Asian clearing union is a settlement mechanism evolved by the Central Bank of India, Iran, Nepal, Sri-Lanka, Burma and Bangladesh for payment of current international transactions on a multilateral basis amongst the member countries. The Head Quarter of the union is in Tehran, Iran.   The major objectives of formation of the ACU are:
  • To make use of regional currencies instead of extra-regional currencies like pound Sterling or us dollar to settle payment of current transactions within the region.


  • To promote use of participants currencies in current transactions within their respective territories and thereby effect economy in the use of convertible foreign currencies and cost of payment for current international transactions.


  • To foster regional co-operation in Asia in trade and its payment.


Transaction eligible for settlement:

Residents of one country can make payments to and receive payments from residents in other participant countries in settlement of transaction arising as a result of trade transactions or individuals transactions. It means that contracts for purchase or sale of goods and services including import of goods into Bangladesh under Wage Earners Scheme and excluding those covered by Loan/Credit Agreement shall be made either in Bangladesh Taka or in the currency of the concerned member country or in AMU. Previously inter-governmental payments and payment for petroleum and petroleum products were kept outside the purview of the scheme. But these transactions now have been brought within the ambit of the clearing union.


Currency in which instruments/Invoices are to be expressed:

The instruments in respect of which payment is to be made through the clearing facility shall be dominated in “Asian Monetary Unit” (AMU) or in the currency of the participating country in which one of the parties to a transaction resides. The Asian Monetary Unit is a common unit of account and its value is equivalent to one Special Drawing Right (SDR) allocated by the IMF. All invoices for transactions eligible for settlement through the clearing facility shall also be expressed in AMU or in the currency of the participating country in which of the parties to a transaction resides e.g. invoices or other form of instrument for settlement of transaction between residents in Bangladesh and residents in another participating country shall be expressed either in AMU or Bangladesh Taka or the currency of the said participating country.


Clearing Mechanism: 

  • Authorised Dealers in Foreign Exchange of the participating countries shall maintain accounts with their correspondents in other member countries in their respective currencies for the purpose of settling the transactions. Funds are transferred to and from these accounts through the Central Bank of the respective countries. They settle themselves the imbalances if any by the end of the each settlement period through the clearing accounts maintained with the ACU Head Quarter. The rate of exchange of AMU and the currencies of the participating countries are published daily by Sonali bank in Bangladesh under the auspices of an Exchange Rate Committee. Each commercial bank is eligible to dispose of its surpluses in its accounts with the correspondent bank or to get such account replenished by sale to or purchase from its Central Bank as and when necessary.


  • Central Bank of the participating country shall sell to and buy from the commercial bank in own country spot or forward, as the case may be, the currencies of the other participants at the rate of exchange published by the Exchange Rate Committee for currencies of Asian clearing members.


  • A member selling the currency of another member will request the later to make available the specified amount to the correspondent of the purchasing bank and claim reimbursement through the clearing union. On receipt of the request the later member will make its currency available and claim reimbursement from the clearing union.


  • When a participant buys the currency of another participant, the bank arranges with its correspondent in the country concerned deliver the contracted amount to the participant of the country for credit of the first participant. The second participant shall notify receipt of the amount and also request the clearing union to credit the amount of the first participant with AMUs equivalent to the amount received.

Bangladesh Bank’s Offices at Dhaka, Chittagong and Khulna shall undertake sale and purchase of the currencies of the member countries of the Asian Clearing Union. Authorised Dealers shall apply to the Bangladesh Bank for sale or purchase of the respective currencies; the relative application shall be superscribed with the words “Transactions under Asian Clearing Union.”   Deliveries of currencies of the Asian Clearing Union member countries bought from or sold to Authorised Dealers shall be made to/from the branches of the Central Banks of the respective countries at the following centres:

CountryCentral BankBranches
IndiaReserve Bank of India.Bombay (Fort), Kanpore, Bangalore Calcutta, Madras, New Delhi.
PakistanState Bank of PakistanKarachi, Lahore.
IranBankMarkazi IranTehran
NepalNepal Rastra BankKathmandu
Sri LankaCentral Bank of CeylonColombo
BurmaUnion Bank of BurmaRangoon
BangladeshBangladesh BankDhaka, Chittagong, Khulna.


  • On receipt of the advices, the clearing union shall effect the necessary transfer under advice to both the participants.


Each participant maintains an account in AMU with the clearing union through which the settlements of the transactions are made. The union at the end of each settlement period, notifies the participants by telex or cable of their net position and accrued interest if any, end of the amount it shall pay to or receive from the other participants.   Each debtor participant within 4 (four) working days of the receipt of the notice shall pay in US Dollar or in any other mutually acceptable currency, through telex or cable.




  1. Rygecroft says:

    The Board of Directors of ACU have decided to permit Japanese Yen for settling payments among the ACU member countries. Accordingly, clause (a) and (b) of Article IV of the General Provisions of Agreement establishing the Asian Clearing Union have been revised and the Asian Monetary Unit is now denominated as “ACU Dollar”, “ACU Euro” and “ACU Yen” which shall be equivalent in value to one US Dollar, one Euro and one Japanese Yen respectively.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *