Selected Decisions and Selected Documents of the IMF, Thirty- Eighth Issue -- Review of Fund Policies and Procedure on Payments Arrears, Executive Board Meeting 80/154, October 17, 1980

Prepared by the Legal Department of the IMF
As updated as of February 29, 2016

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ARTICLE V, SECTION 3(a), (b), AND (c)
Use of Fund Resources

Review of Fund Policies and Procedure on Payments Arrears

Executive Board Meeting 80/154, October 17, 1980

Returning to the conclusions in EBS/80/190, [the Acting Chairman] observed that paragraph 3 seemed to be acceptable to Directors except for the final sentence, which could be changed to state that, depending on the member’s circumstances and the length of the program, it might not be feasible in the early stages of the program to go beyond an understanding that the member would try to avoid any further increase in outstanding arrears. As for the remainder of paragraph 3, Executive Directors appeared to agree that the staff should continue to be guided by the approach set forth in the Executive Board Decision No. 3153-(70/95).

EBS/80/190

The Fund’s policies on payments arrears are also concerned with their treatment in the context of stabilization programs supported by use of the Fund’s resources. In these programs, member countries are expected to take steps to reduce and eventually eliminate payments arrears relating to capital transactions as well as to payments and transfers for current international transactions. In formulating policy guidelines in these programs, the staff will continue to be guided by the approach set forth in the Executive Board decision of 1970 (Decision No. 3153-(70/95)), as quoted on page 12. This approach will also be followed with respect to payments arrears arising from default. The technique chosen by a member to reduce outstanding arrears will reflect its institutional arrangements, as well as the magnitude of the arrears and the severity of the balance of payments problem. When payments arrears are large in relation to a member’s available foreign exchange resources, it may not be possible to aim at the elimination of the arrears within the program period. Special arrangements may be needed for the renegotiation of outstanding debt obligations when debt problems are particularly severe. Depending on the member’s circumstances and the length of the program, it may not be possible, in the early stages of a program, to reach an understanding with the member that goes beyond requiring the avoidance of any further increase in arrears.

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