The Algerian government has adopted, through the following instruments, social distancing and lockdown measures (including, notably, travel and business operation restrictions as well as cultural, sporting suspension and closure of schools and universities) to contain the spread of the virus:
- Executive Decree No. 20-69 of 21 March 2020 on measures to prevent and combat the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19);
- Executive Decree No. 20-70 of 24 March 2020 establishing additional measures to prevent and combat the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Tax relief measures: Algeria’s Directorate General of Taxes has issued a note announcing further support measures for businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The measures include several deadline extensions:
- the deadlines for the monthly declarations (Declaration No. G50) and payment for February and March 2020 are extended to 20 May 2020
- the deadline for the quarterly declaration (Declaration No. G50b (ter)) and payment for the first quarter (January to March 2020) is extended to 20 May 2020
- the deadline for annual declaration of results under the standard corporate regime is extended to 30 June 2020, although for companies under the Division for Large Enterprises (DGE) the deadline is 31 May 2020 (also note that corporate tax (IBS) due must be paid within 20 days of the annual declaration)
- the deadline for the annual declaration for individuals subject to global income tax (IRG) is extended to 30 June 2020
- the payment deadline for the first provisional instalment payment of IRG and IBS is extended to 20 June 2020.
In addition to the above deadline extensions, taxpayers facing financial difficulties may request to benefit from a tax payment schedule.
Social contribution measures: Employers can settle their social contributions in any agency, across the country, regardless of their affiliated agency.
In addition, the Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Security has decided to:
- extend until 30 May the deadline for payment of the social security contributions of salaried workers that are due in April
- extend until 30 September the deadline for payment of contributions by self-employed workers that are due on 30 June
- suspend increases in late payment penalties applicable for the payment of social security contributions during a period of 6 months, as from April.
Corporate law relief measures: The deadline for filing the annual accounts for the 2019 financial year has been exceptionally extended to 30 September 2020 instead of 31 July.
Banking relief measures: The Bank of Algeria has addressed to commercial banks a note dated 19 March 2020 in which it expressly authorises these banks to receive documents relating to imports by electronic means, with SWIFT confirmation from the bank sending the documents.
In addition, by means of Instruction No. 05-2020 dated 6 April 2020 relating to exceptional measures in order to lighten prudential provisions applicable to banks and financial establishments and help businesses, various measures were taken, including:
- reduction of the liquidity ratio of banks and financial institutions to 60%
- exemption from the obligation to constitute the safety cushion set by the provisions of Article 4 of Regulation no. 2014-01 of 16 February 2014 relating to solvency coefficients
- at their discretion, banks and financial institutions can postpone the payment of credit instalments reaching maturity or reschedule the debt payments of their customers that have been impacted by the disruption caused by COVID-19
- banks and financial institutions may also grant new loans to any customer that has already benefited from these deferral or rescheduling measures.
The above-mentioned measures enter into force as from 1 March 2020 and until 30 September 2020.
In this context, the Professional Association of Banks and Financial Institutions subsequently instructed banks and financial institutions to consider the above instructions and examine each individual situation by taking appropriate measures, essentially related to:
- postponement and/or renewal of the deadlines for loans due on 31 March 2020 and after
- consolidation of unpaid debts on 31 March 2020 and after
- extension of the deadlines for the use of the loans and deferred payments
- cancellation of late payment penalties for debts due on 31 March 2020 and after
- maintenance and/or renewal of operating loans.
Exceptional paid leave: At least 50% of the staff of public institutions and administrations, as well as of all public and private economic operators, must be placed on exceptional paid leave. This measure applies to all sectors of activity, even those whose continued activity is made mandatory. Staff considered as having priority for exceptional leave are pregnant women and women raising children (without this concept being defined), as well as persons suffering from chronic diseases and those with health issues.
Customs relief measures: Imports of raw medical products, medical devices and any products used to prevent COVID-19, as well as first necessity and wide consumption food products, benefit from a “green circuit”, in other words, an accelerated customs clearance procedure. The Central Customs Department has made available to customs brokers the list of products benefiting from such customs relief measure. In addition, it has been decided to suspend exports of some food and pharmaceutical products.
Measures applicable to public procurement: Taking into consideration the relief measures adopted to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and in particular, their negative impact on industry that has slowed down activities due to delays in the supply of materials and temporary suspension of transport means, the Algerian government has decided to suspend contractual deadlines and not apply late penalties, within the limit set by the services stop-and-resume order issued by the contracting service.