On June 8, 2020, the Central
Bank issued circular n˚561 pertaining to banking facilities in foreign currency
for importers of raw materials.
Here are the main provisions
of the circular:
- Commercial banks may request
from the Central Bank up to 90% of the value of the invoices for the purchase
of oil products and 85% of the value of the invoices for the import of wheat,
medicine, medical supplies, infant milk and medical products used for the
manufacture of medicine.
- Clients may only benefit from
the provisions of this circular on the condition that all imported products be
exclusively used for local consumption.
- Commercial banks shall submit
their applications to the funding unit within the BDL accompanied with the
- Commercial banks shall ensure
that all documentation submitted by the client is correct and that all invoices
and credits are destined to import products that are exclusively intended for
- Commercial Banks can submit
applications pertaining to invoices of products that have entered the Lebanese
territory up to 300 days before the submission of the application to the BDL.
- In exceptional circumstances,
the Central Bank may process the application of a Commercial Bank that was not
able to submit the requested documentation on the condition that the Bank
undertakes to provide the documentation as soon as possible.
- Foreign currency shall be
deposited in a creditor frozen account held at the Central Bank and the
interest rate applicable to the accounts of Commercial Banks held at the
Central Bank shall apply to these funds.
- For each import operation,
the Central Bank shall transfer the requested funds to the current account of
the requesting Bank held at the Central Bank.
- The Central Bank shall
transfer the requested funds from the current account of the requesting Bank to
the account held by the correspondent of the requesting Bank abroad.
- Banks shall ensure the
correct application of the provisions of the Circular at their own
responsibility failing which sanctions shall be applied by BDL. Banks may be
compelled to deposit equivalent placements to the amount that were obtained
from BDL and pay a penalty representing 50% of the transferred amount.
- The Central Bank shall refuse
the benefits of the provisions of this circular to any Client that has violated
any of its provisions.