Resolution 3333: To Restrict Currency Trading

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This morning the Argentine Government published the controversial Resolution 3333 of the Federal Administration of Public Revenues (AFIP).  Resolution 3333 effectively tightens the government’s control over the dollar.

The official release of Resolution 3333, published in the Official Gazette, breaks down the new law into several clauses.  The first sets out the resolution to apply to subjects living in the country who are seeking to purchase foreign currency and orders them to officially register the transaction.

Information for the clause will be found through a service called the “consultation exchange transactions” found on the “travel abroad” option of www.afip.gob.ar.

The Federal Government will use the information for analysis and will offer it in real-time. The new legislation will come into effect tomorrow.

Senator Aníbal Fernández said today controls for foreign currency trading “are for the benefit of all Argentines.”

“If (a person) is being handed with money that is not declared, it cannot be bought,” said the former chief of staff. In recent weeks generated strong criticism and unease among investors and small and medium savers, hit by the restrictions.

Resolution 3333 should help to determine that the “money comes from a legal situation.”

Aníbal Fernández stressed, “Argentina has to make a lot of decisions that make all the Argentines in their trade balance, imports, exports and foreign exchange trading.”

In this regard, he noted “for each of the issues, there is a recipe” and postulated that the duty of making decisions should be that of the State.

“The reality is that at the end of the race, which is very short because the goal is short term, [the idea] is to solve the problems and go out to find that they fulfill the objectives for the benefit of all Argentines ” said the former chief of staff and current senator.

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One Response to “Resolution 3333: To Restrict Currency Trading”

  1. Werner Almesberger says:

    What is often overlooked in resolution 3333 is that, while it is being explained as a means for collecting mainly statistical data, it also carries an element of approval: if the AFIP Web site for some reason does not like what has been entered, it can refuse to accept it. This is more clearly spelled out in the text of the resolution.

    Now, this could be just a very basic sanity check, but it’s more likely to be similar to the online check that determines what amount of cash dollars people are allowed to obtain from a bank. This check has been in place for a few months already and became substantially more restrictive recently. Numerous people have reported that, although they have a rather good and properly declared income, they were not given permission to buy any dollars.

    So far, I haven’t seen any explanation what else is supposed to happen with this new declaration. E.g., would the travel agency have to accompany any purchase of dollars with the corresponding set of transaction codes from declarations ? Would passengers have to carry some kind of receipt when leaving the country ?

    Another unanswered question is what exactly is affected by this. E.g., if buying a ticket from an airline with a representation in Argentina, would this still count as purchase of a foreign currency ? What if the airline’s headquarters are even in Argentina ? (E.g., Aerolineas or LAN Argentina.)

    Technicalities aside, the overall tendency seems pretty clear: what we see here is basically an iron curtain in the making. The government is smart in phasing it in gradually, but in the end, travel may become as difficult as the purchase of dollars for any other reason has become lately.

    What I find remarkable in all this is the absence of resistance in the population. Not only to this new outrage but also to all the other things that happened since the reelection. Besides venting off in online fora, nothing happens. Perhaps the memories left from the last contact with totalitarianism aren’t so bad after all.

    – Werner

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