Reserve Bank says there is ‘nothing new’ in Foreign Exchange Act vetted by IMF

'Oku taupotu 'i lalo 'a e fakamatala faka-Tonga kakato ki he ongoongo ko 'eni'

Tonga’s National Reserve Bank said today there was nothing new in the Foreign Exchange Control Act, which was introduced last year.

The FEC Act 2018 applies to foreign exchange transactions after November 1, 2018.

The Reserve Bank said the Act authorised it to manage the country’s foreign exchange and was not intended to violate anybody’s Constitutional right to their property or money in Tonga.

However, it said that if somebody chose to convert, transfer or dispose of their property or money in exchange for foreign currency, they would forfeit that right and would be to the exchange control directive issued under the Act. 

The Reserve Bank said the Act had been introduced after extensive discussion with exports and government authorities and had been vetted by the International Monetary Fund.

It said the Bank needed to have appropriate legislation to ensure that what it called “a reasonable amount” of export proceeds were returned to the kingdom.

Some businesses have claimed the new law, which went into effect last year, would damage their businesses.

Radio New Zealand described the legislation as allowing the government to force local business people to repatriate their foreign assets to Tonga, including forcing them to sell their property overseas.

Pacific Sunrise Fishing’s co-owner Eddie Palu, said the company would cut back its operations because of the policy.

The company is the kingdom’s only deep sea fish exporter and operates six vessels.

Earlier this month, Finance Minister, Pōhiva Tu’ionetoa said he was willing to talk to business owners concerned about the new law.

Hon. Tu’ionetoa said the act was intended to ensure Tonga had sufficient foreign reserves.

He said the act required that up to 60 percent of profits should be repatriated.

Mr Tu’ionetoa said previously many exporters did not  bring the earnings back into the country.

Former Finance Minister ‘Aisake Eke said the government should re-think the legislation.

The main points

  • Tonga’s National Reserve Bank said today there was nothing new in the Foreign Exchange Control Act, which was introduced last year.
  • The FEC Act 2018 applies to foreign exchange transactions after November 1, 2018.
  • The Reserve Bank said the Act authorised it to manage the country’s foreign exchange and was not intended to violate anybody’s Constitutional right to their property or money in Tonga.

For more information

Tonga minister open to discuss controls over foreign exchange

https://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/380170/tonga-minister-open-to-discuss-controls-over-foreign-exchange

1 COMMENT

  1. Ko hono toe fakamahino atu ‘e he Pangikē Puleˊ ‘a e fetongi pa’anga muliˊ

    ‘Oku fakatokanga’i ‘e he Pangikē Puleˊ ‘a e lahi ‘a hono toutou ‘ohake ‘o e ngaahi fehu’i tatau pē fekau’aki mo e Lao ki hono Pule’i ‘o e Fetongi Pa’anga Muli 2018, ‘o fakatupunga ai ha ngaahi ta’efiemālie ki he Lao ni makatu’unga mei he ‘ikai ke mahino’i lelei mo e ‘ikai ke faka’uhinga’i tonu ‘a e Lao ko ‘eniˊ. Ko ia ‘oku faka’amu ‘a e Pangikē Puleˊ ke toe fakamahino atu ki he kakai ‘o e fonua´, ‘oku ‘ikai ke ‘i ai ha fakamatala fo’ou na’e toe tānaki ki he Lao ki hono Pule’i ‘o e Fetongi Pa’anga Muli 2018. Ko e kotoa ‘o e ngaahi fakamatala ne hā ‘i he Lao ki hono Pule’i ‘o e Fetongi Pa’anga Muli 2018 na’e ‘osi ‘i loto pe ia he Lao motu’a´ mo hono ngaahi tu’utu’uni ki hono pule’i ‘o e fakafetongi pa’anga´. Na’e fakataumu’a ‘a hono fo’u ‘o e Lao ki hono Pule’i ‘o e Fetongi Pa’anga Muli 2018, ke toe fakamahino ange ‘a hono founga pule’i ‘o e fetongi pa’anga muli´.
    Ko e Lao ko ‘eniˊ ‘oku ne fakamafai’i ‘a e Pangikē Puleˊ ki hono tokanga’i e fakafetongi pa’anga muli´ ‘o tatau pe ki he pa’anga hū mai mo e pa’anga hū atu ‘a e fonua´ ki tu’apule’anga´. ‘Oku ‘ikai taumu’a ‘a e Lao ko eniˊ ke ne uesia pē teˊne maumau’i ‘a e totonu fakakonisitūtone ‘a e kakai ‘o e fonuaˊ ki he’enau ngaahi koloa´ (property) pē ko ‘enau pa’anga Tonga ‘oku ‘i ai ‘enau totonu kiai´. Kā ‘okapau te nau fiema’u ke liliu pe fakafetongi pe talafi pe fakatau ‘enau ngaahi koloa´ pē ko ‘enau pa’anga Tonga´ ke fakafetongi ki he pa’anga muli´ pea ke mea’i ‘e he kakai ‘o e fonuaˊ ko ‘enau fili ia ke tukuange ‘enau totonuˊ pea ‘e ngāue’aki leva e Tu’utu’uni Ngāue ki hono Pule’i ‘o e Fakafetongi Pa’anga´, ‘a ia ‘oku malumalu ia ‘i he Lao ki hono Pule’i ‘o e Fetongi Pa’anga Muliˊ.
    Ko e ‘uhiˊ ko e mahu’inga ke fa’u ha fokotu’utu’u ngāue ‘oku mahu’inga mālie ki he fonuaˊ fekau’aki mo hono fakafoki mai ki Tonga ni ha pa’anga fe’unga ‘oku ma’u mei he ngaahi koloa hu atu ki tu’apule’angaˊ, na’e fakahoko ai ‘e he Pangikē Puleˊ ‘a e ngaahi fepōtalanoa’aki ‘i he 2010 mo e ngaahi kautaha lalahi ‘oku nau uta koloa ki tu’apule’anga´ (exporters), ngaahi Potungāue ‘a e Pule’anga´ mo e ngaahi kautaha ‘oku nau felāve’i mo e Lao´ni.
    Na’e toe fiema’u pē foki mo e founga ngāue ki hono fakahoko ‘aki ‘a e Lao ni ke fakafaingamālie ki hano toe fakalelei’i ‘i he kaha’u´. ‘I he’ene pehē, na’e tali ai ‘e he Poate ‘o e kau Talēkita ‘o e Pangikē Puleˊ ‘i he 2011 ke fai hano fakalelei’i (amend) ‘o e Lao´, ‘a ia na’e fakahū ai e Fakalelei ki he Lao ko eniˊ, pea na’e fakafou pē ‘i he founga fakalao angamaheni´. Ko e Lao ki hono Pule’i ‘o e Fetongi Pa’anga Muli 2018 ‘oku fakataumu’a ia ki he ngaahi fakafetongi pa’anga na’e fakahoko hili e ‘aho 1 ‘o Nōvema 2018.
    ‘Oku hoko ‘a hono toutou ‘ohake ‘o e ngaahi fehu’i tatau pe ko eni fekau’aki mo e Lao ni ko e fakalotolahi ki he ngāue ‘oku lolotonga fakahoko ‘e he Pangikē Puleˊ fekau’aki mo e Lao ko eniˊ. Ko ia ai, ‘e fakahoko atu he Pangikē Pule´ ‘a e ngaahi polokalama ki he kakai ‘o e fonua´ fekau’aki mo e Lao´ni pea mo hono fatongia ke tokanga’i e ngaahi fakafetongi pa’anga muli ‘a e fonua´.
    Ki ha ngaahi fakamatala fakaikiiki fekau’aki mo e Lao ki hono Pule’i ‘o e Fetongi Pa’anga Muli 2018, kātaki ‘o vakai ki he peesi ‘initaneti ‘a e Pangikē Puleˊ ki he Frequently Asked Questions. Kapau ‘oku toe ‘i ai ha’o fehu’i, kātaki ‘o fetu’utaki kia ‘Ana Soakai Takai ki he ‘imeili ko e a.soakai@reservebank.to pe ko ho’o fetu’utaki telefoni ki he 24-057.

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