Azerbaijan Eager to Cancel Customs Duties imposed on Outflow Currency

Azerbaijan, Baku / corr Trend I.Khalilova / The Azerbaijani Government is preparing the liberalization of legislation in the outflow of cash capital. The Government informed that the Cabinet of Ministers has already submitted draft changes to the Law on Currency Regulation, which envisages the cancellation of customs duties. It will be applied to sums exceeding $1,000.

After approval of these changes individuals will be able to take up to $10,000 out of the country, while sums exceeding this figure need permission from the National Bank of Azerbaijan (NBA).

The liberalization of capital circulation is one of the requirements set by the World Trade Organization (WTO). The changes to the law on Currency Regulation have been prepared for a long time jointly with experts from the NBA, the ministries of justice, economic development and finance. The changes to the bill can be adopted only after the cancellation of a decree by the Cabinet of Ministers on the collection of 1% tax from sums exceeding $1,000. However, the cancellation of the decision on the application of the customs duties on cash currency rules out the probability of its application in future.

The NBA has also taken other measures with respect to the liberalization of capital circulation. At the decision of the NBA, dated 22 June 2007, the rules on by-stage liberalization of outflow of capital were defined. In this respect it was decided to adopt a decision on alternation of a permission regime with an information regime.

In the first stage the new regime will be applied to member-countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and generally to countries which Azerbaijan signed an agreement on mutual protection of investments.

The major directions of the liberalization are portfolio investments, direct investments, opening of accounts, placement of deposits in foreign banks and other operations. Any Azerbaijani citizen will have the opportunity to invest in a group of countries.

After a study of results of the first stage and depending on those results there are plans to carry out full liberalization of the outflow of capital in the country

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