SEYCHELLES: Challenging France on its Tax Haven Blacklist.

As published on internationalinvestment.net, Wednesday February 5, 2020.


French experts are expected to travel to Seychelles to see what local authorities are doing following France's decision to put the island nation on its blacklist of tax havens.

Seychelles' president said that the presence of the experts will help France better understand the work being done and what can still be improved.

"I think that in the following four to six months we will be able to solve the problems that exist between the local Ministry of Finance, our offshore sector and the department that oversees finance in France," Danny Faure said, Seychelles News Agency reports.

A new, stronger bill on anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism will be tabled before the National Assembly for approval in February, a top government official said.

The secretary of state for finance, trade and investment, Patrick Payet, said this is part of a phased approach to strengthen the domestic framework of the local Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT).

"We have to ensure that our law is strong so that it allows the Registrar General which registers these companies and the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) to work together to spot these suspicious organisations, and investigate them," added the secretary of state.

Faure also said that a national committee has been established to look at relevant laws as well as the relationship Seychelles has with the European Union and the OECD -- the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Last December, France added Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, to its blacklist of tax havens for not providing adequate information on some French offshore entities operating in the island nation's jurisdiction.

While Seychelles has taken steps to improve frameworks in place and ensure robust regulation and legislation, there are still some challenges posed by the current systems that need to be addressed.

One of the key challenges is the fact that the tax laws of Seychelles and the International Business Companies (IBC) Act do not require IBCs to have their accounts audited.

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