30 years of currency exchange liberalization in Russia: prospects for abolition of restrictions on individuals capital movement

 
PIIS013207690009240-6-1
DOI10.31857/S013207690009240-6
Publication type Article
Status Published
Authors
Occupation: head of the Department of Civil Law and procedure and Private International Law, Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University)
Affiliation: Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University)
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Occupation: Postgraduate of the Department of Civil Law and procedure and Private International Law, Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University)
Affiliation: Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University)
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Journal nameGosudarstvo i pravo
EditionIssue 4
Pages108-124
Abstract

Today in most of developed countries there are no restrictions on the cross-border movement of capital of individuals and entities. The obvious trend towards mitigation such restrictions outlined in the last few years in the Russian Federation. For this reason, it is very interesting to investigate the possibility of the complete abolition of the exchange restrictions for individual in Russia in the near future.

The article discusses the process of formation of Russian currency regulation rules. Over the past thirty years the country has come a long way from the state monopoly of currency exchange to the use of moderate exchange restrictions. Now Russian citizens have the right to open bank accounts in other countries, to transfer funds in any currency between own accounts up-country and abroad. There are no legislated limits on the purchase of foreign currency by individuals or on the currency withdrawals from credit cards. At the same time, permitted grounds for funds receipt from non-residents to the individuals' accounts in foreign banks are limited to the short list. Operations between residents outside the country are not allowed. The extremely high level of liability for violation of the currency regulation rules should also be noted.

The authors studied the basic legal and economic conditions that promote or inhibit the complete abolition of restrictions on cross-border movement of natural persons’ capital in the next few years. The arguments in favor of removing restrictions are intensive development of the Russian tax law and the possibility of shifting the priority in the regulation of cash flows in the direction of strengthening tax control. The experience of a number of states that abandoned exchange restrictions in favor of fiscal regulation can be taken for a basis. Particular attention is paid to the influence of international tax transparency, which is formed during the implementation of the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement on Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information.

The paper also analyzed the conditions conducive to the preservation of exchange restrictions in Russia. First of all, it's disappointing macroeconomic data on the private capital outflow. Its interpretation is exacerbated by the fact that data was obtained in terms of capital amnesty, which should have led to the opposite result. The study examined the experience of other BRICS group countries, such as India and China, which are continue to use actively the restrictions on cross-border movement of individuals’ capital and even tighten it to ensure economic stability.

An important argument against the abolition of exchange restrictions for individuals is existing legal obstacles to collecting of compulsory payments and penalties due to the property of individuals, located in a foreign jurisdiction.

Can we expect the total abolition of exchange restrictions in Russia for individuals in next few years? The authors concluded that it is unlikely, because the effect of conditions preventing the removal of restrictions is still very strong. At the same time, with high probability we can assume that Russian Federation will continue to follow the trend of the gradual liberalization of exchange regulation rules, outlined in recent years. This is due to the expansion of financial control in the context of international tax transparency. In addition, it is very important to streamline the exchange arrangements and to improve law enforcement practice.

Keywordsexchange regulation, exchange restrictions, currency transaction, tax transparency, CRS, CRS MCAA, assets abroad, individual, natural person
AcknowledgmentThe reported study was funded by RFBR, project number 19-111-50292/19.
Received05.02.2020
Publication date11.06.2020
Number of characters52955
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1

Введение.

2 Валютное регулирование может принимать различные формы, от обязанности уведомления компетентных органов об отдельных сделках до полного запрета на проведение широкого круга операций. Мировой опыт показывает, что практически все государства в разные периоды прибегали к использованию валютных ограничений. Большинство развитых государств в конце XX в. практически полностью отменили ограничения на трансграничные финансовые операции как юридических, так и физических лиц в соответствии с рекомендациями Международного Валютного Фонда (МВФ) и Всемирного банка1. В государствах Европейского Союза все ограничения на движение капитала между физическими или юридическими лицами были отменены с принятием в 1988 г. Директивы ЕС 88/361/ЕЭС. В соответствии с Ежегодным отчетом МВФ по механизмам валютного регулирования и валютным ограничениям, в 2017 г. различные виды валютных ограничений применялись в 50 из 189 рассматриваемых в отчете государств2. В наибольшей степени эти меры характерны для государств с развивающейся и переходной экономикой, поскольку способствуют поддержанию макроэкономической стабильности3. 1. См.: Williamson J. (1990). Latin American Readjustment: How Much has Happened? Washington, 1990. Available at: >>>> (accessed: 17.10.2019).

2. См.: International Monetary Fund (2019b). Monetary and Capital Markets Department: Annual Report on Exchange Arrangements and Exchange Restrictions 2018. Available at: >>>> (accessed: 17.10.2019).

3. См.: Ilzetzki E., Reinhart C.M., Rogoff K.S. (2017) Exchange arrangements entering the 21st century: which anchor will hold? National Bureau of Economic Research 1050, February 2017, Working Paper 23134. Available at: >>>> (accessed: 16.10.2019).
3 Возникновение и развитие мирового валютного регулирования началось около столетия назад, но в России история валютно-правовых отношений между гражданами и государством значительно короче, она не насчитывает и трех десятилетий. Это обусловлено тем, что до 1917 г. валютно-правового законодательства не существовало, за исключением отдельных указов, связанных с запретом на вывоз валюты, а валютное регулирование в СССР основывалось на фактически существовавшей со времен национализации внешней торговли в 1918 г. валютной монополии4. Исключительное право на совершение операций с валютными ценностями, а также на управление валютными фондами принадлежало социалистическому государству, а любые валютные операции с участием граждан запрещались5. 4. См.: Nosko P. & Poliakov M. (1968). The Currency Monopoly and the USSR's International Accounts // Journal Problems in Economics. Vol. 11, 1968. Issue 4, 35 - 42; Kuschpeta O. (2012) The banking and credit system of the USSR. Tilburg Studies in Economics (18). Springer Science & Business Media, 2012, p. 28.

5. См.: Samuelson P.A. (1969). International Economic Relations. Springer, 1969, p. 92.
4 Только в 1986 - 1991 гг. в сфере регулирования валютных отношений наметилось некоторое смягчение государственной политики, начались реформы, направленные на постепенную отмену валютной монополии, которая произошла 1 марта 1991 г. с принятием Закона СССР «О валютном регулировании»6. Этот Закон изменил принципы осуществления валютных операций, а также права и обязанности в отношении владения, пользования и распоряжения валютными ценностями. С этого момента валютные отношения в России частично перешли во власть рыночной экономики. Начиная с 15 ноября 1991 г. Указом Президента РСФСР № 213 «О либерализации внешнеэкономической деятельности на территории РСФСР»7 было разрешено открытие валютных счетов всем гражданам и юридическим лицам. В 1992 г. резидентам, включая физических лиц, разрешили в определенных случаях открывать счета в банках за пределами Российской Федерации, в частности, гражданам разрешалось открытие счетов и хранение на них валютных средств только в период пребывания за границей. Инвестиции граждан за рубеж могли осуществляться только по специальным лицензиям, выданным Центральным банком РФ. 6. См.: Ведомости СНД и ВС СССР. 1991. № 12, ст. 316.

7. См.: там же. № 47, ст. 1612.

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