Law of Free Negotiation of Foreign Exchange (94-2000)


It is free to dispose, hold, contract, remittance, transfer, purchase, sale, collection and payment of and with foreign currency, and the profits, losses and risks arising from operations of this nature shall be for the account of each individual or legal person, national or foreign. 

 It is also free to hold and manage deposits and accounts in foreign currency, as well as financial intermediation operations, both in national and foreign banks. Lending, deposit and trust operations and those related to obligations on behalf of third parties in foreign currencies carried out by the banks of the system and private financial companies shall be governed, as applicable, by the provisions of the Organic Law of the Bank of Guatemala, the Monetary Law, in the Law of Banks, in the Law of Savings and Loan Banks for Family Housing, in the specific laws of banking and financial institutions, in the Law of Private Financial Companies, in the Law of Financial Products and in the provisions issued by the Monetary Board and by the Superintendency of Banks.


The Institutional Foreign Exchange Market is constituted by the Banco de Guatemala and by the banks, private financial companies, stock exchanges, exchange houses referred to in Article 3 of the present decree, as well as by other institutions established by the Monetary Board.

Exchange Houses

For the purposes of this law, exchange houses are those non-bank corporations that operate in the Institutional Foreign Exchange Market. In order to operate in such market, exchange houses must be authorized by the Monetary Board and shall be governed by the regulations issued for such purpose by said Board.

Reference exchange rate

For purposes of determining the exchange rate applicable for the settlement of tax obligations or others that involve payments by the State or to the State and its entities, as well as for the resolution of conflicts in the administrative and jurisdictional areas, the reference exchange rate of the Quetzal with respect to the United States Dollar, which the Bank of Guatemala calculates and publishes daily, shall be applied.

Gold transactions

It is free to import, export, dispose, hold, buy and sell gold in coins or bars in the national territory.