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NBU Eases Multiple FX Market Restrictions

NBU Eases Multiple FX Market Restrictions

The National Bank of Ukraine continues to gradually ease and clarify the list of restrictions it has imposed on the FX market to ensure the sound and stable operation of the country’s financial system while under martial law.

Specifically, effective 8 March 2022, the NBU has:

  • granted banks an option to open accounts for servicemen and servicewomen and carry out their identification and verification on the basis of a military ID
  • allowed customers in areas under threat of occupation to withdraw hryvnia and FX cash from accounts without restrictions and to purchase FX cash and investment metals with physical delivery subject to the availability of said funds or investment metals in the bank branch/office (the decision to carry out said transactions is made by the head of the bank and may be delegated to the head of the branch/office)
  • clarified that the issuing of bank metals from the accounts of bank customers is conducted without restrictions, provided that it does not exceed their account balances and that such metals are available in the branch’s/office’s vault
  • determined that the ban on transactions in Ukraine using the accounts of residents of Russia or Belarus and legal entities whose ultimate beneficial owners are based in Russia or Belarus does not apply to social benefits, wages, utilities, taxes, fees, and other required payments
  • allowed residents and nonresidents to make transfers to the accounts of charitable foundations not only in hryvnias but also in foreign currency. This applies to charities pursuing activities that promote Ukraine’s defense capabilities and mobilization readiness, support the Armed Forces and the Territorial Defense of Ukraine, ensure social protection and healthcare, and help resolve other pressing issues to safeguard the population for the duration of martial law.

The central bank has also clarified that settlements under the documentary and reserve letters of credit/guarantees/counter-guarantees opened (confirmed, granted) starting 24 February 2022 are prohibited. Exceptions will be made only for cases where such payments are designated for critical imported goods, settlements with IFIs, and other customer transactions that are on the list stipulated in Resolution No. 18 paragraph 14 subparagraphs 2–6. The NBU reiterates that this ban does not apply to settlements under the documentary and reserve letters of credit/guarantees/counter-guarantees opened (confirmed, granted) before 24 February 2022 (including the payment of expenses (commissions) of nonresident banks and other foreign financial institutions related to the execution of said transactions).

The NBU has also determined that if funds come from abroad in Russian rubles or Belarusian rubles to pay for exports or imports of goods, banks are allowed to exchange this money for other currencies in the international FX market (except for Russian rubles/Belarusian rubles) so that it can be credited to client accounts. 

Relevant changes were made by NBU Board Resolution No. 44 On Amendments to NBU Board Resolution No. 18 dated 24 February 2022 (UKR), dated and effective 8 March 2022.

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