12 Apr 2023 11:31

CBR sees no need to reinstate mandatory forex revenue repatriation - Nabiullina

MOSCOW. April 12 (Interfax) - There is no need to return to mandatory repatriation of foreign currency earnings, as exporters are continuing to sell them except for the forex they need to pay for imports, Central Bank of Russia (CBR) Governor Elvira Nabiullina said.

"In our view, no action is needed here. Our exporting companies continue to sell export revenue. We are keeping an eye on this. The share of sales may have decreased a little there, but not by much, meaning they are still selling it even without mandatory repatriation of export revenue," Nabiullina said at a joint meeting of State Duma committees on the CBR's report for 2022.

"This doesn't need to be done, because to a great extent the fact that our companies and citizens leave revenue abroad [is because] this makes it possible to use it to pay for necessary imports, which we also need, and not just consumer goods, but also equipment, components," Nabiullina said.

Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseyev said earlier that there are periodic calls to reinstate mandatory repatriation, but his ministry does not support this. He recalled that Russian exporters faced very serious problems with forex revenue repatriation in 2022, so last summer a decision was made that repatriation would not be required and they would not be penalized.

"Otherwise, a situation arose where we ourselves punished our own exporters, who were looking for means to return forex revenue through other ways, through various kinds of mutual offsets, through various kinds of supplies of reciprocal goods and so on. And it turned out that people there were fighting with a hostile environment abroad, the intractability of banks, banks' refusal to carry out orders to transfer money to Russia, and here we penalized them on top of it," Moiseyev said.

Now "there are various points of view" on this matter. "The issue of returning to mandatory sales of forex earnings is raised periodically, but no decisions have been made so far and our position, my position and the minister's position, is firm - there is no need to reconsider this approach right now," Moiseyev said.