Seychelles is swiftly cementing its reputation as a regional logistical leader as an International Trade Zone hub. Strategically located in the middle of the Indian Ocean and blessed with the deepest sea port of the region, Seychelles is the natural port of call for transshipments from the Arabian Peninsula, Suez Canal, Asia, and South Africa.
It is further complemented by a number of investor-friendly incentives, enshrined in the International Trade Zone Act, 1995, chief amongst which are a zero rate of taxation, fixed licence fees and non nationality restrictions on foreign labour.
Any international trade zones fall under the portfolio of the Minister of Industry & International Business, which has delegated such function to the ITZ Authority (falling within the competence of the Seychelles International Business Authority). Effectively, these ITZs are considered as outside the territorial scope of the Seychelles, and subject to bespoke legistlative measures, set forth in the aforesaid Act, 1995 and regulations thereto.
The ITZ itself is designed to facilitate trade through the provision of infrastructure necessary to meet the needs of re-distributors, exporters and re-exporters of goods and services. An ITZ licence application needs to be submitted to the Authority. The Authority shall entertain each application on its own merits and evaluate the projects submitted for its appraisal, regard being had to the integrity and reputation of the jurisdiction, value of the project and job creation. All applications are treated in strict confidence.
The main advantages of Seychelles may be summarised as follows:
- a member of the Lomé Convention – covering preferential import conditions to EU Member States;
- a member of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA);
- swift and efficient clearance of imports and exports;
- highly competitive freight rates for export cargo;
- State of the art warehouses and premises;
- low leasing / warehouse costs
The International Trade Zone (ITZ) is a zone created by an Act of Parliament to allow for international trading in and through Seychelles. The ITZ is managed by the Seychelles International Business Authority (SIBA). This Authority, known as the ITZ Authority is mandated by law to regulate and control the activities that take place inside any declared International Trade Zone in Seychelles.
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