International Child Support Payments to the Slovak Republic - 2003
DEAR COLLEAGUE LETTER
DATE: November 21, 2003
TO: ALL STATE IV-D DIRECTORS
RE: International Child Support Payments to the Slovak Republic
The Slovak Republic has informed the Office of Child Support Enforcement that it can no longer accept child support collections sent by paper check from state IV-D agencies. The Slovak Republic reports that it currently is receiving collections from Connecticut, Florida, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia and that it has made some direct contacts with officials in those states regarding this matter. Checks have already been returned to Florida, New Jersey, New York, Utah, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia.
The United States and the Slovak Republic concluded a Federal-level reciprocity agreement on February 1, 1998. The Centre for the International Legal Protection of Children and Youth, the Slovak Republic’s Central Authority [phone:421-2-5975-2319], lost its exemption from paying banking fees on October 1, 2003, and reports that it is now forced to return checks to the United States.
The Slovak Republic has requested that IV-D agencies send collections by SWIFT (Society for Worldwide International Financial Telecommunication) wire transfer. SWIFT is a consortium of member banks that transfer money and data internationally. The SWIFT website is www.swift.com. While the IV-D agency sending individual collections by direct SWIFT transfer will incur some costs for use of this service, Federal financial participation is available for 66 percent of costs associated with the collection and disbursement of international child support payments. Until a less costly option is made available, states should use SWIFT transactions to transfer collections to the Slovak Republic. Technical details regarding using direct SWIFT transfers are attached to this DCL.
OCSE intends to work with specific states and foreign reciprocating countries/Canadian provinces to pilot ways to electronically transfer child support collections to and from the United States in the most efficient manner. A more efficient solution regarding the Slovak Republic will be a priority for these pilots.
Additional guidance on international funds transfer initiatives will be forthcoming. If you have any questions or comments, please contact your ACF regional office.
Sherri Z. Heller, Ed.D.
Office of Child Support Enforcement
cc: Federal Regional Administrators
Federal Regional CSE Program Managers