A statement by the Ministry of Finance on the Cabinet’s decision concerning the exchange of 100$ by Syrians coming from Lebanon

The Ministry of Finance issued a press release regarding the Cabinet’s decision No. 46, which stipulated that Syrian citizens have to exchange 100 USD or its equivalent in the foreign currencies accepted by the Central Bank of Syria to the Syrian pounds according to the exchange rates mentioned in the Customs and Aviation Bulletin upon entering the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic. The decision exempts drivers and those who have not reached the age of eighteen.

The statement pointed out that Article 10 of Legislative Decree No. 20 of 2017, which is governing the work of the Cabinet, stipulates that the Cabinet is authorized to supervise the regulation and management of monetary, credit and insurance systems and maintain state funds.

 

The statement pointed out that the enemies of Syria continuously take advantage of the economic war to which it is exposed and are targeting the stability of the exchange market of the national currency. The blatant foreign intervention contributed to the promotion of the national currency exchange rates on the black market and on malicious electronic pages to unprecedented levels that negatively affected the economic and monetary transactions.

The statement clarified that the Syrian law criminalizes dealing in a currency other than the national currency.

The statement stressed that the main idea of this decision is that whoever returns from outside the country is usually in possession of foreign currencies, so the citizen is supposed to exchange what he has through the official channels of exchange (exchange companies - public banks - the Central Bank of Syria) at the price determined by the Central Bank of Syria.

The decision obliges the returning citizens to exchange a minimum level of foreign currency that guarantees them to pay the value of basic services until they reach their homes or their work center inside the country and the possibility to obtain the necessary local currency, the statement added.

The decision is an implementation of the policy of the Central Bank of Syria in protecting and supporting the Syrian pound, the statement reiterated, adding that it is an organizational measure whose main objective is to reduce pressure on the exchange rate in the market and secure a small part of the country's foreign exchange needs. Also, it is necessary in providing services to travelers to secure the local currency at the appropriate time to avoid them dealing with the black market when they need to obtain the Syrian pound.

The statement pointed out that the decision included the returning Syrian citizens and did not include foreigners in order to avoid the policy of reciprocity so as not to put pressure on citizens when they travel abroad as well as on the exchange rate inside the country.

The statement stressed that the aforementioned decision did not include imposing any tax, fee or burden on Syrian citizens.

The statement indicated that the Syrian laws and the procedures of the Central Bank of Syria allow Syrian citizens, whether students or patients traveling abroad, to obtain foreign exchange "in thousands of dollars in cash" after confirming the integrity of the procedures.

Inas Abdulkareem

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