08.31.11

Firms urged to give proper banking details

Posted in Seychelles banking at 3:35 pm by Robert Klien

With a view to ease electronic payment, firms having transactions with government-budgeted agencies are being urged to provide proper banking details.

This was said on August 30 by director budget management in the Ministry of Finance and Trade, Damien Thesée, at a press conference. The event took place at the Central Bank of Seychelles (CBS).

Christophe Edmond, the head of banking services division and Mike Tirant, director banking, currency and payment system services in the CBS, was also present at the press conference.

According to Mr Thesée, the Finance Department and the CBS introduced a system whereby payments to these clients can be made directly into their accounts as opposed to issuing of cheques. He said: “Government agencies submit their requests to the treasury and we process and make payments to the businesses’ commercial banks accounts.” This system gives provides the customers with a faster and more efficient service.

He said that the new system has also significantly reduced the number of customers who have to queue up in the CBS banking area. The system whereby payments were made only on week days and whereby cheques had to be cleared in banks in 3 days has been eliminated. However, it is important that customers understand this system will only work if they provide correct banking details (account number and name).

Mr Edmond noted that they are working with commercial banks in order to ensure improving and modernising their payment system as electronic transfer is less risky.

08.27.11

Seychelles learns to manage offshore oil and gas resources from US

Posted in Business and Economy, International relations at 3:28 pm by Robert Klien

Seychellois officials received training on how to manage offshore oil and gas resources as oil has been discovered in Seychelles’ waters.

The representatives of the jurisdiction learned how to manage the above-mentioned resources through a 3-day workshop. The event was run by the US Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEMRE), in collaboration with the Seychelles Petroleum Company (Sepec).

The workshop that opened on August 23 was aimed at officials involved in petroleum engineering, environment, regulatory formulation, revenue management and legal affairs. The opening of the workshop took place in the presence of the Vice-President and Minister for Finance Danny Faure and finance principal secretary Ahmed Afif.

It should be mentioned that this is the 3rd visit to Seychelles by the US Department of the Interior since 2010. It comes at a time when 2 foreign companies are active in exploring a total area of about 36,000 sq km of Seychelles’ exclusive economic zone. Both companies are committed to drill wells in 2012.

The workshop included discussions on how issues relevant to Seychelles’ oil and gas sectors are handled in the US. The issues under discussion include tendering, licencing, geologic and economic modelling, managing transactions and revenue and environmental review and compliance.

08.24.11

Seychellois President meets Australian Governor-General to discuss trade

Posted in Diplomatic missions, International relations at 3:32 pm by Robert Klien

On August 23, 2011, President James Michel and the Governor-General of Australia, Quentin Bryce, met in Canberra to hold talks. The meeting was focused on trade, education, and conservation.

On the 2nd day of his state visit to Australia, President Michel was greeted in the Australian capital by Mrs Bryce. Following his arrival, the President visited the Australian War Memorial and laid a wreath on the tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier as well as observed the President inspecting a Guard of Honour minute of silence.

Governor-General Bryce and Seychelles’ President Michel discussed cooperation between Seychelles and Australia, in the fields of trade, education, and conservation. Mr Michel said that the traditional ties between Seychelles and Australia are strong; particularly as many Seychellois reside in Australia and contribute positively to society. Also, Seychelles and Australia are partners in ensuring better governance of their environmental assets and acting on climate change.

The meeting was attended by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Jean-Paul Adam, the chief executive officer of the Seychelles Tourism Board, Alain St Ange, the vice-chancellor of the University of Seychelles, Rolph Payet, and the Seychelles high commissioner to India, Dick Esparon, who is accredited to Australia.

08.19.11

VAT vs. GST

Posted in Business and Economy, Seychelles legislation at 1:37 pm by Robert Klien

It has been discussed recently that Seychelles’ tax reforms will end with the Value Added Tax (VAT) due to come into effect on July 1, 2012. So, on July 1, 2012, the VAT will replace the GST (Goods and Services Tax).

GST was implemented in Seychelles in 2003 and is levied on the importation of all goods, unless exempted under the GST Regulations 2003. GST is also levied on the sales turnover of specified manufacturers of goods produced in Seychelles and on specified service providers. Initially, this tax was imposed at the point of entry and at the point of sale for professional service providers. As the years went by, only holders of the Tourism Incentive Act (TIA) certificate benefited from a GST concession on imported goods. Then, in 2010, the concession was extended to other businesses. As a fact, GST works as a turnover tax without deduction of the input tax.

VAT is a broad-based tax, levied on all imported goods at the point of entry by Customs and on domestic supplies of goods and services made by Vat registered businesses, with a few exemptions specifically designated in the Value Added Tax Act 2010.

There are certain similarities of VAT and GST. First of all, both VAT and GST are indirect taxes levied on sales, and the final consumers bear the ultimate burden of the tax. However, VAT will correct some undesirable effects of the GST, such as the cascading and distorting ones. So, VAT is to significantly improve the tax system.

When a VAT-registered taxpayers purchases goods or incurs expenses for the purpose of their businesses, they are allowed to offset the tax paid on these inputs (input tax) against the tax collected from their customers (output tax). If the difference occurs, it is remitted to the Seychelles Revenue Commission. If input tax exceeds output tax, there is a VAT credit that can be either carried forward or refunded. So, these typical VAT mechanisms prevent double taxation and cascading effects allowed by GST.

08.12.11

Seychelles Annual Inflation rises to 2.9% in July

Posted in Seychelles' statistics at 8:12 am by Robert Klien

Seychelles’s statistics agency announced that the country’s inflation rate rose to 2.9% in July from 2.2% in June 2011.

This statement was read by an official from the Victoria-based National Bureau of Statistics on August 5, 2011.

08.10.11

VAT to mark end of tax reforms

Posted in Business and Economy, Seychelles government at 8:08 am by Robert Klien

The tax reforms in Seychelles will end with the VAT (Value Added Tax) due to come into effect on July 1, 2012.

Vice-President Danny Faure said that VAT is seen as a more fair way to collect tax which will apply to businesses with an annual turnover above R5 million but voluntary for those earning less.

This was said in an interview attended by principal secretary for Finance Ahmed Afif, chief executive of the Seychelles Revenue Commission (SRC) Jeniffer Morel and assistant tax commissioner Marie-France Fanchette. Also, an experienced IMF expert who will be based in Seychelles to advise on the implementation of the tax was present.

Mr Faure said: “We in government believe that the final stage of the whole reform is very important and we will need to continue as we have been doing over the last two years, communicating, talking and getting questions from citizens and the business community which will be sent to the SRC for answers”.

Businesses earning less than R5 million a year can register under the VAT system.

08.06.11

Seychelles and Maldives to strengthen relations

Posted in Business and Economy, International relations, Seychelles government at 8:01 am by Robert Klien

On August 4, Maldivian President and Seychellois President discussed various issues including challenges faced by small island states such as economic development, climate change and the threats of piracy as well as maritime and fisheries cooperation.

Besides President Michel, Maldivian President Nasheed held talks with Vice-President Danny Faure and the Minister for Foreign Affairs Jean-Paul Adam.

Mr Michel welcomed Mr Nasheed saying: “We are very happy to welcome you in our islands, to develop closer relations and consider the challenges of small island states together”.

The 2 presidents witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding on fisheries cooperation as well as a protocol on cooperation to combat piracy and other maritime security threats in the Indian Ocean. These documents were signed by Minister Adam and his Maldivian counterpart Ahmed Naseem.

Also, to encourage trade between Seychelles and the Maldives, the presidents agreed that a shipping line between the jurisdictions is needed to be developed. By means of that, economic cooperation and exchange will be enhanced.

President Michel said: “We must do more to improve our regional trade and share our expertise, especially as we are both focused on fisheries and tourism, and in this way develop sustainable solutions to regional challenges”.