Foreign exchange transactions have been subject to restrictions ever since the banking system collapsed in the autumn of 2008. Before the capital controls took effect, the Central Bank issued guidelines instructing the banks to restrict foreign currency sales to essential transactions involving trade in goods and services. On 28 November 2008, the Rules on Foreign Exchange were adopted in accordance with temporary provisions in the Foreign Exchange Act. When the Rules took effect, all restrictions on foreign exchange transactions due to trade in goods and services were lifted, but more stringent limitations on cross-border movement of capital and related foreign exchange transactions were imposed. With statutory amendments passed on 21 October 2016, important steps were taken towards easing restrictions on capital transactions. According to those amendments, further liberalisation will be implemented on 1 January 2017.
Information on foreign exchange issues is available upon request. Queries should be sent by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that this e-mail address is only to be used for queries about foreign exchange matters. Requests for exemptions from the Foreign Exchange Act, no. 87/1992, must be sent to the Central Bank of Iceland in writing, together with pertinent documentation; cf. the fifth sentence of Article 13(o), Paragraph 1 of Act no. 87/1992.
It is also possible to make telephone queries by calling +354 569 9600 during the Capital Controls Surveillance Unit legal staff members’ telephone hours, from 10:00 hrs. to 11:30 hrs. Monday through Friday.
The Central Bank of Iceland is authorised to grant exemptions from the prohibition on movement of capital by application. Application forms for exemptions from the Foreign Exchange Act, no. 87/1992, can be found here, together with information on the general practices that have developed in connection with the granting of exemptions in specific categories of cases. Also available are exemption lists, statistical information, and a flowchart illustrating the exemption process.
The Foreign Exchange Act and the Rules on Foreign Exchange have been reviewed and amended several times. The changes made have aimed in particular at closing loopholes in the legislation. The current Foreign Exchange Act and Rules on Foreign Exchange can be found here, together with previous versions of the Act and the Rules and other pertinent information.