Business calls on the NBU to remove certain restrictions on the banking system
The European Business Association appreciates the steps taken by the National Bank of Ukraine, thanks to which, namely, the country managed to maintain macroeconomic stability at the beginning of the war. Moreover, the EBA community welcomes the adoption of draft law No. 7418 and looks forward to the Government’s promised abolition of currency restrictions on transactions for payment of goods and services.
At the same time, the full-scale war has entered its 120th day and now it is very important to restore as many business and economic activities as possible in Ukraine. After all, Ukrainian authorities are making a strong emphasis on such a restoration. And it should be noted that limitations and restrictions hamper the restoration, namely those concerning the banking sector. Therefore, the business proposes to revise and change some regulations, particularly, in the context of changes in the NBU Resolution No. 18.
Thus, the CMU resolution, that puts restrictions on the legal entities to purchase foreign currency and its cross-border transfer for the payment of goods and services from the List of Critical Imports, should be abolished. Surely, there are different approaches to the formation of the List of Critical Imports, however, now this issue is a deterrent because some businesses are not able to generate enough money to cover even fixed costs (e.g. rent, wages, etc.) without the acquisition of foreign currency. Consequently, they will not be able to function in the future. The EBA is convinced that at this stage the optimal solution would be to cancel the List of Critical Imports and remove restrictions on settlements in foreign currency. This will help enterprises that still have the ability to conduct foreign economic transactions, including for the obtainment of the necessary raw materials and components of consumer goods, to continue their work, maintain their teams, pay taxes and fill the budget of war-torn Ukraine.
Besides, it is necessary to increase the deadline for the settlement of transactions for the export and import of goods to 180 calendar days. Now the terms of settlements are 120 days, which is not enough, since the production time of some types of goods can reach up to two or three months. At the same time, due to the disruption of delivery chains, the time for delivery of goods has also increased (due to the closure of seaports and northern, eastern, and southern border crossing points).
In the context of proposals relating to certain industries, it is about the need to abolish restrictions on the ability of postal operators to settle settlements from operations for the transfer of imposed payments in UAH / foreign currency collected from recipients of international delivery in Ukraine, in accordance with the agreements between the postal operator. communications and postal services of foreign countries. Business noted that the above restrictions do not allow the postal operators of Ukraine, which continue to operate in wartime, to fulfill their obligations to foreign postal operators to transfer the amounts of the imposed payment from recipients of international delivery of Ukraine. Thus, Ukraine postal operators actually violate not only the terms of foreign economic contracts but also the acts of the Universal Postal Union of which Ukraine is a member.
At the same time, business also proposes to abolish the requirement for banks to suspend the issuance of electronic money, its use, and replenishment of e-wallets; remove currency restrictions to ensure the possibility of reinsurance for non-resident insurers (for example, without reinsurance protection, insurers will no longer insure the highest risk and the most valuable objects and responsibilities on the territory of Ukraine, etc.); remove currency restrictions for international payment systems to purchase and transfer foreign currency abroad to return income from activities in Ukraine. Moreover, it is important to enabling corporate issuers of public debt to buy foreign currency in Ukraine and transfer it abroad to ensure the fulfillment of obligations to external creditors. Now business is not able to fully meet the obligations to pay coupons on Eurobonds and loans. And this may lead to a default on a payment to foreign lenders. To maintain a reputation as reliable lenders, businesses (as well as Ukraine as a country) must meet their financial obligations.
We call on Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal and NBU Governor Kyrylo Shevchenko to consider business proposals so that the economic front can be not only maintained but also strengthened.