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Amendments to Exchange Agreement No. 36

The amendment to Exchange Agreement No. 36, issued by the Venezuelan Central Bank (“VCB”) jointly with the Ministry of the Popular Power for Economy, Finance, and Public Banking, was published in Official Gazette  No. 41.040 of November 28, 2016 (the “Exchange Agreement”).

 

Following are the most important amendments:

 

  • The providers of tourist accommodation services (prestadores de servicios turísticos de alojamiento  - PSTA)  and  the providers of ground, water, and air tourist transportation services (prestadores de servicios turísticos de transporte terrestre, acuático y aéreo - PSTT) will receive payment for their services to international visitors and tourists exclusively in foreign currency and they will be authorized to withhold and administer up to sixty percent  (60%) of the foreign currency received. The rest must be sold by them to the VCB at the DICOM rate of exchange in effect on the date of the transaction minus 0.25%.

 
  • The travel and tourism agencies (agencias de viajes y turismo - AVT) may only invoice and charge in foreign currency the packages and services sold to foreign visitors and tourists, and they may pay the PSTA and PSTT with the foreign currency received.  The  AVT may withhold up to ten percent (10%) of the balance of the foreign currency received  and the rest must be sold by them to the VCB at the DICOM rate of exchange in effect on the date of the transaction minus 0,25%.

 
  • The foreign currency authorized to be withheld and administered by the PSTA may be used to make investments that allow improving their capacity to attend to receptive tourism and covering the expenses incurred by reason of the tourist activity, including consumable supplies for the provision of tourist services.     

 
  • The PSTT may request an authorization from the VCB’s Board of Directors in order to deduct from  the percentage subject to obligatory sale to the VCB  the amounts in foreign currency to be used to cover  expenses, payments, and any other necessary disbursement  that allows for the continuation and improvement of the service, always provided that such expenses, payments and disbursements are not capable of being  covered with the percentage authorized to be withheld and administered. The  PSTT  that obtain the relevant authorization to deduct certain amounts from the percentage to be sold to the VCB as aforesaid may not process the obtainment of foreign currency through the mechanisms  of the foreign currency administration regime.  

 
  • The payments for the goods acquired from Duty Free Shops (Almacenes Libres de Impuestos – ALI) will be made according to the following regime: (i) in the case of natural persons residing in the country, they may be made in bolivars or in the foreign currency accepted to that end by the relevant shop (money in cash or debit or credit cards drawn against accounts or lines of credit in foreign currency); (ii) in the case of natural persons not residing in the country, only in the foreign currency accepted to that end by the relevant shop (money in cash or debit or credit cards drawn against accounts or lines of credit in foreign currency). The ALI must agree with the national producers qualifying as exporters that the payment of the goods acquired from them for their commercialization must be made, in whole or in part, in foreign currency.

 
  • The ALI may withhold and administer up to sixty percent (60%) of the credited amount of the income received in foreign currency for the sales made. The rest of the foreign currency must be sold to the VCB at the DICOM rate of exchange in effect on the date of the transaction minus 0.25%.

 
  • The PSTA, PSTT, AVT, and ALI must issue the invoices and other documents with an impact on taxation and perform the tax obligations resulting from the Exchange Agreement, in accordance with the laws that regulate this matter and the rules issued to that end.

 

Exchange Agreement No. 36 will enter into force as from the first business day following its publication in the Official Gazette.

 

In order to access the Exchange Agreement, please click here.

“NOTE: THIS INFORMATION SHOULD NOT BE CONSTRUED AS LEGAL ADVICE ON ANY SPECIFIC MATTER AND ITS CONTENT ARE INTENDED AS A MANAGEMENT ALERT AS TO CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS IN VENEZUELA, ANY SPECIFIC LEGAL QUESTIONS REGARDING THE POSSIBLE APPLICATION OF NEW OR PROPOSED LEGISLATION TO PARTICULAR SITUATIONS SHOULD BE ADDRESSED TO TRAVIESO EVANS ARRIA RENGEL & PAZ.”