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Central Bank eases currency controls on positive economic outlook

Samoa can expect a further relaxation in controls on foreign currency exchange and outflows from the beginning of August in a move the Central Bank of Samoa says reflects a positive economic outlook. 

In a statement, the bank's Governor, Maiava Atalina Ainu’u-Enari, said the move to relax restrictions follows an annual review of its foreign exchange policy. 

“The changes include new and increased delegations of authority to the commercial banks and money transfer operators (M.T.O.)," she said.  

“The easing of exchange controls is consistent with current economic conditions and the positive outlook for Samoa’s economy.” 

Maiava said the reforms would take the form of increased or new delegations of authority to approve currency outflows to authorised commercial banks and money transfer operators.

But the Governor said these services remain subject to the availability of relevant supporting documents. 

“As such, the general public is kindly reminded to cooperate and ensure that proper supporting documentations are submitted to the authorised commercial banks and money transfer operators when processing payments overseas," she said. 

“Approval of overseas payments may not be granted unless appropriate requested documents are sighted.” 

Maiava advises the public that not all kinds of overseas transfers would be delegated. Outgoing capital payments of any kind will continue to be referred to the Central Bank for prior approval including payments relating to dividends, funds earmarked for overseas future investment, proceeds from property sales and overseas loans. 

“Special exemptions to any exchange control requirements may be granted by the Central Bank on a case by case basis," she said. 

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