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BNA determines that sale of diamonds to foreign buyers should be in foreign currency

The Banco Nacional de Angola (BNA) has determined that the sale of rough, cut or jewelry diamonds to foreign non-resident foreign exchange entities "should be settled in full in foreign currency", as well as the services provided.

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The provision is expressed in the BNA's notice no. 13/20, of 29 May, which updates the rules governing the foreign exchange operations of entities operating in the diamond sector, which Lusa had access to this Tuesday.

The notice establishes the exchange rate regime applicable to the diamond sector, namely to entities that carry out diamond exploration, cutting and/or any type of processing, as well as their marketing, under the terms of the Mining Code and complementary legislation.

Financial institutions authorized to trade in foreign exchange, producers, holders of mining rights to exploit diamonds for industrial, semi-industrial and artisanal production and national diamond cutting plants are some of the entities covered by the notice.

National wholesale diamond buyers, Angola's public diamond trading body and national diamond mining rights concessionaire are also covered.

The regulations also stipulate that all foreign currency revenue acquired from the sale of diamonds to foreign buyers must be deposited in a foreign currency bank account opened with a bank domiciled in the country, held by the seller.

As for the purchase and sale of diamonds on the domestic market, the Angolan central bank establishes that payments for such transactions are made in domestic currency and may be made in foreign currency, by agreement of the parties involved.

However, the purchase and sale of diamonds between national entities must be carried out exclusively in Angolan currency, by bulk buyers of cut diamonds from national cutting plants or by goldsmiths.

According to the BNA, the opening of a bank account in the name of any national entity operating in the diamond sector at a financial institution domiciled abroad is subject to the prior authorisation of the central bank.

"The entities covered by this notice may only pay service providers or suppliers of goods domiciled in the domestic market in national currency", reads the instruction signed by the governor of the BNA, José de Lima Massano.

The payment of imports of goods by the entities covered by this notice, he adds, "must be made using, in the first place, the balances available in their accounts in foreign currency, in which case the methods of payment are freely negotiable without any applicable limits".