BUJUMBURA July 14th (ABP) – The Bank of the Republic of Burundi (BRB) says it has noted new cases of contracts and payments for goods or services in foreign currency on the national territory, in violation of the provisions of articles 4 and 58 of the regulation of charges. This was disclosed on Tuesday July 13 by the officer responsible for public relations and communication at the BRB, Mrs. Diane Joselyne Bizimana, in a communiqué made public.
Mrs. Bizimana pointed out that those transactions concern in particular the rental of houses, consultancy, school fees and the purchase of goods and services. Those foreign currency payments are made either in cash or by bank transfer to the accounts of suppliers of goods or services residing in Burundi.
In that communiqué, the BRB reiterated once again that the currency unit having legal tender in the Republic of Burundi is only the Burundi Franc (BIF). It insists on the fact that all monetary transactions concluded locally and concerning goods located in Burundi or services rendered in Burundi are expressed and paid in BIF.
In addition, as announced by Mrs. Bizimana, the services provided to non-residents by airlines, travel agencies, international transport companies and agencies, freight forwarders, border and foreigner services, port and airport services and the tax authority can be invoiced and settled in foreign currencies. This requirement is not applied to residents.
That communiqué continues by indicating that loans or guarantees in foreign currency to residents are prohibited, except in the event of an exemption with the BRB and provided that those loans are intended for the payment of imports in foreign currency.
The facility offered to residents to hold foreign currency accounts is not an authorization to conclude foreign currency transactions between residents for the payment of goods located in Burundi, specifies the BRB, which recalls, in that communiqué, that the offenders expose themselves to the penalties provided for by the laws and regulations in force.
The BRB takes this opportunity to clarify article 18, paragraph 3, of the foreign exchange regulations, which stipulates that the validation of an import declaration (DI) is not required for cross-border commercial transactions. This implies transactions carried out by inhabitants close to the borders of Burundi and whose value, before the original embarkation, is less than USD 3,000 for chemicals, food and pharmaceuticals, and USD 5,000 for other products, according to the communiqué.