 15%, as long as the threshold of one million dollars is not reached.

In the new payment scheme, the SIMI statements under category A will keep access to the forex market for an amount not exceeding the monthly average of imports recorded in 2021 plus 5% or the monthly average recorded in 2020 plus 70%.

The SIMI statements under category B corresponding to non-automatic licenses may access the forex market 180 days after customs clearance.

Together with the Ministry of Productive Development, tariff positions of goods equal to the ones manufactured in Argentina were expanded. Such goods will have access to the forex market after 180 days, and luxury goods after 360 days.

Imports of services are treated in the same way as imports of goods, and access to the forex market is allowed for the same amount as in 2021. In case of any difference, the amount in excess will have access to the forex market after 180 days.

The aim of these measures is to boost the recovery of business credit lines, which have dropped dramatically in Argentina as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As regards imports of capital goods, 80% can be paid at the port of origin and 20% upon nationalization. In addition, the pre-financing of exports will be eased in order to speed up inflows of foreign currency, in particular, from the grains sector. In this case, the compulsory requirement to settle export proceeds within a 5-day term will extend to 15 days. Long-term financing obtained to pay in advance domestic debts in foreign currency will also be eased in pursuit of the same goal.

June 27, 2022

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