Unlawful for businesses in Guyana to demand payment in U.S dollars only
Even with a rapidly changing business environment, characterised by an influx of foreign companies, Guyana’s law does not permit companies operating in the country to demand payment or insist on transactions being conducted using United States dollars.
This is according to Attorney General Anil Nandlall, SC, who was at the time offering an invited comment during his Tuesday night “Issues in the News” programme aired on his Facebook page.
Although the Attorney General made no specific reference to the practice being done locally, it was revealed a few days ago that a shipping company was demanding payments in U.S dollars while refusing to accept Guyanese currency.
“Is this legal? I still can’t digest this. Maybe I am too aggressive. Buy in my personal opinion, this is not right. We cannot allow the gates to be opened where we have to find another currency to make payment in our own country,” one man said in a Facebook post.
His comments attracted a slew of other remarks, mostly in agreement.
And according to the Attorney General, “that is not allowed.”
“Under the laws of Guyana, the Guyana dollar remains a valid legal tender for transactions in Guyana,” he added.
Nandlall explained that the law does permit persons to trade, if they so wish, in foreign currency but it must be at a rate agreed upon by both parties and it cannot be unilaterally imposed.
“Referring to a prevailing Cambio rate, one can transact business in Guyana dollars or equivalent in U.S dollars… what is not permissible is the insistence on exclusive use of foreign currency to conduct transactions,” Nandlall further explained.
He said if one wishes to conduct their business using strictly foreign currencies in the country then they must get the necessary approval and permission from the Minister of Finance.
“To insist that transactions are done exclusively in foreign currency would be unlawful,” the Attorney General reiterated.
NOR should they be allowed to charge more than 3 points over the buying rate for the selling rate.
Most banks have levelled out……..and give 210 and charge 215 which almost makes it legal, but some businesses bill in USD and accept a rate of 219 -224 in exchange. ILLEGAL.
GO GET ‘EM AG.