flag Seychelles Seychelles: Trade Profile

Foreign Trade in Figures

The Archipelago of Seychelles is very open to trade, with a trade-to-GDP ratio of 189% (World Bank, 2020 – latest data available). The country is a member of COMESA (The Common Market of East and South Africa) and of the WTO since 2015. Three-quarters of exports are made of prepared or preserved fish (76.3%), followed by petroleum oils (7.2%) and frozen fish (4.6%); while the country imports mostly petroleum oils (15.8%), frozen fish (13.1%), yachts and other vessels (5.4%), and other boats (2.9% - Comtrade 2020).

Seychelles’ largest clients are France (35.9% of total exports), the United Kingdom (21.9%), Italy (9.7%), the United Arab Emirates (7.8%), and Germany (6.3%); whereas its main suppliers are the United Arab Emirates (25.8% of total imports), France (11.1%), Spain (10.8%), the UK (6.9%), and South Africa (6.3% - Comtrade 2020). Customs duties remain comparatively high in Seychelles, especially in the fishing sector. In addition, while the country does not have major trade barriers, the lack of infrastructure also remains an important obstacle to trade. The government has acted to encourage foreign trade, including tax incentives for the tourism industry and the reduction of customs procedures at ports. To consult the list of trade agreements, refer to the website of the Seychelles Trade Portal.

The country has a structural trade deficit, and the trend is expected to continue in future years. According to WTO exports of goods stood at USD 432 million (a decrease of 16.6% year-on-year) in 2020, against USD 1 billion of imports (-14%). As regards to services, the country is a net exporter thanks to its tourism activities: in 2020 exports totalled USD 651 billion against USD 489 million in imports. Nevertheless, the former was severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the travel restrictions that followed, losing 41.4% year-on-year. Data from the World Bank shows that in 2020 the archipelago’s trade deficit stood at 25.9% of its GDP (down from 11.6% recorded one year earlier). Preliminary data from the National Bureau of Statistics shows that in 2021, domestic exports were valued at SCR 5,4 billion (6.5% higher than in 2020), whereas imports stood at SCR 18.9 billion (+9.5).

 
Foreign Trade Indicators 20162017201820192020
Imports of Goods (million USD) 1,0431,3021,2711,1671,004
Exports of Goods (million USD) 448547569518432
Imports of Services (million USD) 507548665676489
Exports of Services (million USD) 8949821,0991,111651
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 59n/an/an/a
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 86n/an/an/a
Trade Balance (million USD) -532-590-615-631-433
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 174189182179189
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 931019895111
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 8189848477

Source: WTO – World Trade Organisation ; World Bank - Latest available data.

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Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
2020
Bermuda 19.4%
France 15.5%
Cayman Islands 12.2%
United Arab Emirates 11.8%
United Kingdom 9.0%
See More Countries 32.1%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2020
United Arab Emirates 19.2%
Br. Virgin Isds 11.9%
Germany 9.3%
France 8.3%
Cayman Islands 7.4%
See More Countries 43.9%

Source: Comtrade, Latest Available Data

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Main Products

1.0 bn USD of products exported in 2020
Yachts and other vessels for pleasure or sports;...Yachts and other vessels for pleasure or sports; rowing boats and canoes 47.2%
Prepared or preserved fish; caviar and caviar...Prepared or preserved fish; caviar and caviar substitutes prepared from fish eggs 24.2%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 10.1%
Frozen fish (excl. fish fillets and other fish...Frozen fish (excl. fish fillets and other fish meat of heading 0304) 8.0%
Cruise ships, excursion boats, ferry-boats, cargo...Cruise ships, excursion boats, ferry-boats, cargo ships, barges and similar vessels for the transport of persons or goods 2.5%
See More Products 8.0%
1.5 bn USD of products imported in 2020
Yachts and other vessels for pleasure or sports;...Yachts and other vessels for pleasure or sports; rowing boats and canoes 37.1%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 11.6%
Frozen fish (excl. fish fillets and other fish...Frozen fish (excl. fish fillets and other fish meat of heading 0304) 8.8%
Powered aircraft "e.g. helicopters and aeroplanes...Powered aircraft "e.g. helicopters and aeroplanes"; spacecraft, incl. satellites, and suborbital and spacecraft launch vehicles 3.2%
Olive oil and its fractions obtained from the...Olive oil and its fractions obtained from the fruit of the olive tree solely by mechanical or other physical means under conditions that do not lead to deterioration of the oil, whether or not refined, but not chemically modified 1.9%
See More Products 37.5%

Source: Comtrade, Latest Available Data

 

To go further, check out our service Import Export Flows

 
 

Main Services

1.7 bn USD of services exported in 2018
56.06%
32.22%
10.52%
0.75%
0.37%
0.08%
0.7 bn USD of services imported in 2018
53.99%
32.05%
10.33%
1.11%
0.86%
0.64%
0.49%
0.33%
0.20%

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, Latest Available Data

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Commercial Policy

International Economic Cooperation
Member of SADC - Southern African Development Community

Member of COMESA - Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa

Assessment of Commercial Policy
Average Customs Duty (Excluding Agricultural Products)
15.9%
 
 

Trade Compliance

International Economic Cooperation
Member of SADC - Southern African Development Community

Member of COMESA - Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa

Useful Resources
National Organisation of Intellectual Property
You can contact the Registration Division by Email.
 
 
 

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Latest Update: October 2022