Press Release: Poland Accepts Article VIII Obligations

July 21, 1995

The Government of Poland has notified the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that it has accepted the obligations of Article VIII, Sections 2, 3, and 4 of the IMF Articles of Agreement, with effect from June 1, 1995. IMF members accepting the obligations of Article VIII undertake to refrain from imposing restrictions on the making of payments and transfers for current international transactions or from engaging in discriminatory currency arrangements or multiple currency practices without IMF approval. A total of 104 countries have now assumed Article VIII status.

Two of the main purposes of the IMF, as stated in its Articles of Agreement, are to facilitate the expansion and balanced growth of international trade, and to contribute thereby to the promotion and maintenance of high levels of employment and real income, and to assist in the establishment of a multilateral system of payments in respect of current transactions between IMF members. In seeking to achieve these objectives, the IMF exercises firm surveillance over the exchange rate policies of its members, and oversees the elimination of exchange restrictions that hamper the growth of world trade.

By accepting the obligations of Article VIII, Poland gives confidence to the international community that it will continue to pursue sound economic policies that will obviate the need to use restrictions on the making of payments and transfers for current international transactions, and thereby contribute to a multilateral payments system free of restrictions.

The IMF noted with satisfaction Poland's acceptance of the obligations of Article VIII, a decision that is an important indicator of how far the economic transformation of the Polish economy has progressed. The background for acceptance is a foreign exchange law, which came into force on January 1, 1995, together with recently implemented regulations that permit the elimination of all exchange restrictions for current international transactions. Multiple currency practices have also been eliminated by granting foreign exchange bureaus ("kantors") access to foreign exchange in the interbank market, and by reducing the spread between the buying and selling rates of the National Bank of Poland to less than 2 percent.

Poland, an original member of the IMF, withdrew on March 14, 1950 and rejoined on June 12, 1986. Poland's quota1 is SDR988.5 million (about $1.5 billion).

1. A member's quota in the IMF determines, in particular,the amount of its subscription, its voting weight, its access to IMF financing, and its share in the allocation of SDRs.


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