Discusses the most common methods of payment, such as open account, letter of credit, cash in advance, documentary collections, factoring, etc. Includes credit-rating and collection agencies in this country. Includes primary credit or charge cards used in this country. Also includes information on Foreign Exchange controls and Banking Systems, and U.S. Banks & Local Correspondent Banks.
Methods of Payment
The most common methods of payment in Uzbekistan are telegraphic transfer and letters of credit. Customers can open Visa, Mastercard and China Union Pay cards at local banks for international payments and travel, and use local cards UzCard and Humo for payments in the national currency.
Ahbor-reyting is a local credit rating agency, but all companies which want to be taken seriously seek credit ratings from Moody’s, Fitch Group, and S&P Global Ratings.
For more information about the methods of payment or other trade finance options, please read the Trade Finance Guide available at https://www.trade.gov/trade-finance-guide-quick-reference-us-exporters.
There are 29 commercial banks in Uzbekistan, including five state-owned banks; 13 partly state-owned joint-stock banks; five banks with foreign capital; and six private banks. The total number of credit offices throughout the country, including microcredit organizations and branches of commercial banks is 8,610. The banking system in Uzbekistan remains closely controlled by the state through a complex set of regulatory actions, decrees, proclamations, and practices. Most banking assets remain in state-owned or controlled banks, and most loans are directed or channeled by the government to develop certain pre-selected industry sectors. The slow pace of reform in the banking system limits the role banks can play as financial intermediaries, thus inhibiting the ability of citizens or private companies to obtain credit and other banking services.
Foreign Exchange Controls
Uzbekistan adopted Article VIII of the IMF’s Articles of Agreement in October 2003 and, thus, committed to currency convertibility for current account transactions. However, full implementation of the country’s obligations under this article only began in September 2017, when the GOU eliminated the difference between the artificially low official rate and the black market exchange rate, and formally allowed unlimited non-cash forex transactions for businesses.
Formally, foreign investors are guaranteed transfer of funds in foreign currency into and out of Uzbekistan without limitation, provided they have paid all taxes and other financial obligations in accordance with legislation. Local authorities may stop the repatriation of a foreign investor’s funds in cases of insolvency and bankruptcy, criminal acts by the foreign investor, or when directed by arbitration or a court decision.
The Central Bank’s foreign exchange policy is now market based, though the Central Bank will still smooth out sharp exchange rate fluctuations that arise from short-term mismatches between supply and demand. Further development plans for the foreign exchange market include gradually allowing exchange rate fluctuations in a wider band, and introducing currency swaps, options, futures, and other financial instruments.
U.S. Banks and Local Correspondent Banks
The National Bank of Uzbekistan (NBU) and Asaka Bank are the main financial gateways between Uzbekistan and the rest of the world; they are the primary channels for the inflow, distribution and servicing of foreign financing and investments. These banks have correspondent relations with Citibank, Bank of America, American Express Bank, JP Morgan Chase, and other U.S. banks. The U.S. Exim Bank has opened a credit line at NBU. Only the JP Morgan Chase bank has so far established a representative office in Uzbekistan.