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Seizure of Goods By Customs

The Trade Tax Act 1997 is another revenue law administered by the Seychelles Revenue Commission (SRC). The Customs Division within SRC is responsible for ensuring compliance to the Trades Tax Act 1997 and its subsequent regulations whilst making sure that l interference with international trade is minimised.

It is the roles of the declarants (i.e. agents, importers and exporters) to self assess the correctness of their declarations and comply with laws and procedures before it is submitted to Customs. As an agent, importer or exporter you are legally responsible for the accuracy of information supplied to Customs and your obligation is to trade within the requirements of the law.

The Regulations, 1997 contain certain offences and if committed attract specific fines and penalties. However this depends upon whether or not the declarant is found to be negligent, grossly negligent or perpetuating actual fraud. Moreover Customs has the power to seize and forfeit merchandise, and impose monetary fines, depending on the severity of the offence assessed.

The following are offences under the Trade Tax Regulations:
  • Smuggling
  • Evading or making an attempt to evade payment of tax
  • Making false declarations and providing false documents
  • Misleading an Officer in the carrying out of his/her duties
  • Failure to comply with the laws ( i.e. importing without a valid permit, importing prohibited items into Seychelles)
Can Customs seize goods entering or exiting the country?
Goods are seized because of the particular circumstances surrounding the importation of such goods. As part of its enforcement duties, Customs may seize goods from both travellers and importers, preventing noncompliant merchandise from entering or leaving the Country in violation of the Trade Tax Regulation. The following goods imported in the country may be liable to forfeiture and may be seized by customs:
  • Goods imported without an imported permit where an import permit is legally required
  • Goods which are prohibited such as arms and ammunition
  • Goods which are smuggled or illegally imported
  • Goods found on ships or aircraft and which are not legally accounted for, and is not passenger’s baggage
  • Goods with false import documents , willfully misleading in any particular way
  • Goods which have been falsely described on legal import document requirements, by which the importation has been authorized.
  • Taxable goods concealed in any manner as to avoid payment.
  • Goods which are infected with pests as certified by a quarantine officer
  • Taxable goods which are found in the possession or baggage of any person who denies having such goods.
  • Goods which entered the country where the owner is unknown and nobody has claimed the good after a specific period
Will you be served with a Notice of Seizure when your goods are seized?
When there is seizure of goods, a Notice of Seizure must be served upon both the importer and every other entity with a valid interest in the goods. The notice must contain specific information about what was seized. It must also state the laws applicable for the violation in justification of the seizure. When the owner or importer is present at the seizure no Notice shall be issued.
The owner or importer can object to the Notice. However they must notify Customs within 7 days from the date the Notice is served and can enter a legal proceeding against Customs within 1 month from the date of the notification to Customs.

What happens to the goods that Customs seizes?
Under the Trade Tax Regulations 1997 and its regulations, Customs has the power to dispose any unclaimed goods and seized goods. (Regulation 140 & 206) Confiscated goods will be dealt with in the best interest of revenue that is destroyed, used, or reserved for public service depending on the circumstances that has lead to the seizure. Goods will be disposed in the manner as directed by the Trade Tax Regulations or by the proceedings of the law. Customs shall not be responsible for compensating for the value of any disposed goods and depending on the circumstances the importer may need to bear the full cost of storing and disposal of goods.

Where do I go for more information?
If you need further information or clarification on Customs Offences, please visit any Customs offices or contact us at this address:
Seychelles Revenue Commission
PO Box 50
Onion Mall
Victoria
Tel: 293737
Email: commissioner@ src.gov.sc



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