On August 3rd, 2020, new rules and procedures applicable to foreign exchange transactions carried out by natural persons were published through Notice no. 17/2020.
This Notice intends to update and clarify the rules and procedures applicable to payments to foreign territory of current invisible transactions, goods and capital transactions ordered by resident and non-resident natural persons.
Regarding transactions carried out by foreign exchange residents, this Notice applies to current invisible operations, as well as private transactions ordered by natural persons, to cover costs with travels, family support, education and health and to the transfer of amounts generated by foreign citizens residing in Angola, at the end of their stay.
Regarding import of goods, this Notice applies to private transactions ordered by natural persons, to capital transactions, to acquisition of immovable property or immovable assets in foreign territory, as well as to loans obtained with a foreign financial institution, regardless of its purpose.
This Notice also applies to the transfer of salaries received through work provided to an employer, to resources imported to Angola and capital revenues.
All transactions covered by this Notice are not subject to licensing, except for capital transactions carried out by natural persons.
Similarly to the previous regime, there is an annual limit for expenses related to acquisition and use of foreign currency for natural persons, which is USD 12,000. This limit may be exceeded by special authorisation from Banco Nacional de Angola (Central Bank in Angola).
Notwithstanding, the following transactions are exempt from the above limit and from mandatory presentation of supporting documentation:
- payment of health, education and housing expenses, when paid directly to the service providers;
- transfer of resources accumulated by foreign resident citizens (foreign exchange residents) that end their stay in Angola;
- transfer of resources imported to Angola, provided that such resources where declared on the moment of their entrance by foreign exchange residents.
Regarding foreign employees (non-foreign exchange residents), one of the key differences in this Notice is the requirement for all of those who perform a remunerated activity in Angola to open a non-foreign exchange resident account in a Bank based in Angola, where their income shall be deposited.
Foreign employees (non-foreign exchange residents) may buy foreign currency and transfer the salaries received in Angola at any time, provided that such transfers are made in time periods superior to the receiving of salaries. There is no clear possibility to directly transfer the amounts, as there was in the previous regime.
In a nutshell, the major difference introduced by this Notice is the mandatory requirement for opening a bank account in an Angolan Financial Banking Institution, thus making impossible the direct transfer of funds to a foreign bank account held by the employee, as it was the case until now. Even so, it is important to note that this Notice does not state any mandatory requirement for the use of Kwanzas for payment of salaries, being the parties free to set the currency of salaries, in accordance with the legal framework currently in force.
Article by Duarte Marques da Cruz
Duarte Marques da Cruz is partner of the Portuguese law firm MC&A, specialized in international business advisory, with a special focus in Lusophone markets. With extensive experience in the Energy sector (Renewables and Oil & Gas) and in International Taxation, he has supported international companies in major upstream, midstream transactions and projects, including in implementing, exploration and development programs. Duarte has also supported international clients in other areas of practice, namely, Mining, Transport & Logistics, Regulatory Compliance and Mergers & Acquisitions in Mozambique, Angola and Portugal.