CROSS BORDER REMITTANCES
Under the regulations of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP or the Central Bank of the Philippines), PHP in the amount of more than PHP50,000 may be remitted into and out of the Philippines only with BSP approval. BSP approval is generally granted only under specific conditions - for testing or calibration of money or for numismatics.
The Manual of Regulations on Foreign Exchange Transactions issued by the BSP (MORFXT) generally allows the electronic transfer of foreign currency into or out of the Philippines without prior approval from the BSP.
On the other hand, a person, who brings into or takes out of the Philippines foreign currency and other foreign currency-denominated bearer monetary instruments, through means other than electronic transfer of funds, in excess of USD10,000 or its equivalent is required to declare the same in writing and to furnish information on the source and purpose of the transport of such currency or monetary instrument.
Under BSP regulations, provided that the subject of the importation is not a prohibited commodity and subject to compliance with the relevant guidelines of the BSP, residents are generally allowed to purchase foreign exchange from the Philippine banking system without prior BSP approval to fund payments for imports under certain arrangements. These arrangements include letters of credit, documents against payment, documents against acceptance, direct remittance, advance payment, and open account (including intercompany netting arrangement among non-bank related parties).
As regards export trade transactions, payments for exports made under certain arrangements, such as letters of credit, documents against payment or cash against documents, documents against acceptance, and open account arrangements, are generally allowed without prior BSP approval, provided that the subject of the exportation is not a prohibited commodity.
BSP regulations generally allow residents to purchase foreign exchange from the Philippine banking system without prior BSP approval if the foreign exchange will be used to fund payments to non-resident beneficiaries for non-trade transactions enumerated in the relevant regulations of the BSP, subject to submission of an application to purchase foreign exchange and documentary requirements to the selling bank.
However, prior BSP approval and / or registration with the BSP of foreign loans is required to enable the borrower to purchase foreign exchange from the Philippine banking system to service payment of the principal and interest on foreign loans. Further, registration of foreign direct investments with the BSP is required if the investee firm needs to purchase foreign exchange from the Philippine banking system to fund the repatriation of capital and the remittance of profits, dividends and earnings which accrue thereon.
Obtaining prior BSP approval and/or registration of foreign loans and registration of foreign direct investments with the BSP are not mandatory. These requirements apply only if foreign exchange to service payments on the foreign loan and in respect of foreign direct investment, to fund repatriation of capital and remittance of profits, dividends and earnings which accrue thereon, will be purchased from the Philippine banking system.
BSP regulations allow residents to invest in (i) debt and equity securities issued offshore by non-residents, (ii) offshore foreign currency-denominated mutual funds and UITFs, (iii) foreign currency-denominated intercompany loans to offshore parent companies/subsidiaries of residents with an original tenor of at least one year, (iv) investments in real property abroad, and (v) foreign currency-denominated investment instruments issued onshore by non-residents without BSP approval if such investments are funded by:
the resident’s foreign currency deposit account and/or
foreign exchange of up to USD 60,000,000 purchased from the Philippine banking system per investor per year.
Qualified investors, such as insurance and pre-need companies, collective/pooled funds, public or private pension or retirement or provident funds, may apply with the BSP for a higher annual investment limit.