It appears Nigeria is not the only country facing depleting forex reserves. However, whilst the CBN blames public sector spending, Argentina took a rather bizarre finger pointing by blaming Online shopping. According to the BBC report online shoppers have now been restricted to buying not more than two items a year not exceeding $25 each otherwise they face a 50% tax.
They also need to pick up the items at the Customs office, rather than have the items delivered to their homes. One resident described this as “Crazy”.
Argentina has introduced new restrictions on online shopping as part of efforts to stop foreign currency reserves from falling any further. Anyone buying items through international websites will now need to sign a declaration and produce it at a customs office, where the packages have to be collected. The procedure will need to be repeated for every new purchase.
Argentina’s reserves of hard currencies dropped by 30% last year.The government of President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has introduced a number of restrictions on transactions with foreign currency.
Items imported through websites such as Amazon and eBay are no longer delivered to people’s home addresses. The parcels need to be collected from the customs office.
In the past two years, the government has introduced restrictions on buying dollarsIndividuals are allowed to buy items up to the value of $25 (£15) from abroad tax free every year. Once the $25 level is reached, online shoppers in Argentina need to pay a 50% tax on each item bought from international websites.The government tightened the restrictions later on Wednesday limiting tax-free purchases to two a year.
One resident of Buenos Aires, who gave his name as Martin, described the tax as “crazy”.But he told the BBC: “The real problem is that the item is received in customs now instead of at your home. Each time you go to customs, you need to spend three or four hours. “I lose half a day’s work, which is unacceptable.”