The Federal Tax Authority replaced the regime applicable to the registry and validation of foreign currency operations. Subsequently, the Argentine Central Bank introduced new requirements for the purchase of foreign currency for tourism and travel expenses.
With General Resolution No. 3356, dated August 3, 2012 and effective as of August 13, 2012 ("Resolution 3356"), the Federal Tax Authority ("AFIP", for the Spanish acronym Administración Federal de Ingresos Públicos) replaced the provisions of General Resolutions No. 3210, 3212 and 3333 and established new requirements for the purchase of foreign currency for tourism and travel expenses. In addition, and according to the provisions of Resolution 3356, on August 9, 2012, the Argentine Central Bank of Argentina (the "Central Bank") enacted Communication "A" 5339, effective as of August 10, 2012, which determined new requirements for the purchase of foreign currency under the item of tourism and travel.
The following are some of the most important changes introduced by these regulations:
1. Registry and validation of purchase and transfer of foreign currency
Resolution No. 3356 repealed General Resolutions No. 3210, 3212 and 3333, but kept in force the system created by those Resolutions for the registration and validation of exchange operations. In this regard, Resolution No. 3356 states that:
- The financial entities authorized by the Central Bank to operate with foreign currency must register the total amount in Pesos of the following operations: (i) the sale of foreign currency, disregarding its mode or purpose; and (ii) the purchase of foreign currency for the repatriation of funds due to the cancellation of the trips for which the foreign currency was obtained.
- When, according to the Central Bank's regulations, the purchase of foreign currency requires the validation of the "Foreign Currency Transactions Consultation" service prior to the exchange operation, the potential acquirer should consult the result of the appraisal of AFIP. For these purposes, Resolution No. 3356 allows the AFIP to require information, documents and/or additional data.
2. Purchase of foreign currency under item "tourism and travel"
Since Resolution No. 3356 and Communication "A" 5339 are effective, the access to the Foreign Exchange Market (the "FX Market") for the purchase of foreign currency and travel checks under the item "tourism and travel", is subject to the following conditions:
- Purchaser must previously obtain the tax validation of the transaction. For this purpose, Resolution No. 3356 states that the information declared by the potential acquirer should be confirmed by the transport company or the tour operator involved. In addition, the AFIP will consider the destination informed by the purchaser and the foreign currency requested.
- Once the tax validation is obtained, Communication "A" 5339 provides that the purchaser must file a sworn statement of the trip to be made and the number of days abroad. Purchaser must assume the commitment to reimburse the funds within 5 business days if the trip is cancelled or if the departure is delayed for more than 10 business days.
- When the destinations are countries neighboring Argentina or countries that adopted the Euro as local currency, only the currency of such countries may be purchased.
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