The "Office des Changes" publishes the new Instruction governing the Exchange Activity Manual which defines the conditions of approval and operation of manual exchange operators as well as the controls and sanctions measures provided to ensure the compliance with regulations by the said operators.
The new Instruction also introduces new provisions as well as new easing and standardization measures. These include anti-money laundering measures, granting of “pilgrimage” endowments, requests for authorizations presented to the "Office des Changes", capital requirements and foreign currency balances, and finally the platform for computerized data exchange.
The new provisions introduced by the new Instruction aim at fighting money laundering since the exchange services offices are obliged to appoint a compliance officer at the Financial Information Processing Unit in accordance with the provisions of Law 43-05 on Money Laundering.
Regarding the granting of foreign exchange provision, the exchange services offices and payment institutions, approved by the "Office des Changes" to carry out manual exchange operations, are entitled, just like banks, to issue directly to pilgrims the “Pilgrimage” endowment in all currencies in the form of banknotes. For 2018 Hajj Operation, this endowment is set at 10,000 MAD per pilgrim.
Regarding request for authorization, requests to the "Office des Changes" must be exclusively submitted in the name of legal persons, by an authorized representative of the legal person.
Regarding the capital requirements, this Instruction sets the minimum capital at 2,000,000 MAD for both companies whose shareholders or partners are legal entities and companies whose shareholders or partners are individuals.
The new provisions also provide for an increase in the foreign currency cash upper limit, from 250,000 MAD to 500,000 MAD in order to enable the exchange services offices to develop their activity.