LEGAL INSIGHTS

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO EXCHANGE CONTROL ACT

The Exchange Control Act, Chap. 79:50 regulates foreign currency transactions in Trinidad and Tobago.  Prior to April 12, 1993, there existed a range of controls and restrictions in respect of dealings in gold, local and foreign currencies, securities and payments to non-residents designed to strictly control any leakage of foreign exchange but by and large, these controls have been removed. 

Persons may freely buy, borrow, sell or lend gold or foreign currency from /to each other outside Trinidad and Tobago.  Persons within Trinidad and Tobago can buy, borrow, sell and lend gold and foreign currency from/to authorised dealers only.  In all other cases, the approval of the Central Bank is required.  However, neither the Central Bank nor any authorised dealer can place any restrictions as to the use to which any gold or foreign currency sold/borrowed from it must be put or the period for which such gold or foreign currency may be retained by the buyer/borrower. 

There is no obligation to sell gold/foreign currency to an authorised dealer and these holdings may be retained without any interference by the Central Bank.  Payments may be made within or outside Trinidad and Tobago, to or from or on behalf of anyone, in gold or foreign currency.  

There is no need in the case of investment from abroad to obtain exchange control approval before the investment is made and loans may be made to non-residents without the approval of the Central Bank. 

The repatriation of capital is not subject to exchange control approval. 

The par value of the Trinidad and Tobago Dollar floats against the United States Dollar and consequently, against every other foreign currency.  The rate of exchange is now based on the prevailing market rates which are defined, in the case of an authorised dealer, as such rate as the authorised dealer may from time to time specify as its buying and selling rates for the United States Dollar and, in the case of the Central Bank, at such rate as the Central Bank shall determine as the average of the buying and selling rates for the United States Dollar specified by all authorised dealers.

 

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