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Certificate of Origin

What is a Certificate of Origin?
A certificate of Origin is the document used in International trade to state which country the shipped goods originate from. The abbreviation ‘CO’ or ‘COO’ is often used as reference to the country where the goods are actually made but not the country where the goods are shipped from. It is used by Customs to establish the origin of goods imported into the country and to determine whether the importer qualifies for a preferential rate of tax where that is applicable. A Certificate of Origin indicates that goods imported fulfill the requirements to be considered as originating from a particular country.

What is the preferential rate applicable on a Certificate of Origin?
A consignment made up of goods processed or manufactured in a COMESA country and imported into Seychelles, will benefit from the COMESA preferential rate of tax. The preferential rate will apply to imports from all COMESA countries which are Burundi, Comoros, D.R Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Rwanda, Sudan, Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. It is very important that importers produce the Certificate of Origin, together with other relevant documents, obtained upon clearance of goods through Customs, to qualify for the preferential rate of tax applicable.

In the case of a consignment of goods made in and imported from an Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) country i.e. Mauritius, Reunion, Comoros, and Madagascar, the importer will benefit from a reduction of 5% tax on the applicable rate. Example, an importer imports sugar confectionery from Mauritius at the applicable rate of 25%, then the importer will obtain a 5% concession; resulting in paying only 20% tax on the item.

The reduction is applied only if the tax applicable on the goods being imported is more than 5% of the applicable trade tax rate. The importation has to be supported by a Certificate of Origin from the IOC Countries to qualify for the preferential rate or the 5% concession rate. However, where an IOC country is also a member of COMESA, a COMESA certificate instead of an IOC Certificate of Origin will be accepted for consignment or imports processed or manufactured in that country. The reduction in the tax rate is not applicable to all categories of goods.

What are the categories of goods where the 5 % concession on trade tax is not applicable?
The 5 % concession on trade tax is not applicable on the following goods:
  • Goods with tariff less than 5 %
  • Alcoholic Beverage
  • Tobacco and Tobacco manufacture products
  • Petroleum oils
  • Petroleum gasses
When is a Certificate of Origin used?
Importers need to submit a Certificate of Origin accompanied by their Bill of Entry and other necessary documents such as invoices, package list, import permit, and airway bill when importing goods from COMESA or IOC countries. A Certificate of Origin may cover a single importation of goods or multiple importations of identical goods.

How long should copies of Certificate of Origin be retained?
Under the Trade tax Act 1997 and its regulations, the importer is required to retain either the original or a copy of Certificate and all other relevant documents for a period of seven years after the importation of the goods.

What are my obligations as an importer?
It is the responsibility of the importers to comply with Customs laws and regulations relating to the importation and exportation of goods. It is therefore important for them to submit a genuine Certificate of Origin, and all other related documents to Customs. Thus complying with the above mentioned regulations to enhance and speed up cargo clearance.

Where do I go for more information?
If you need further information or clarification on Certificate of Origin, please visit any Customs offices or contact us at this address:
Seychelles Revenue Commission
PO Box 50
Onion Mall
Tel: 293737

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