A legal wrench was thrown in November 2011 that effects profoundly anyone who is interested in exchanging currencies in Argentina. A new law dictates that Argentines can no longer change money into foreign currencies without applying to the local IRS (the “AFIP”) first–and the AFIP is barely granting anyone more than dozens of dollars worth of transactions. The Argentine consumer currency exchange market has effectively been killed. The “white” market, at least.

The reasoning behind the law is ostensibly to prevent a massive exodus of pesos into dollars. The law, of course, had the opposite effect it intended: scaring Argentines that a crisis is coming and thus causing the Peso to drop, on the black market, to 4.9 pesos/dollar before returning to the 4.5 rate the black market had been operating at.

Foreigners are exempt from this law, although they must show any currency exchange office not only their passport but their return ticket as well.

Businesses who transfer their money through the standard legal means are not effected, since they must already show all invoices (“facturas”) to the government, justifying the transactions.

The result of this law is going to be increased transactions in the black market. Not only has the value of the peso weakened since the enactment, but more and more of the currency exchanges are moving from the white to the black market.

LegalFácil, of course, does not endorse using any black market means; feel free to ask us for more details or information. We are just reporting here on what we see.