Certain products may require a license or permit to be imported into Seychelles, and obtaining these licenses can be a time-consuming process. Seychelles has strict regulations on food safety and plant health, and importers must comply with these measures to ensure that their products are safe for consumption and do not pose a risk to local ecosystems. Some products may be subject to import quotas, which limit the amount of the product that can be imported into the island in a given period. Consult the Seychelles Trade Portal for further information.
Customs Duties and Taxes on Imports
According to the latest figures form the World Bank, the effectively applied tariff weighted average for Seychelles is 1.47% and the most favored nation (MFN) weighted average tariff is 3.88%.
The Harmonized System Nomenclature provides a universal classification system for all types of goods, and serves as the standard for importers, exporters, shipping companies, and marine insurance firms. In Seychelles, this system is presented in Schedule 3 of the Customs Management (Tariff and Classification of Goods) Regulations 2013, which comprises 99 Chapters. The first six digits of the code are uniform across all countries that adopt the system, while Seychelles policy makers assign the final two digits.
Importers must ensure that the correct model of the declaration is selected to ensure that the correct type of control and data of the ASYCUDA World System is made available. Bills of Entry are required for the following Models of Declaration:
IM 4 Entry for home use/Ex-warehouse
IM 5 Temporary Importation
IM 6 Re-Importation
IM 7 Entry for warehousing
IM 8 Transhipment & Ship store Procedures
SD 4 Simplified Declaration
The Importers or their agents should prepare the declaration from the following documents:
Bill of lading or Airway bill
Import permit (if applicable)
Click here to download the guide to the procedure for the declaration of goods.
Seychelles has a population of around 99.2 thousand people, with a GDP per capita (PPP) of USD 37,661 in 2022, among the highest in Africa (IMF). The World Bank classifies the country as a high-income economy. The archipelago has a relatively young population: the median age is 36.8 years, with people between 0-14 years old accounting for almost 18% of the total population. Other age groups are as follows: 15-64 years 72.58%, 65 years and over 9.47% (CIA Factbook). Seychelles had a Gini coefficient of 32.1 in 2020, according to the World Bank. This is lower than the average for sub-Saharan Africa (43). Nevertheless, the top 10% of income earners in Seychelles earn more than 40% of the country's total income, according to a report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Meanwhile, the bottom 40% of earners account for only around 12% of total income. Income inequality is more pronounced in urban areas, where higher-paying jobs are concentrated than in rural areas. Overall, 58.8% of the population is estimated to live in urban areas (CIA Factbook). The latest data by the World Bank show that around one-fourth of the population is living below the poverty line. The majority of Seychellois are Roman Catholics (76.2%), followed by Protestants (10.5%), other Christians (2.4%), Hindus (2.4%), and Muslims (1.6% - CIA Factbook).
Seychellois consumers are open to foreign brands, with effective advertising, competitive pricing, prompt delivery, and reliable after-sales servicing all being important factors for success in the Seychelles market. Being a small island nation that relies heavily on imports, products can be expensive; therefore, the price is often a key consideration for Seychellois consumers when making purchasing decisions. Geography also influences product availability, making it an important factor in the purchasing decision process. Moreover, Seychellois consumers tend to prefer established brands that are well-known and trusted for their quality and reliability. Lastly, there is a growing awareness and interest in sustainable and eco-friendly products among Seychellois consumers, particularly with regard to local and organic food products.
The distribution sector in Seychelles is primarily composed of small and medium-sized enterprises that operate in retail, wholesale, and logistics. The retail sector is the largest component of the distribution sector, with a wide variety of shops and supermarkets offering everything from basic necessities to luxury goods. Many of these retailers source their products from overseas and operate on a cash-and-carry basis. The wholesale sector is also important, providing essential goods and supplies to retailers and other businesses. Due to the country's small size and limited population, the distribution sector in Seychelles is relatively small compared to other countries. According to the latest available data from the Seychelles National Bureau of Statistics, in the first semester of 2022, the turnover of the wholesale and retail sector was estimated at SCR 825.6 million by the NBS (compared to SCR 596.9 million in the same period one year earlier), accounting for 6.9% of GDP. In the same period, the countribution of the transportation and storage sector reached 3.4% of the country's GDP.
The main supermarket chains in Seychelles include: SPAR (which owns several outlets, including two in Victoria), STC Hypermarket (owned by Seychelles Trading Company, a state-owned enterprise), Chez Rosette (a local supermarket chain with two stores in Seychelles, one in Anse Aux Pins and one in Baie Lazare), K-Market (a small supermarket chain with two stores inVictoria).
Retail Sector Organisations
Retailers Association of Seychelles (RAS)
The internet sector in Seychelles has seen significant growth and development in recent years, with increasing access and availability of high-speed internet services. Seychelles has a population of around 99.258, with an internet penetration rate of 81.6% as of 2022. According to the latest data by Ookla, the median fixed internet connection speed is 30.86 Mbps. Around 67 thousand people use social media (although social media users may not represent unique individuals), with Facebook being the main platform (57 thousand users), followed by LinkedIn (38 thousand users) and Instagram (25.3 thousand users – Data Reportal). Data from GSMA Intelligence shows that there were 117.1 thousand cellular mobile connections in Seychelles at the start of 2023. Despite the progress in internet access and infrastructure, there is still a digital divide in Seychelles, with some remote areas and low-income households lacking access to affordable internet services. The latest figures from the National Bureau of Statistics show that the ICT sector as a whole recorded a turnover of SCR 1.07 billion in 2021, up by 26.4% compared to the previous year.
E-commerce in Seychelles is limited, but its use is on the rise, particularly after the COVID-19 outbreak. The main obstacle is that the speed and bandwidth required for modern e-commerce transactions are lacking in some of the more remote areas. The E-commerce market in Seychelles is projected to grow by 14.35% (2023-2027) resulting in a market volume of USD 46.41 million in 2027 (Statista). A survey conducted by the Seychelles Chamber of Commerce and Industry in 2019 found that 56% of Seychellois had shopped online at least once in the past year, with clothing, electronics, and household items being the most commonly purchased products. Online payments are typically made using credit or debit cards, with some e-commerce platforms also accepting bank transfers or cash on delivery. There is currently no specific e-commerce legislation in Seychelles, but existing consumer protection laws apply to online transactions.
Organizing Goods Transport
Main Useful Means of Transport
Being a remote archipelago in the Indian Ocean, goods to and within Seychelles are transported by sea. According to the latest data available from the Seychelles National Bureau of Statistics, the total volume of goods transported by sea in Seychelles in 2020 was approximately 276,000 metric tons. The Seychelles Ports Authority operates the country's main seaports, which are located in Victoria on Mahé Island, and Baie Sainte Anne on Praslin Island. In addition, there is also a small airport on each of the three main islands, which handle a limited amount of cargo transport by air. Transportation and storage contributed 7.1% to GDP during 2015-20. Seychelles became a net importer of transport services during the review period (WTO, latest data available). According to the latest available data from the Seychelles National Bureau of Statistics, in the first semester of 2022, the turnover of the transportation and storage sector was estimated at SCR 413.7 million (compared to SCR 266 million in the same period one year earlier), accounting for 3.4% of GDP.
The industrial sector in Seychelles is relatively small and contributes around 13% to the country's GDP. The sector is primarily focused on the processing of local raw materials and the production of goods for domestic consumption. The manufacturing sector in Seychelles is mainly centred around food processing, which includes fish canning, meat processing, and the production of baked goods, confectionery, and beverages. The sector also includes the production of textiles, garments, and footwear, as well as the manufacturing of construction materials such as cement, bricks, and tiles. Overall, the manufacturing sector is estimated to account for 5% of GDP. According to the latest figures by the National Bureau of Statistics, industrial production in the fourth quarter of 2022 decreased by 21.6% compared to the third quarter.
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