Amendments to the law “On Currency Regulation” will be considered in the Azerbaijani parliament on April 25.
According to the changes, currency exchange points may be reopened in the country.
Since January 2016 in Azerbaijan currency exchange offices can operate only within banks and post offices. Since that time, currency exchange in Azerbaijan has not been conducted outside of head offices and bank branches. An exception was provided for tourist facilities – especially hotels, and airports – where currency exchange offices of banks continue to operate.
Due to the closure of currency exchange offices, many people have lost their jobs. In October 2016, Minister of Labor and Social Protection Salim Muslimov told reporters that 2,700 people who had previously worked in the banking sector had already applied to employment centers in search of new work.
If new amendments are adopted, currency exchange points will be opened not only by residents of Azerbaijan, but also by foreign companies in their branches in the country.
Under the new rules, currency exchange will be possible only in cash. Given the restrictions on cash transactions (over 15,000 manat a month for small and medium companies and more than 30,000 manat a month for large companies) that operate for companies in Azerbaijan, it is prohibited to provide currency exchange services to legal entities and individual entrepreneurs.
Another amendment to the law “On State Duty” provides for the introduction of a payment of AZN 500 for obtaining a license to open currency exchange offices. This license will be issued for an indefinite period by the Chamber of Supervision of Financial Markets.