Uzbekistan tightens control over illegal foreign currency trafficking
Uzbekistan, Tashkent, 28 Jan. / Trend D.Azizov /
Uzbek President Islam Karimov signed a resolution 'On further regulation of payments in retail trade and services', providing for the establishment of a special office to monitor the non-acceptance of foreign currency in the retail trade and services under the State Tax Committee (STC).
The new management will monitor and control over compliance with the requirements of legislation on the regulation of payments by business entities and individuals in the retail trade and services within the territory of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
The functions of the management will also include 'early detection, prevention and suppression of violations and currency offenses in the retail trade and services, including through the mechanism of test purchases, transfer of materials on identified violations to other investigative law enforcement agencies'.
Data on identified crimes and offenses should be entered into a single computer database.
The department for combating tax, currency offenses and money laundering under the Prosecutor General, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the relevant ministries and agencies are instructed to provide assistance to the State Tax Service in on-going activities.
Meanwhile, it remains unclear as to how the new management will control a number of companies that are allowed as an exception, the sale of goods and services in a foreign currency.
The STC currently hasn't commented on the activities of the new management for now.
As previously reported, in 2011, Uzbekistan has introduced new rules for air ticket sales, according to which non-residents may purchase tickets using only foreign currency. Since January 1 of this year, changes were made to the order of air tickets sale by foreign air carriers with permission to sell tickets in foreign currency for residents of the republic as well.
In addition, Uzavtoprom AC periodically sells vehicles in the domestic market in a foreign currency.
According to independent experts, this new document is aimed at fighting against the foreign exchange black market in Uzbekistan. Currently, the official exchange rate set by the central bank is 1933.53 soums per dollar, whilst the rate on the black market is 2800 soums per dollar.