Regulation > Exchange regulation

General information

In-capital operations

Foreign trade

Current payments

Resident & non-resident accounts

Gerneral aspects



Basic principles 

Foreign trade and foreign exchange regulation is based on the foreign exchange code as enacted by 
law n° 76-18 of January 21, 1976 and law n° 94-41 of march 7, 1994 relating to foreign trade and their enforcement texts. Foreign exchange regulation is based on the following principles :

  • Free transfer of current transactions and net real proceeds as well as the value added from sale or liquidation of capital invested previously through foreign currency import. All other transactions and commitments of which a transfer arises or may arise as well as any clearing of debts with foreign countries are submitted to prior authorization.
  • Assets movements between Tunisia and foreign countries have to be executed through the Central Bank of Tunisia or, on the authority of the latter, by authorised intermediaries chartered by Minister of Finance on proposal of the Governor of the Central Bank of Tunisia.
  • Any individual or legal entity must deposit at a bank foreign banknotes, cheques, evidence of indebtedness denominated in foreign currencies as well as foreign securities that he/it holds in Tunisia. Individuals who usually live abroad, are authorized to hold in their possession the currencies, which they have regularly imported, for their current expenditures during their stay in Tunisia.
  • Resident individuals of Tunisian nationality as well as legal entities have to declare to the Central Bank of Tunisia their holdings abroad.
  • Residents have to repatriate and, with exceptions provided for by the regulation into force, sell on the foreign exchange market currencies arising from goods export, remuneration of offered services abroad and, more generally, any income, or proceeds coming from abroad.

Law n° 76-18 of January 21, 1976 
Decree n° 77-608 of July 27, 1977.

Exchange rate regulation

  • Tunisia accepted on January 6, 1993 the obligations provided for by article VIII of the International Monetary Fund Status.
  • The exchange rate of the Tunisian dinar is determined freely on the foreign exchange market created since the March 1st, 1994 between officiel intermediate of the Tunis area including offshore banks.
  • The Central Bank of Tunisia intervenes on this market and publishes the interbank exchange rate of currencies and banknotes at the latest the following day.
  • Importers and exporters of goods and services may cover themselves against exchange risk on the forward interbank market. Forward rates are freely negotiated between operators and the counterpart bank.
  • Authorized  Intermediaries are allowed to list exchange options (currency/dinar) for their resident customers with a view to helping them to cover against the exchange list led by commercial operations on goods and services and financial operations carried out in compliance with the exchange regulation into force.
  • Purchase of exchange options (currency/dinar) by residents must be carried out through an Authorized  Intermediary and backed by an effective commercial or financial operation carried out in compliance with the exchange regulation into force.
  • Authorized Intermediaries can carry out exchange options (currency/dinar) between themselves to cover the exchange risk related to their resident customers'operations.
  • Authorized exchange options are of a European type.

    Circular of the BCT to Authorized  Intermediaries n°2001-11  of 4 May 2001 as completed by circular of the BCT to Authorized  Intermediaries n° 2007-27 of 18 December 2007
    Circular of the BCT to Authorized  Intermediaries n° 2007-27  of 18 December 2007 repealing circular of the BCT to Authorized  Intermediaries n°89-08 of 6 March 1989.
Settlement currencies 
Settlements between Tunisia and foreign countries may be executed in currencies listed on the inter-bank exchange market or in Tunisian convertible dinars through foreign accounts.

Exchange notice n° 4 of October 5, 1982.


Residence notion 
General regime 
Foreign exchange regulation is applied to individuals according to their residence. 

       Residents

  • Tunisian or foreign legal entities carrying out activities in Tunisia.
  • Individuals of Tunisian nationality residing in Tunisia.
  • Tunisian civil servants working abroad whatever the duration of their stay is.
  • Individuals of foreign nationality residing in Tunisia for more than two years and carrying out their activities in Tunisia. These individuals lose their quality of resident as soon as they leave Tunisia for good.

        Non-residents

  • Tunisian or foreign legal entities carrying out their activities abroad.
  • Individuals of foreign nationality not residing in Tunisia.
  • Foreign civil servants working in Tunisia whatever the duration of their stay is.
  • Individuals of Tunisian nationality residing abroad for more than two years and carrying out their activity. These individuals may have the status of resident to execute a number of transactions in Tunisia (loans in dinars, opening accounts in Tunisia, purchase of real estate in Tunisia). As soon as they come back to Tunisia for good they reintegrate their resident status.

Exchange notice n° 3 of October 5, 1982 
Decree n° 77-608 of July 27, 1977.

Derogatory regime 
Non-resident status is granted to financial and banking bodies dealing essentially with non-residents, created in the form of limited companies under Tunisian law or companies set up in Tunisia and which head office is abroad.

Law n° 85-108 of December 6, 1985, 
Circular of the BCT to non resident banks n° 86-05 of February 25, 1986, 
Circular of the BCT to non resident banks n° 86-13 of May 6, 1986.

An option may be taken to acquire this status by totally-exporting companies created within the investment incentive code or set up in the economic free zones of Bizerte and Zarzis as well as international trade companies when their capital is held by Tunisian or foreign non-residents through an import of convertible currencies equal at least to 66% of the capital.

 Law n° 92-81 of August 3, 1992, 
 Law n° 93-120 of December 27, 1993, 
 Law n° 94-42 of March 7, 1994.

Import and re-export of settlement means

  • Import and export of Tunisian dinar in banknotes or coins are forbidden.
  • Non-resident travellers may import freely unlimited amounts of foreign banknotes, cheques and any other settlement means denominated in foreign currencies.
  • Imported foreign currencies must be declared to customs when entering the Tunisian territory if they are meant to be deposited in an account in foreign currency or convertible dinars or if the non-resident traveller intends to re-export an amount higher than the exchange value of 5,000 Tunisian dinars.
  • The trading in of foreign banknotes and travellers cheques in foreign currency is ensured by authorised intermediaries, customs offices entitled in this regard as well as individuals authorised by an authorised intermediary (such as hotel and restaurant owners, travel agencies and handicraft shops).
  • Non-resident travellers may reconvert unlimited amounts of Tunisian dinars :
    • on presentation of an exchange note delivered to them when assigning foreign currencies if the amount to be reconverted is less than 5,000 Tunisian dinars ; and
    • on presentation of this same note accompanied by the customs declaration if the amount to be reconverted is higher than 5,000 Tunisian dinars.
  • Non-resident travellers may reexport the remaining non-used amount of the currencies they have imported :
  • without voucher if the amount to be reexported is less than 5,000 dinars ,
  • on the basis of a note that is worth authorisation for foreign currency export if it was received from abroad through cheque, transfer, money order or any other certificate of indebtedness or if it arises from debit of a foreign account in foreign currencies,
  • on the basis of the foreign currency import declaration signed by the customers if the amount to be reexported was imported in cash from abroad and is equal to or higher than the exchange value of 5,000 dinars.

Exchange note of Minister of Finances published in JORT n° 10 of 3 February 2006as modified by Exchange note published in JORT n° 18 of 2 March 2007.
Circular of the BCT to Authorized  Intermediaries n° 94-13 of 7 September  1994 as modified by circular of the BCT to Authorized  Intermediaries n°2007-13 of 25 April 2007.

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