The Bank of Guyana has the sole right to issue notes and coins. These notes and coins are the only legal tender in Guyana.
The concept of ‘legal tender’ is essentially a legal one. The Concise Dictionary defines legal tender as “currency that cannot be legally refused in payment of debt (usually up to limited amount for baser coins, etc)”.
It is the Bank’s understanding that, although Bank of Guyana currency has legal tender status, it does not necessarily have to be used in transactions. Under the legal tender provisions of the Bank of Guyana Act 1998, refusal to accept payment in legal tender notes and coins is not unlawful. However, a refusal to accept legal tender in payment of an existing debt, where no other means of payment / settlement has been specified in advance, conceivably could have consequences in legal proceedings, i.e. , the creditor may be unable to enforce payment in any other form.
It appears that the provider of goods or services is at liberty to set the commercial terms upon which payment will take place before the “contract” is entered into. If a provider of goods or services specifies other means of payment prior to the contract, then there is usually no obligation for legal tender to be accepted as payment.
According to the Bank of Guyana Act No. 19 of 1998, legal tender notes shall be accepted throughout Guyana without limitation as to amount in settlement of any public or private debt or monetary obligation. Coins, on the other hand, shall be accepted throughout Guyana in settlement of any public or private debt or monetary obligation up to a limit of:
- One hundred dollars for coins of denomination of one dollar.
- Two hundred and fifty dollars for coins of denomination of five dollars.
- Five hundred dollars for coins of denomination of ten dollars.
Counterfeit Detection Information
Security features of the Bank Notes