OECD to review impact of Seychelles laws on IBCs in 2022
According to the FSA, this review will ensure that the island nation’s financial sector is in line with international standards. (Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) – The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) will conduct a review later this year to test the effectiveness of Seychelles’ amended financial services laws in 2021, a senior government official has said.
According to Financial Services Authority (FSA), this review will ensure that the island nation’s financial sector complies with international standards for the exchange of information on tax enterprise product issues.
FSA Director General Damien Thesee told SNA that International Business Companies (IBCs) registered in Seychelles have until the February 6 deadline to ensure that all their accounting information is in order.
“One of our failures in the past was the ability to provide accounting information to other competent authorities in other jurisdictions upon request and that is one of the reasons Seychelles has been blacklisted because we could not exchange information for tax purposes,” Theseus explained.
Thésée indicated that the deadline will not be extended despite receiving requests from some partners in the sector.
“This is a commitment to the EU and the review will establish where we are. Perhaps industry and government were not on the same page in the past, but it is important to follow international standards as we don’t want the risks associated with the financial sector to lead to the country being blacklisted again and losing its correspondent banking relationships, which in turn affects other sectors,” he said. he declared.
Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, has been added to the list of non-cooperative jurisdictions of the European Union (EU) for tax ends in February 2020 and was upgraded to graylist last October.
However, the EU has expressed concern that Seychelles has not been rated at least “largely compliant” by the OECD Global Forum on Trade. tax information with other countries. In April 2020, Seychelles achieved a “partially compliant” rating in the OECD review.
One of the laws amended in 2021 was the International Business Companies Act, introducing a requirement for business service providers to retain information of all IBCs under their administration for a minimum period of seven years.
The information includes the records that companies are required to keep as well as their accounting records. This is also extended to companies that have been dissolved and deregistered. These will then be handed over to FSA when the service providers cease to operate to ensure that information requested by foreign authorities is still accessible.
Thesee added that the sector performed well in 2021, earning SCR167m ($12.1m) in November last year, of which SCR95m ($6.9m) went to the government in the form of dividends.
He told SNA that the law revision could affect this year’s performance.
“We will know the full impact of the review after February, but we expect a number of businesses to close and only good players will remain. That said, we don’t want to attract masses but bad operators. We want those who will conform to the laws,” says Theseus.
In November 2022, 54,764 IBCS were registered in Seychelles.