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The Polish zloty (PLN) is a fully convertible free floating currency, and few restrictions apply to international money transfers to Poland or transferring money out of Poland. Banks as well as foreign exchange companies are allowed to conduct currency exchanges with a licence from the central bank.
Except for select cases, foreigners are allowed to convert and transfer currency to pay for goods and services obtained abroad; foreign capital, post-tax profits, dividends and other income may be freely repatriated. Foreign exchange accounts and domestic currency accounts can be held by residents both domestically and abroad. Prior central bank approval is required for resident accounts in countries outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
Transactions exceeding EUR15,000 must be transferred via a domestically licensed bank account. There are no restrictions on the amount of hard currency that may be brought into the country, but cash transfers over a value of EUR10,000 must be declared to Polish customs authorities.
The central bank, the National Bank of Poland (Narodwy Bank Polski, NBP), oversees the health of the financial system, sets national monetary policy, and works to preserve the country’s foreign exchange reserves and price stability. A separate agency, the Polish Financial Supervision Authority, provides direct supervision of the banking sector, capital markets and other financial service providers, and ensures their compliance with national regulation.
Several other EU member countries in Eastern Europe, including Romania, Hungary and the Czech Republic, still use their national currencies. Like its neighbours, Poland’s central bank contends that its position outside of the eurozone allowed Poland to recover more quickly from the regional debt crisis; the central bank was able to set independent monetary policy to hasten economic recovery, and the cheaper Polish zloty (PLN) helped to make its exports more competitive. In fact, Poland was the only EU economy to avoid an outright recession during the 2008-09 economic downturn.
The zloty, freely floated in 2000, is allowed to fluctuate according to market supply and demand, and the central bank intervenes when necessary to stem volatility. Since 2004, the annual inflation target has been set at 2.5% and permitted to fluctuate within +/-1 percentage point.
Poland joined the European Union in 2004 and the Schengen area, which allows the free cross-border movement of people and goods, in 2007. According to the terms of Poland’s EU accession agreement, the country will adopt the euro once the necessary fiscal and monetary conditions are met. Poland’s initial target to join the eurozone was in 2009, but it now has no target accession date.
Poland’s monetary unit, the zloty (PLN), is frequently abbreviated as “zł”. One zloty is made up of 100 cents, or grosz. The central bank issues banknotes in denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 zł. Coins are produced in values of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 groszy, and 1, 2 and 5 zł.
On Polish exchange platforms, zloty are most often exchanged against the USD (US$2.9bn per day in April 2013), followed closely by the euro (US$2.3bn/day).
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