Foreign exchange

Foreign exchange transactions have been subject to restrictions ever since the banking system collapsed in the autumn of 2008. Before the capital controls took effect, the Central Bank issued guidelines instructing the banks to restrict foreign currency sales to essential transactions involving trade in goods and services. On 28 November 2008, the Rules on Foreign Exchange were adopted in accordance with temporary provisions in the Foreign Exchange Act. When the Rules took effect, all restrictions on foreign exchange transactions due to trade in goods and services were lifted, but more stringent limitations on cross-border movement of capital and related foreign exchange transactions were imposed. With statutory amendments passed on 21 October 2016, important steps were taken towards easing restrictions on capital transactions. According to those amendments, further liberalisation was implemented on 1 January 2017. With Rules which took effect on 14 March 2017 most restrictions on foreign exchange transactions and cross-border movement of domestic and foreign currency were lifted.


Laws and rules

The Rules on Foreign Exchange have been reviewed and amended several times. The amendments have aimed primarily at closing loopholes in the original Rules. Act no. 127/2011 (which amends the Foreign Exchange Act, the Customs Act, and the Act on the Central Bank of Iceland) incorporates the Central Bank’s previously issued Rules on Foreign Exchange into the law.


The following laws and rules are translations of the authoritative Icelandic texts. In the event of any discrepancies between the translations and the original Icelandic texts, the original texts shall prevail.


Show all


Contact us

Further information on foreign exchange matters is available upon request. Queries should be made by e-mail sent to or by calling +354 569 9600. Please note that this e-mail address is only to be used for queries about foreign exchange matters. Requests for exemptions from the Foreign Exchange Act, no. 87/1992, must be sent to the Central Bank of Iceland in writing, together with pertinent documentation; cf. the fifth sentence of Article 13(o), Paragraph 1 of the Act. 

Notifications and requests for confirmation according to the Foreign Exchange Act, no. 87/1992, and the Rules on Foreign Exchange, no. 200/2017, and related queries shall be sent by e-mail to


Requests for withdrawals from accounts subject to special restrictions according to Act no. 37/2016 and queries concerning offshore krónur shall be sent by e-mail to