Afghanistan - Conversion and Transfer PoliciesAfghanistan - Coversion Policies
Private investors have the right to transfer capital and profits out of Afghanistan, including for off-shore loan debt service. There are no restrictions on converting, remitting, or transferring funds associated with investment, such as dividends, return on capital, interest and principal on private foreign debt, lease payments, or royalties and management fees, into a freely usable currency at a legal market clearing rate. The PIL states that an investor may freely transfer investment dividends or proceeds from the sale of an approved enterprise abroad.
Major transactions in Afghanistan, such as sale of autos or property, are frequently conducted in dollars or in the currency of neighboring countries. Afghanistan does not maintain a dual-exchange-rate policy, currency controls, capital controls, or any other restrictions on the free flow of funds abroad. Afghanistan uses a managed floating exchange rate regime under which the exchange rate is determined by market forces. It is illegal to transport more than AFN 1,000,000 (approximately USD 17,200) or the foreign currency equivalent out of Afghanistan via land or air; amounts over AFN 500,000 (approximately USD 8,600), but beneath AFN 1,000,000, must be declared. Enforcement of this law is widely reported to be haphazard, such as for passengers traveling through the VIP lounge at Kabul International Airport, where belongings receive little if any inspection from Afghan authorities to ensure that they are in compliance with reporting requirements.
Access to foreign exchange for investment is not restricted by any law or regulation. In practice, however, particularly in the provinces, many banks might not have the capacity to deal with foreign exchange. There are large, yet informal, foreign exchange markets in major cities and provinces such as Jalalabad, Kabul, Kandahar, Herat and Mazar-e Sharif, where U.S. dollars, British pounds, and euros are readily available. Entities wishing to buy and sell foreign exchange in Afghanistan must register with the central bank, Da Afghanistan Bank, but thousands of unlicensed money changers (“hawalas”) continue to practice their trade. Non-official money service providers often cite the lack of enforcement in the currency exchange sector, and the resulting competitive disadvantage to licensed exchangers, as a disincentive to becoming licensed.
In mid-2014, due in part to Afghanistan’s failure to pass Financial Action Task Force (FATF)-compliant Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) laws in a timely manner, some international correspondent banks began closing USD accounts held for Afghan banks abroad, which increased costs and processing times for inbound and outbound international funds transfers. Currently there is only one bank in Afghanistan with a correspondent relationship with a U.S. bank. Since then, Afghanistan has taken steps towards improving its AML/CFT regime. However, the FATF has determined that certain strategic deficiencies remain. The FATF encourages Afghanistan to address its remaining deficiencies and continue the process of implementing its action plan. Afghanistan has met four of six conditions for being removed from the compliance list.Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting http://export.gov/usoffices.
Afghanistan Economic Development and Investment Law