The Asian Clearing Union (ACU), with headquarters in Tehran, Iran, was established on December 9, 1974 at the initiative of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP). The primary objective of ACU, at the time of its establishment, was to secure regional co-operation as regards the settlement of eligible monetary transactions among the members of the Union to provide a system for clearing payments among the member countries on a multilateral basis.

In October 2013, Iran unveiled a plan suggesting that members of the union – Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Iran – employ a home-grown system developed by the Central Bank of Iran to get around SWIFT called SEPAM in Persian.[1]


Currently (2016), the members of ACU are the central banks of Bangladesh, Bhutan, Iran, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar. The central banking authority of member countries has issued detailed instructions and modalities for channeling the monetary transactions through the ACU. Membership in the ACU is open to central banks located in the geographical area of ESCAP.

State Central Bank Year
 Bangladesh Bangladesh Bank 1974
 Bhutan Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan 1999
 India Reserve Bank of India 1974
 Iran Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran 1974
 Maldives Maldives Monetary Authority 2009
 Myanmar Central Bank of Myanmar 1977
   Nepal Nepal Rastra Bank 1974
 Pakistan State Bank of Pakistan 1974
 Sri Lanka Central Bank of Sri Lanka 1974


The unit of settlement of ACU transactions is a common unit of account of ACU, and the unit is equivalent to one USD, and the Asian Monetary Unit may be denominated as ACU dollars and Euro dollars.

Eligible transactions

All eligible transactions between member countries are required to be settled through the Asian Clearing Union. The monetary transactions eligible to be settled through the Asian Clearing Union includes the following:

  • Payments from the resident in the territory of one participant to a resident in the territory of another participant,
  • Payment for current international transactions as defined by the Articles of Agreement of the International Monetary Fund,
  • Payment permitted by the country in which the payer resides,
  • Payment which are in compliance with FEMA 1999, rules, regulations, orders or directions issued thereunder and the specific provisions of the Memorandum ACM.
  • Payment for exports and / or import transactions between ACU member countries on deferred payment terms.

Ineligible transactions

The payments not eligible for settlement though the Asian Clearing Union include the following: -

  • Payment between Nepal and India; and between Bhutan and India, except certain exceptions pertaining to imports from India by an importer resident in Nepal and who has been permitted by the Nepal Rastra Bank to remit payment in foreign exchange,
  • Payments which are not on account of current international transactions, as defined by the International Monetary Fund, except to the extent mutually agreed upon between the member countries, and
  • Such other payments as may be declared, from time to time, by the Asian Clearing Union to be ineligible for being routed through the facility provided by the Asian Clearing Union.

See also


External links