Venezuela’s government has reduced the amount that consumers may spend on online purchases with foreign providers, in order to limit currency outflow from the country.
The currency exchange commission can now authorise a maximum annual amount of $300 for online purchase of foreign goods, $100 lower than the previous limit, the ministry of communication and information (MINCI) said in a press release.
The number of people accessing online retail websites in Venezuela grew significantly in 2013, from 3.64m in April to 5.86m in September.
The list of allowances to be restricted by government controls has been extended to include cash for foreign travel, remittances, credit card use abroad and e-commerce operation with foreign providers, according to the MINCI.
Credit card use has been limited to a maximum of $3,000 abroad, while family remittances have been limited to $500 a month.
Over the years, several devaluations of the Venezuelan bolivar (VEF) have created a demand for US dollars in the country.
The Venezuelan government has set up a body known as Sicad to control the decline in value of the currency against the dollar.
Although the official exchange rate is VEF6.3 to the US dollar, on the black market a US dollar can go for as much as VEF64.