FE Circular No. 07 of 2017
The Presidents/Chief Executives of all
Authorized Dealers in Foreign Exchange
Remittances by Authorized Dealers on behalf of Umrah Organizers
It has been decided to allow the Authorized Dealers (ADs) to remit foreign exchange on behalf of the Umrah Organizers (Travel Agents) subject to terms and conditions mentioned below:
- The ADs, on being approached, shall open a PKR Account in the name of concerned Umrah Organizer with suffix “Umrah” for the purpose of Umrah related remittances to Saudi Arabia. While opening and operating these accounts, ADs shall strictly follow SBP’s AML/KYC & CDD guidelines and ensure compliance of all related rules and regulations issued from time to time.
- For the purpose of effecting remittances to Saudi Arabia, each Umrah Organizer is permitted to maintain only one account with the AD of its choice. In this respect, AD shall obtain an undertaking from the Umrah Organizer that it is not maintaining such account with any other AD or any other branch of the same AD for this purpose.
- ADs may also effect advance remittances on behalf of Umrah Organizers to Saudi Arabia on account of booking of hotels, transport and other associated purpose(s), if any. However, ADs must ensure that the outstanding amount of such advance payment(s) at any time should not exceed USD 30,000 or equivalent.
2. With respect to operations of the designated accounts of Umrah Organizers, the ADs shall ensure that permissible deposits will only be PKR funds received from intending pilgrims by the Umrah Organizers.
3. ADs shall make remittances directly to vendors/service providers in Saudi Arabia through SWIFT/ Telegraphic Transfer/ Foreign Demand Draft. In this context, ADs are advised to ensure the following:
- The remittances shall only be made for meeting expenses related to accommodation, transportation, fee/charges of the concerned Ministry of Saudi Arabia, if any, in respect of intending pilgrims performing Umrah on submission of the following information/documents:
- Copy of license from the respective Department of Tourism Services.
- Copy of registration letter by International Air Transport Association.
- Copy of agreement/contract between Umrah Organizer and Saudi vendor/service provider. However, the AD should ensure that the original agreement/contract bears the attestation of the Ministry of Religious Affairs & Interfaith Harmony.
- Invoice(s) issued by Saudi vendors in whose favor remittance is being made.
- Consolidated information as per the attached format duly filled in by Umrah Organizers. However, in case of advance remittance, the ADs shall ensure receipt of complete information/ documents after finalization of the contracts.
- Undertaking from concerned Umrah Organizer for repatriation of funds in case of non/ partial performance for any reason (required for advance remittances only).
4. Authorized Dealers are advised to bring the above to the notice of all their constituents and ensure meticulous compliance.
- The Umrah Organizers shall provide per pilgrim per service foreign exchange requirements to ADs for the services mentioned at 3(i) above in terms of related package. ADs shall make remittances for such services after due verification of above documents/information. However, in any case, total remittances per pilgrim to vendors in Saudi Arabia should not exceed Umrah Package being offered to the individual pilgrim after deducting air ticket, commission and other local charges, if any.
- In case intended aggregate remittance(s) by an Umrah Organizer on any given day exceeds USD 30,000 or equivalent, the concerned AD will approach Exchange Policy Department, SBP, Karachi along with related documents for prior approval.
- While processing the requests for above remittances, the AD will take all possible measures to verify the bonafides and genuineness of information/data provided by Umrah Organizers and reconcile the same with the information issued by relevant authorities of Saudi Arabia. In case of any discrepancy, the matter should be pursued with the concerned Umrah Organizer.
- Head/Principal Offices of ADs shall be required to submit consolidated report in respect of remittances/advance remittances effected on behalf of Umrah Organizers on monthly basis at firstname.lastname@example.org. Further, ADs shall ensure proper reporting of such remittances in their monthly foreign exchange returns and maintain complete record of these transactions for SBP’s inspection.
- It will be mandatory for Umrah Organizers and the concerned AD to reconcile the receivables/payables with Saudi vendors by the last day of month of Shawal and ensure settlement of transactions and repatriation of unutilized balances, if any, by 10th of the following month.
- In case of repatriation of advance payment(s), exchange gain, if any, will not be passed on to the Umrah Organizer, rather the same will be deposited in favor of State Bank of Pakistan through Demand Draft/Payment Order with the Director, Foreign Exchange Operations Department, SBP-BSC, Head Office, Karachi along with calculation/working sheet. To this effect, the AD should get consent/ agreement signed by the concerned Umrah Organizer.
Encl: As above
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