Currency Evolution: Out with the Old, In with the New
In a significant move, the Central Bank of Liberia has declared that banknotes predating 2021 will lose their status as legal tender after March 31, 2024. This development follows a year-long initiative facilitating the exchange of old currency for the newly introduced family of banknotes.
Notes in the Crosshairs
While the announcement doesn’t specify the affected denominations, it primarily targets the Liberia Series One and Two, printed between 2003-2009 and 2016-2017, with the latter including denominations of L$500 and above.
Legislation and Transition Plan
Citing Section 25 of the Amended and Restated Act of the CBL of 2020, the Central Bank of Liberia outlined the official termination of circulation for banknotes printed before 2021. The new family of Liberian dollar currency, totaling L$48.734 billion, authorized by the 54th National Legislature in May 2021, will be the sole valid legal tender post-deadline.
Post the March 31, 2024, deadline, old currency will no longer be considered legal tender for economic and financial transactions. However, a structured exchange system through banking channels will remain in place. Individuals in possession of the phased-out banknotes can exchange them at Central Bank facilities, commercial bank offices, branches, agents, and rural community finance institutions. The exchange process will retain the same face value of the old banknotes.
Involvement of Commercial Banks
The Central Bank of Liberia emphasized the active participation of commercial banks in facilitating the exchange process, particularly in reaching rural and hard-to-access areas. To ensure a seamless transition, the new banknotes and coins will be strategically available at cash hubs across the country.
Public Awareness and Appreciation
Acknowledging the cooperation and understanding of the Liberian people, the Central Bank expressed gratitude for the smooth progress of the exchange exercise. Ongoing communication efforts will continue to deepen public awareness about the currency replacement program, ensuring a well-informed and engaged populace.
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