Seychelles: Offshore Business Sectors
Ship Management and Maritime Operations
See Offshore Business Review – Shipping for a more general treatment of offshore shipping registries.
The Merchant Shipping Act 1992 governs the shipping industry in the Seychelles. Ships and yachts may be registered in the Seychelles under the terms of the Act. Consular and diplomatic representatives of Seychelles abroad are also empowered to issue provisional certificates of registration to vessels satisfying the ownership and registration criteria. The shipping law also provides for parallel registration of bareboat charters in the Seychelles registry; likewise, a Seychelles vessel may be parallel-registered abroad during chartering.
An International Business Company is the most effective vehicle for offshore ownership of a Seychelles-registered vessel or ship management operation. Such a company will be exempt from Seychelles taxation on profits and dividends. Sale and transfer of Seychelles-registered vessels or the companies owning them are also free of tax, as are the salaries of officers and crew of Seychelles-registered vessels operating internationally.
A normal range of documentation is required for Seychelles registration of a vessel. The age limit for registration is 15 years. The Government recognises most leading classification societies; for surveying and certification purposes the Government has appointed American bureau of Shipping, Bureau Veritas, Nippon kaiji Kyokai and Det Norske Veritas.
The Civil Aviation Act (amended in 1996) provides the framework for the registration of aircraft mortgages. As with ship registration, consular and diplomatic representatives of Seychelles abroad can issue provisional certification of registration.
The Seychelles is an increasingly popular centre for the leasing and insurance of ships and aircraft.