The much awaited amendment is here folks. Finally the Parliament has passed the Foreign Exchange Regulation (Amendment) Act, 2015 and on September 9, 2015, the gazette has been published.
Let’s take a look what has changed and how you might be affected.
- Applicable to all resident in Bangladesh:
From now on Foreign Exchange Regulation will be applicable to virtually all persons living in Bangladesh irrespective of their nationality except foreign diplomatic representations or accredited officials of such representations located within Bangladesh and offices of organizations established by international treaty located within Bangladesh.
Previously there was some ambiguity whether Foreign Exchange Regulation would be applicable to foreigners living in Bangladesh or not.
- The definition of securities expanded:
The current definition includes deposit receipts in respect of deposits of securities, units of mutual fund or collective investment scheme, as defined in Securities and Exchange Commission (Mutual Fund) Rules, 2001 as well as other instruments defined as security in the Securities and Exchange Ordinance, 1969.
- New definition introduced
The amendment introduces some new definitions such as Export, Import, capital account transaction, current account transaction, goods, person, person resident in Bangladesh, service etc. These new definitions will provide better interpretation of the act. It will also expand the jurisdiction of Bangladesh Bank/government.
- Export of Service will be covered
From now on, the government will be able to prohibit the export of any goods or classes of goods or services or classes of services from Bangladesh unless a declaration supported by such evidence that the amount representing the full export value of the goods or services has been or will be received in a prescribed manner within the prescribed time.
- No more 18A and 18B
The requirement of 18A and 18B approval has been stripped off. From now on Branch Office or Liaison Office or Representative Office will have to report to Bangladesh Bank within 30(thirty) days of obtaining permission from Board of Investment or similar competent authority in Bangladesh to establish their presence in Bangladesh.
- More information can be sought
From now on the government or the Bangladesh Bank will be able to ask any person resident in Bangladesh to make a return of their holdings of foreign exchange, foreign securities, any immovable property or industrial or commercial undertaking or company outside Bangladesh, held, owned, established or controlled by that person.
- Punishment for breaking any provision of the FERA is now maximum seven years.