The Central Bank of the Argentine Republic (“BCRA”) on March 3, issued Communication “A” 7466 through which some changes were made to the “Exterior and Changes” regulations referred to the requirements for access to the foreign exchange market for payments of imports and payments under financial indebtedness.
In particular, such regulation provides further extensions of:
• The refinancing of liabilities is extended until 31/12/2022 with the obligation to refinance with an average life of 2 years at least 60% of the capital payments of financial indebtedness in foreign currency foreseen for that period.
• Financial debts with related companies, until 31/12/2022 the need for the prior approval of the BCRA for access to the foreign exchange market to make payments of financial indebtedness abroad to related counterparties is extended.
• With respect to the importation of goods, until 31/12/2022 the regulation on the “quota” for the payment of imports is extended.
With regard to changes to the import payment system, the minimum period for the payment of imports of certain so-called “luxury” goods is extended from 90 to 180 calendar days.
In addition, the intervention of the BCRA is incorporated into the Comprehensive Import Monitoring System (“SIMI”), thus establishing two categories:
i. A Category A, to the extent that the SIMI declared by an importer does not exceed certain parameters of the foreign exchange demand to import:
a) An annual limit consisting of the lower amount of the FOB value of 2021 imports plus 5 per cent of such value; or, the FOB value of 2020 imports plus 70 per cent of such value, taking into account imports recorded in SEPAIMPO;
b) To such amount must be subtracted the amount of imports that are recorded in SEPAIMPO and that correspond to temporary imports, capital goods, or subject to non-automatic licenses in those periods;
c) To such amount must be subtracted the amount of SIMS that are formalized and in EXIT state from January 1, 2022 and that do not correspond to capital goods, kits for the detection of the COVID-19 coronavirus or other goods whose tariff positions are included in the list issued by Decree No 333/2020 and their complementary norms or goods subject to non-automatic import licences;
d) The amount that may be requested from SIMI shall be the equivalent of the proportional share of the annual limit accrued up to and including the current month. The equivalent of 20 % of the annual limit shall be added to that amount provided that this does not imply that such limit is exceeded. If the amount indicated is less than USD 250,000 (two hundred and fifty thousand US dollars), the latter amount or the annual limit, whichever is less, shall be adopted.
The BCRA has set the equivalent of U$D 50,000 (fifty thousand US dollars) when the customer has not registered imports in the last two years or the amount arising from the calculation indicated is lower; and,
ii. A Category B for all SIMI associated with imports that are greater than the amount obtained by application of the formula explained above.
In this regard, it should be recalled that until now this period was 90 days, always counted from the date of registration of customs entry of the goods, in the case that these correspond to the tariff positions of the MERCOSUR nomenclature, unless the conditions of exclusion foreseen for the position are verified, in which case, the entity must file at the disposal of the SEFyC the documentation that allowed it to consider the payment exempted from compliance with the new 180-day deadline.
It should be noted that foreign exchange market access is maintained under the same conditions for imports of capital goods and non-automatic licensed imports of goods, among others.