Seychelles: Law of Offshore
Table of Statutes
This is a non-exhaustive list of the main Seychellois statutes affecting offshore and non-resident business. The statutes are listed in alphabetical order – click on the statute for a fuller description of the statute, the legal regime it forms part of, or in some cases the text of the law.
Anti-Money Laundering Act 2006
Central Bank of Seychelles Act 2004
Civil Aviation Act 1996
Companies Law 1972
Companies (Special Licence) Act, 2003
Financial Institutions Act 1984
Financial Institutions Act 2004
Foreign Exchange Act 2009
Foundations Act 2009
Insurance Act 1994
Insurance (Non-Domestic Insurance Business) Regulations 1996
Insurance Act 2008
International Business Companies Act 1994
Interactive Gambling Act 2003
International Corporate Service Providers Act 2003
International Trade Zone Act 1995
International Trade Zone Regulations 1995
International Trusts Act 1994
Investment Promotion Act 1994
Limited Partnership Act, 2003
Merchant Shipping Act 1992
Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act 1995
Mutual Funds Act 1997
Mutual Funds And Hedge Funds Act 2008
Protected Cell Companies Act, 2003
Securities Act 2007
Seychelles International Business Authority Act 1994
In May 2001 it was announced that several amendments to the current exchange control and money and trade taxation laws would be considered by the National Assembly in order to tackle the country's growing black market. The Seychelles aimed to close loopholes that existed in laws such as the Foreign Earnings Act, Exchange Control Act, Central Bank of Seychelles Act and the Trades Tax Act.
An amendment to the Foreign Earnings Act ensured that foreign exchange earners are obligated to use the country's banking system. A new definition of "non-resident" enlarged on the term to include "any person in or resident in Seychelles who engages in a trade, business or activity with another such person for or on behalf of or for the benefit or purpose of any person not resident in Seychelles."
Amendments to the Trades Tax Act strengthened price controls and enabled the authorities to put a 'true' value on imported goods. Changes to the Exchange Control Act required individuals who possess any foreign currency to show evidence that it was obtained from a registered dealer and prohibit the buying and selling foreign currency by authorised dealers at rates above the maximum rate or below the minimum rate determined by the Central Bank as well as prohibiting the export and import of Seychelles currency notes and coins in excess of R2,000. Amendments to the Central Bank Act led to the appointment of an Exchange Controller.
The Central Bank of Seychelles Act 2004 makes provision for the Central Bank to operate more as an independent institution.
In November, 2006, the government of the Seychelles announced the establishment of the Non-Bank Financial Services Authority (NBFSA), an organisation intended to support the liberalisation of the Seychelles economy and increase transparency in financial transactions.
According to a statement by the Department of Public Administration in the Vice-President's Office, the setting up of the NBFSA was to be overseen by Conrad Benoiton who is credited with steering through the creation of the Seychelles International Business Authority (SIBA), the government's inward investment promotion body.
Areas falling under the remit of the body include the insurance and mutual fund sectors, and the stock exchange.
The Central Bank continues to concentrate on price stability, regulation of banks and other functions falling under the Financial Institutions Act.
"Government is divesting from parastatal activities and a process is being put in place for the sale of shares to individuals and companies," explained the statement.
"In the climate of greater transparency and liberalization, there is therefore an urgency to have a financial services body to be fully involved with the regulation of trading of shares," it added.