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Customs Procedures

For information on Customs Procedures, go to:
Concessions are available for imports for certain industries such as the tourism, construction and the car hire industry. Concessions on Trades Tax are approved by the Policy & Strategy Division of the Ministry of Finance. The approval is either stamped on the Bill of Entry or set out in a letter attached to the Bill.

VAT is generally applied on all imported goods; however there are a number of goods, class and categories of persons which are exempted under the Value Added Tax (Amendment of Schedules) Regulation 2014. Exempted imports mean it is excluded from payment of Value Added Tax (VAT) at the point of Entry.

There are some specific exemptions in the case of class and category of people whereby the approval or authorization of the parent agencies or ministries is required. Therefore, related Bill Of Entry for imports by those class and category of persons requesting for such exemption need to be endorsed or a letter attached to it from the appropriate agencies or ministries for Customs to allow the exemption. Please note the following should apply:
  • BOE, invoice, bill of lading or airway bill should be in the name of the organization entitled or eligible for exemption of VAT.

  • Copy of endorsed BOE/ letter attached with BOE must be submitted to Customs before payment of tax liability.
Companies may be set up in the Seychelles International Trading Zone (SITZ) which is administered by the Seychelles International Business Authority (SIBA). Companies are covered by an agreement which allows them to manufacture or import goods for sale overseas or to certain industries such as the tourism and hospitality trades in Seychelles. Documentation for the goods coming in to SIBA premises and leaving these premises is presented to Customs and applicable taxes is collected when goods is placed under home use procedure, if not exported. Control is a joint effort between SIBA and Customs.

Transhipment and Transit
Transshipment procedures facilitate the transfer of goods, under Customs control, from the importing means of transport to the exporting means of transport within the area of one Customs office - the office of both importation and exportation.

Goods may be transhipped; for example, aircraft spare parts. These spare parts are brought into the country for the sole reason of fitting them to an aircraft that will depart from Seychelles. Sales from “duty free” shops are also treated as transhipped.

Transit procedures on the other hand permit the movement of goods, under Customs control, from one Customs office (office of entry) to another (office of exit).

Both the transshipment and transit procedures allow goods to be removed under Customs control without payment of import duties, taxes or levies under certain conditions, restrictions or time limits that may be determined by the Assistant Commissioner of Customs. If find necessary, the Assistant Commissioner of Customs, depending on the level of revenue risk involved, may also request that a security, either in the form of a cash deposit, bank guarantee, insurance guarantee or a combination of security may be provided prior to the clearance of goods under the transit and transshipment procedures. Furthermore, under the provisions of prohibited and restricted imports, the entry of certain goods in transit may be controlled.

For further information on transhipment, please refer to the section entitled Advices to Agents and Importers

Boarding of Ships
A boarding team is responsible for attending arriving vessels, including Commercial Ships, Yachts, Passenger Ships and Fishing Vessels. The team is responsible to ensure that all vessels comply with Seychelles laws and may search cabins, crew, ships and cargo for prohibited goods or smuggled goods.

The following forms are to be completed for all vessels:
  • Boarding report (Includes basic clearance details of vessel)
  • Crew effects declaration (List of all personal goods in their possession)
  • Crew list (Detail information of crew)
  • Parcel List (List of un-manifest goods)
  • Ship stores Declaration (List of goods for stores)
Where ship provide their own documents the information must be suitable for Customs needs or the documents may be attached to this Customs documents. If areas of the form are not completed to Customs satisfaction, they are to be returned to the master (or crew member) for completion.

Collection of Taxes
Approximately 260 million rupees in trades tax is collected each year on imported goods and approximately the same in GST on behalf of the SRC.

Click here to view an example of calculating trades tax and VAT.

Bonded Goods
Warehousing is a procedure that enables the suspension of taxes, for imported goods by storing them in premises or under an inventory system authorized by Customs.

The Inland Revenue is the area of Customs with the administration of private bonded warehouse. It keeps documentary and physical control over the movement of goods imported into the country upon which payment of trade tax is deferred by storing in licensed bonded warehouse. The roles of Inland Revenue are to ensure that:
  • All fees are paid and guaranteed or bonds taken out
  • All licensed warehouse are adhered to the regulation of Customs
  • All goods are properly accounted for and
  • Goods are only stored in the bonded warehouse for the amount of time permitted as per regulation
Any imported goods can be stored in warehouse except free goods that is goods which attract nil rate of trade tax, provided that the type of goods being warehoused form part of their conditions of approval. Every movement of goods to or from a bonded warehouse must be covered by the appropriate Bill of Entry.

Goods are allowed to be warehoused for a period of one year, after which they must be cleared from the bond or re-warehoused. Goods which have been re- warehoused should be cleared within two years from the date of the first entry for warehousing.

Postal Procedures for Clearance of Parcels
Goods imported by post should be accompanied by a Customs declaration form CN22 or CN23 which include a description of the goods, the value of the goods and whether it is gift or commercial goods. The parcel will be opened and examined in the presence of the recipient. The Customs declaration form on the parcel (CN22 or CN23) will help Customs determine if any dutiable items have been imported to indicate the amount of duty and taxes to be paid. The liable duty and taxes have to be paid before the parcel is released to the owner. There are circumstances whereby Customs will require additional information or documents from the owner to be able to make a satisfactory assessment of the tax liability before the parcel is cleared.

Clearing of goods by post will require a Bill of Entry for goods:
  • which are subject to prohibited and restricted regulation 2014- where the requirement of a permit is essential with the importation;
  • having a Customs Value (CIF – cost, freight and insurance) of more than SCR5000/-; where the importation required or do not require an import permit;
  • which are to be placed under another Customs approved procedures -such as temporary importation whereby the goods will be exported at a given time;
  • which have been endorsed by Customs when exported for repair and replacement;
  • which have been exported where payment of VAT and import duties has been paid at the point of entry and the goods will be re-imported by post.
The Postal Service produces a Parcel Slip for each package received which is sent to the addressee on the parcel. This slip needs to be produced before the parcel is collected. The customer is required to produce his/ her ID card to verify that he/she is indeed the owner of the parcel or that the person has been authorized by the owner to collect the parcel. A Customs Officer will then examine the slip and if satisfied hand over the parcel.

Advices to Agents and Importers
File Size Format Download
SRC Customs Classification Advice for Crisps, Chips and Savoury Food Products 154KB PDF Download
Advice 01-09 - Processing Concessions on Bills of Entry 73KB PDF Download
Advice 02-09 - Time Up Cargo 120KB PDF Download
Advice 03-09 - Deferred Payment 86KB PDF Download
Advice 04-09 - Transhipment Cargo for Fishing Vessels 116KB PDF Download

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