♻BREAKING: CBN Releases Reversed Regulatory And Supervisory Guidelines For Bureau De Change Operations In Nigeria, Here Are Key Points :

1.⁠ ⁠Bureaux de Change (BDCs) now have tiers: Tier 1 requires a minimum capital of N2bn (this is for a national license), while Tier 2 has a minimum capital requirement of N500m (these can only operate within one state and are allowed a maximum of 3 branches).

2.⁠ ⁠A shareholder cannot own more than one BDC, thus preventing people from holding more than one license.
3.⁠ ⁠BDCs can now serve as agents to disburse funds on behalf of International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs). Only amounts less than $500 can be received in cash, while larger amounts should be deposited in bank accounts. For foreigners, a card will be issued. Essentially, BDCs will now be able to issue Naira cards.

4.⁠ ⁠BDCs can now issue PTAs and BTAs.

5.⁠ ⁠BDCs are going digital and will need to integrate the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) reporting platform for transaction and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) purposes. They will also integrate Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) for Bank Verification Number (BVN) verification, among other things.

6.⁠ ⁠As a Tier 1 BDC, you must have a minimum of 5 board members and a maximum of 9. Tier 2 should have 7 members. The draft guideline provides for gender equality, so a board cannot be constituted with only one gender. The CBN must now approve of directors serving on the board of a BDC and another regulated financial institution. New qualifications now require board members to have experience working in financial institutions. In particular, independent directors must have worked on the management team of a BDC.

7. Banks and Other Financial Institutions (OFIs) cannot hold Bureau De Change (BDC) licenses. It remains to be decided whether some of the permissible activities of BDCs under the draft regulation, such as the issuance of Business Travel Allowance (BTA) and Personal Travel Allowance (PTA), will be exclusively reserved for the BDC.

8. There is now a very extensive requirement for licensing. It’s a whole lot. It is very similar to what the CBN would demand from a finance company or bank, with increased scrutiny.

9. Unlike banks- BTA/PTA threshold they can sell is biannual – sell 4k to individuals and 5k to businesses cumulatively in a 6-month period

10. No more street trading.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has introduced a foreign exchange (FX) Price Verification System (PVS) portal to ascertain quoted prices before Form Ms are approved.

The pilot project was launched on 1st February.2022 following an awareness notice in a circular in the August 2020.

Suppliers and buyers of goods and services for Import/Export operations into or out of Nigeria are required to register on a dedicated electronic portal provided by the CBN and operated by its agent service providers as in the operational manual for Form M & Form NXP;

An annual subscription fee of $350.00 is charged for the authentication of suppliers on the TRMS system.

The PVS is also referred to as E-invoice and E-evaluator initiatives because it requires submission of an electronic invoice (E-Invoice) authenticated by Authorized Dealer Banks (ADB) on the Nigerian Single Window Portal – Trade Monitoring System (TRMS). The e-Valuator and e-Invoice would replace the hard copy invoice and become a necessary supporting document for all import and export transactions.

The price verification report from the portal is now mandatory for all Form M requests, effective from August 31, 2023. The PVS will be a process to be completed before the Form M submission stage on the single window platform and on the Trade Monitoring System (TRMS)

The PVS mechanism will be guided by a benchmark price of goods and services in the market where the goods are traded, to ensure that the invoiced prices are based on spot market prices at the time of invoicing. It is hopeful that the PVS will help in safeguarding the scarce foreign exchange (forex) by ensuring that forex is allocated for eligible transactions.

Imports and exports with prices more than 2.5% of the verified prices will be queried and will not be approved for either Form M or Form NXP. The aim of this system is to achieve accurate value of import and export items in and out of Nigeria.

The following transactions are exempt from submitting PVS:

  • Individual invoice with values less than USD 10,000 or its equivalent in another currency. However, where the annual cumulative invoice value issued by a supplier/service provider is USD 500,000 or more, such a supplier would be required to submit e-invoices regardless of the individual invoice values.
  • Import or export transactions carried out by security agencies in the country.
  • Supplies to diplomatic and consular missions and supplies to international agencies dependent on the United Nations.
  • Donations made by foreign governments or international organisations to foundations, charities and recognised humanitarian agencies
  • Goods directly supplied by a foreign government

CBN will regularly update prices on the portal while the prices of every item will be reviewed at least quarterly and more frequently for goods with higher price fluctuations.