Central Bank issues foreign currency exchange warning
The Central Bank of Samoa (C.B.S.) has reminded the public that exchanging foreign money at anywhere other than licensed banks and foreign exchange dealers is prohibited.
In a public statement, the Bank stated that individuals or businesses are not allowed to buy or sell foreign currency in exchange for Samoan talā through any means, including at supermarkets or online platforms without a relevant C.B.S. license.
“Doing so may [mean people] face legal proceedings in accordance with the Exchange Control Regulations,” the release reads.
“The buying and/or selling of foreign currency in exchange for Samoan Tala within Sāmoa is only allowed to be transacted by or at licensed commercial banks and foreign exchange dealers.”
The Bank also emphasised that documentation and prior approval from the Bank is required for the export of domestic products or the re-sale of imported products exceeding the value of T$250.
“Relevant documentations must be submitted with the completion of the CBS Form E, before proceeding to Customs, the Post Office or any of the courier companies,” the statement said.
“This registration requirement is currently being reviewed by C.B.S. in coordination with the relevant Government ministries.”
Capital payment transactions must also be referred to C.B.S. for prior approval before any processes involving licenced payment operators and banks.
“The most common types [of capital transfers] include any form of investment in other countries, dividend repatriation, foreign currency borrowing, overseas borrowing, remittance to other countries of proceeds from the sale of land or shares in Sāmoa," the Bank said,
Exchange control policy is designed to complement monetary policy and the broader supervision of the financial system by the C.B.S., to ensure that the country’s foreign exchange reserves are used for legitimate purposes and remain sustainable.
Since 2014, the Central Bank regularly reviews its exchange control policy guidelines to reflect the prevailing financial and liquidity conditions in the domestic economy.
Authorised foreign exchange dealers licensed to deal in foreign exchange includes all four commercial banks and Bluesky Samoa, Digicel Samoa, Fexco Ltd, Frankie Money Transfer, Ink Patch Money Transfer, Imex Money Transfer, KlickEx Ltd, Pacific Ezy Money Transfer, Pacific Way Ltd, Samoa Finance Co. Ltd, Samoa Money Transfer, SPBD Fund, Samoa Foreign Exchange and other institutions/business entities authorised by the C.B.S. from time to time.