7 September 2015
Legal Alert: Further Extension and Liberalisation of the FX Restrictions Adopted by the National Bank of Ukraine

The National Bank of Ukraine (the “NBU”) has adopted resolution No.581 dated 3 September 2015 (the “Resolution 581”) aimed at stabilisation of the situation on Ukrainian FX market. According to the Resolution 581, the NBU has generally extended all of the previously existing temporary restrictions. The Resolution 581 shall be effective as of 4 September 2015 until 4 December 2015.

At the same time, the NBU has slightly modified some of its previously introduced restrictions, in particular the following:

Restrictions in Relation to Cross-Border Loans

Effective as of 22 August 2015, the NBU adopted an additional restriction which prohibited introduction of amendments to cross-border loans providing for replacement of a lender/borrower (except if any such cross-border loan was raised by a Ukrainian bank), as well as prohibited an assignment of loan claims from resident-lender to a non-resident lender. Such restrictions will not apply to amendments pertaining to the replacement of a borrower in connection with such borrower’s reorganisation or liquidation, as well as to amendments to loan agreements entered into with certain international financial organisations. In case borrower(s) and/or lender(s) are under common control, the NBU may (by exceptional decision) allow introduction of such amendments[1].

Restrictions on Set-Off

The NBU slightly liberated its prohibition of set-off. Pursuant to Resolution 581, set-off can be possible in relation to transactions in the amount up to equivalent of USD 500 000 and only to the extent such transactions are not denominated in any of hard currencies (such as, among others, USD, EUR, GBP, JPY and CHF) or RUB. Transactions denominated in hard currencies and RUB shall remain subject to prohibition.

Prohibition in Connection with NBU Individual Licences

Effective as of 21 August 2015, the NBU has slightly softened the prohibition for purchasing FX funds and making payments on the basis of NBU individual licences. In particular, the NBU introduced a new exception allowing purchasing FX funds and making payments thereof on the basis of NBU individual licences to the extent total amount of such payments will not exceed USD 50 000 per calendar month per one individual licence. Otherwise, the restriction and applicable exceptions remained the same[2].

Withdrawal of Cash from Bank Accounts

The NBU has also liberated the requirement whereby Ukrainian banks are required to limit the amount of FX funds, which could be withdrawn by their clients in cash. Such limit was changed to an equivalent of UAH 20 000 (calculated at the exchange rate established by the NBU) per day per one client from UAH 15 000.

Payments Under Certain Import Transactions

In addition, the NBU has also introduced a new restriction. In particular, pursuant to Resolution 581, Ukrainian banks were prohibited from purchasing FX funds for their clients for the purposes of making payments for imported goods (with some exceptions) to the extent that (1) custom clearance of such imported goods was completed prior to 1 January 2014 and (2) party to a relevant contract (either a creditor or a debtor) was changed. Ukrainian residents would have to make such payments out of their own funds, which haven’t been purchased nor borrowed.


[1] Initially, such exception was introduced by the NBU with its Resolution No.544 dated 20 August 2015 and was to expire on 3 September 2015. Pursuant to Resolution 582 it was further extended until 4 December 2015.  

[2] Initially, such restriction was introduced by Resolution of the NBU No.551 dated 20 August 2015 and was to expire on 3 September 2015. Pursuant to Resolution 581, such restriction was slightly modified and extended until 4 December 2015.