Central Bank bans transactions in foreign currency

By William Madouk Garang

The Bank of South Sudan has declared South Sudanese Pound (SSP) as the only legal tender for commercial transaction, signing contract and financial dealings in the country.

In a circular dated January 17, 2023, issued by the Governor of the Bank of South Sudan, Johnny Ohisa banned private and public institutions within the country’ s territory from using any currency other than the South Sudanese Pound.

“In view of this circular, it’s strictly prohibited for any institution, official or private within the legal jurisdiction of the Republic of South Sudan to denominate its commercial transaction in any currency other than SSP” Ohisa said.

“This includes, rent fees, travelling industry, hotels, entertainment services, restaurants, commercial outlets, and as well as the private services contracts and monetary dealings” he added in a circular addressed to government, NGOs and all financial institutions.

Central Bank said the decision came after they noticed that some of government, financial entities, NGOs, civil societies and other entities are using foreign currency rather than the pound that has lawful standing as banknotes in the country.

“This unacceptable practice has fundamentally undermined and threatened to erode public confidence in SSP as a legal tender and must be entirely discouraged,” Oshia noted.

Governor, Oshia also warned that rejecting to deal in local currency could trigger a stern legal suit case.

“Intentionally refusing to deal in South Sudanese Pound as a legal tender in the Republic of South Sudan, is punishable by law. The SSP derives its legal standing as per bank of South Sudan Act, 2011 section 46,” he stressed.

According to the bank, all goods prices and services in the country shall be denominated in South Sudanese Pounds, unless stated otherwise.

Also, public budget, financial records and accounts required by law or maintained in South Sudan shall be assessed in pounds.

“Payment of monies when required in any indictment or legal proceedings other than for enforcement of a foreign currency obligations shall be stated in SSP,” he added “mandatory payments shall be assessed and required to be paid in SSP.”

Mandatory payments are any payment made to or by public utility under a contract or voluntary transaction, it includes taxes, customs duties, excise, levies, fees, charges or penalties as needed by court of law.

The BOSS stressed that, the circular supersedes any other previous circular on the same reference subjects and it is effective from January 17, 2023.

According to the bank, the decision is in accordance with provision of section 11 of the bank of South Sudan Act, 2011; that empowers Central Bank to issue regulations and circular to enable fulfill its mandate and responsibilities.

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