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Seychelles: Offshore Legal and Tax Regimes

Exchange Controls

N.B. All restrictions on the trading of the Seychelles rupee were removed in November 2008 under an IMF-sponsored economic stabilization programme.

In the Seychelles there is no restriction placed on payment of imports or invisibles, although import permits are required for certain products. Under the Exchange Control (Exemption) (Amendment) Order, 1995, it is illegal to deal in foreign currency other than through an authorised dealer. Since the government has recently maintained a highly over-priced currency rate against the US dollar for the Seychelles rupee, the currency became far from free and 'official' rupees were hard to come by leading to a thriving black market.

As a result of the global financial crisis in 2007/8, all restrictions on the trading of the Seychelles rupee were removed and the currency was allowed to float freely.

In September 2009, the Central Bank of the Seychelles announced the introduction of a new foreign exchange regime under the Foreign Exchange Act 2009.

According to an explanatory note accompanying the new legislation, the 2009 Act repeals and replaces the Exchange Control Act (Cap 76) which enforced a highly regulated and restrictive foreign exchange regime. The Act, unlike its predecessor is more regulatory as opposed to restricting activities of persons. The presence of provisions that may be perceived as impeding on the right of individuals to deal with their moneys is actually an effort to regulate the market and prevent illegal activities which flourished in the past under the Exchange Control Act.

The primary focus of the Act is that the local currency, the Seychelles rupee, is never refused when offered as means of payment. Payments may however be made in foreign currency where stipulated in a written law, or in instances where there is a contractual (written or oral) agreement.

See Import of Foreign Capital for a details of the Seychelles' foreign exchange regime.



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