Exemption statistics

The Capital Controls Surveillance Unit (CCSU) was established as an independent unit within the Central Bank in 2009. Since 2010, the CCSU has received 800-1000 requests annually for exemptions from the Foreign Exchange Act, no. 87/1992, with individuals and legal entities applying for exemptions in roughly equal proportions. The processing ratio has ranged between 75% and 100% of submitted queries per year, with about 300 cases in processing at any given time.

The employees of the CCSU, seven of them lawyers, generally handle requests for exemptions from the Foreign Exchange Act. In addition to processing applications for exemptions, CCSU employees respond to queries received by e-mail (cc@cb.is) or by telephone (no. 569-9600) and responding to queries on the interpretation of the Act.

The processing time for an exemption request is eight (8) weeks (minimum). It should be noted that the principle of non-discrimination is applied in all cases, and comparable cases receive comparable handling and generate the same results.

Processing time is longer when a case is one that sets precedent or involves large amounts of money, where the Bank’s assessment, cf. Article 7, Paragraph 2 of the Foreign Exchange Act, is prepared in collaboration with other Bank departments.

The Central Bank constantly seeks ways to expedite case handling.

Statistics on processing of requests for exemptions from the Foreign Exchange Act are published in the Central Bank’s Annual Report.

Year 2009
The CCSU received 390 requests for exemptions from the then-current Rules on Foreign Exchange in 2009. Of that total, 127 were approved and 27 rejected, and 94 were handled with instructions and guidelines or were withdrawn because there was no need for an exemption. At year-end, 88 submitted requests were still pending.

Year 2010
The CCSU received 762 requests for exemptions from the then-current Rules on Foreign Exchange in 2010. Of that total, 431 were approved, 178 were rejected, and 28 were rejected in part. The remaining 83 were withdrawn or concluded through issuance of guidelines or in another manner. At the end of the year, 42 exemption requests were pending final processing.

Year 2011
The CCSU received 971 requests for exemptions from the Foreign Exchange Act and the Rules on Foreign Exchange in 2011. During the year, 946 requests were processed: 688 were approved, 112 rejected, 23 approved in part, and 123 were withdrawn or concluded through issuance of guidelines or in another manner.

Year 2012
The CCSU received 973 requests for exemptions from the Foreign Exchange Act in 2012. During the year, 711 requests were processed: 557 were approved, 15 approved in part, 39 rejected, and 100 withdrawn or concluded through issuance of guidelines or in another manner.

Year 2013
The CCSU received 883 requests for exemptions from the Foreign Exchange Act in 2013. During the year, 880 requests were processed by the Exemption Unit: 526 were approved, 26 approved in part, 86 rejected, and 242 withdrawn or concluded through issuance of guidelines or in another manner.

Year 2014 
The CCSU received 1044 requests for exemptions from the Foreign Exchange Act in 2014. During the year, 922 requests were processed by the Exemption Unit: 617 were approved, 41 approved in part, 95 rejected, and 169 withdrawn or concluded through issuance of guidelines or in another manner.

Year 2015

The CCSU received 1080 requests for exemptions from the Foreign Exchange Act in 2015. During the year, 1040 requests were processed by the Exemption Unit: 741 were approved, 23 approved in part, 93 rejected, and 183 withdrawn or concluded through issuance of guidelines or in another manner.