China will ease its control over the foreign exchange purchases of individuals beginning Oct. 1, according to sources with the China State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE).
The new regulation noted that each Chinese resident may purchase foreign exchange worth 3,000 US dollars for each trip abroad, much higher than the original limit of 2,000 US dollars, or 1,000 US dollars for those heading for Hong Kong and Macao. The amount for those who will stay abroad for half a year or even longer is 5,000 US dollars.
Domestic forex payment, including paying membership dues for international organizations and sending money to help overseas relatives, will have a per capita limit of 3,000 US dollars each time.
If the amount of foreign exchange purchased domestically does not cover their expenses abroad, the customers can get the amount of foreign exchange they need abroad and make up the amount on their return to China.
The foreign exchange purchase service for those who study abroad at their own expense will extend from only college and preparatory college students to all kinds of students. All those who go abroad for study or training at their own expense could purchase enough foreign exchange to cover their school fees and life expenditures.
For this group of people, the bank is required to sell the foreign exchange directly to customers if the required purchase is lower than 20,000 US dollars and the customers provide corresponding materials to prove the use of the money. If the required amount is higher than 20,000 US dollars, the purchase should be audited by the Foreign Exchange Administration.
When traveling abroad, Chinese residents can buy foreign exchange in the bank with their passport, visa and identity card or residence permanent card, the procedure of which is much easier than before. The new regulation also gives Chinese tourists access to bigger foreign exchange purchase as their limit no longer includes fees to travel agencies.
For residents traveling to neighboring countries, the limit for each person every day is 100 US dollars and purchases could not be higher than 500 US dollars each time.
SAFE has also adjusted the policy for Chinese citizens to take foreign exchange when going abroad. Chinese citizens can take foreign exchange worth 5,000 US dollars starting from Sept. 1, much higher than the original 2,000 US dollars.
The government has expanded the service of foreign exchange purchase in a bid to meet its citizens' growing forex demands and prevent illegal trade of forex, said experts.