The Superintendence of Financial and Foreign Exchange Institutions (SEFyC), under the scope of the BCRA, has actively controlled and supervised compliance with the new foreign exchange regime established in 2019. Such inspections were conducted by the Control Senior Management Office and the Contentious Affairs Senior Management Office, under the scope of the Compliance and Control Deputy General Management Office.
The Control Senior Management Office supervised compliance with foreign trade regulations and carried out the following actions:
· Exports of goods: 443 inspections on exports for an amount of USD15,895,298,860, and 77 precautionary measures for an outstanding amount of USD1,361,972,537. New exports and access to the forex market for imports were prohibited.
· Imports of goods: 222 inspections on imports for an amount of USD1,598,154,525 subject to control, and 35 precautionary measures for goods pending clearance for an amount of USD141,176,039. New imports and access to the forex market were prohibited under the foreign exchange criminal law.
· Services: 56 inspections on transactions for an amount of USD457,070,347 subject to control. Other foreign exchange regimes:
· Controls and inspections were carried out in relation to purchases of foreign currency and transactions with sovereign securities settled in foreign currency, and preventive IT controls were implemented. These activities are fundamental to prevent fraud.
· 25 inspections on transactions were carried out for an amount of USD680,935,457 subject to control. Inconsistencies were found in relation to securities transactions.
· 530 inspections for an amount of USD45,169,017 were carried out on purchases of foreign currency that exceeded the limit. These actions resulted in the suspension from trading in the forex market for 36,733 natural persons, and the corresponding transaction reversal (return of foreign currency purchased in excess of the limit) for an amount of USD859,964.
Actions against marginal foreign exchange activities:
· A total of 97 raids were carried out on marginal foreign exchange traders, seizing documentation, computer elements, and domestic and foreign currency. The procedures were carried out with court intervention in the provinces of Buenos Aires, Córdoba, Santa Fe, Río Negro, Mendoza, Jujuy, Salta and the City of Buenos Aires.
The Contentious Affairs Senior Management Office initiated the related foreign exchange and financial proceedings.
Once concluded, foreign exchange proceedings are forwarded to initiate criminal proceedings, which are also in charge of the BCRA. In these cases, Law No. 19,359 establishes that judgements must be entered by courts with jurisdiction on financial crimes in the City of Buenos Aires or by federal courts in the provinces of Argentina.
Since the beginning of the new foreign exchange regime in September 2019, 369 foreign exchange proceedings for an amount of USD1,566,772,651 have been initiated. Among this group, 185 proceedings (for an amount of USD1,045,298,362) have already been forwarded for court judgment, and precautionary measures (for example, prohibition against leaving the country) have been ordered in other 95 proceedings to make defendants appear.
At present, proceedings must be initiated in connection with 245 investigations for an amount of USD807,158,029. The BCRA requested the issuance of injunctions—attachment of assets and restraining orders preventing natural and legal persons from encumbering or selling property—in 22 foreign exchange proceedings to guarantee the payment of fines.
Meanwhile, the Contentious Affairs Management Office instituted disciplinary proceedings to ensure compliance with Law No. 21,256 (on Financial Institutions) and Law No. 18,924 (on Exchange Houses and Agencies), along with the regulations issued by the BCRA.
In this way, disciplinary actions have been carried out with respect to regulated financial institutions. As from December 2019, 59 proceedings have been settled, resulting in 296 fines for a total amount of ARS2,262,183,986; 61 disqualifications to perform regulated activities; 8 warnings; and 18 official reprimands. Another 40 financial proceedings are currently underway.
November 5, 2022