Ukraine’s National Bank Relaxes Currency Restrictions to Aid Citizens and Businesses

by Roman Cheplyk
Friday, December 29, 2023
Ukraine’s National Bank Relaxes Currency Restrictions to Aid Citizens and Businesses

The National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) has announced the easing of several currency restrictions, aimed at facilitating financial support for Ukrainians affected by the war, enhancing the export and import of electricity, and upholding the rights of foreigners in Ukraine, especially regarding medical care.

Key Changes:

  1. Financial Assistance for War-Affected Ukrainians: Starting December 29, there will be a new policy regarding cash payments in hryvnias. Payment service providers are now authorized to distribute monetary aid from international humanitarian organizations and other non-governmental institutions to Ukrainians affected by the war. This is based on the Certificate of Submission of Documents for the Registration of a Passport of a Citizen of Ukraine. This means individuals awaiting their Ukrainian citizenship passports can receive aid.

  2. Facilitating Electricity Trade: The easing of currency restrictions will enhance the ability to export and import electricity. The Ukrainian operator of the electric energy transmission system, NEC Ukrenergo, has been granted permission to transfer funds to the European office for the allocation of capacity of interstate crossings, "Joint Allocation Office" (JAO). This arrangement supports coordinated capacity allocation, ensuring sufficient electricity import in case of damage to Ukraine's energy infrastructure due to Russian attacks, and facilitates electricity export when there is a surplus.

  3. Medical Services for Residents of Russia and Belarus: The NBU has also expanded the exceptions to the ban on spending transactions on the accounts of residents of the Russian Federation and Belarus who are legally in Ukraine. This amendment includes transactions for the payment of medical services in Ukrainian healthcare institutions.

These modifications by the National Bank of Ukraine aim to streamline financial assistance delivery, bolster energy trade under challenging conditions, and respect the medical needs of foreigners residing in Ukraine.

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