Saturday, August 24, 2019

FAQs

General Questions

  1. What is the role of the Financial Services Authority?
  2. The Seychelles Financial Services Authority (“FSA”) is the regulator for non-bank financial services in the Seychelles. Established under the Financial Services Authority Act, 2013 (“FSA Act”), the FSA is responsible for the licensing, supervision of persons in and development of the non-bank financial services industry of the Seychelles. The FSA is also responsible for the registration of International Business Companies, Foundations, Limited Partnerships, and International Trusts in the Seychelles.

  3. What are the registration fees, application fees and licence fees charged by the FSA?
  4. All applicable fees are outlined in the Prescribed Fees.

  5. What is a Politically Exposed Person?
  6. A Politically exposed person is an individual who is or has been, during the preceding 3 years, entrusted with a prominent public function in:

    (i)        Seychelles

    (ii)       any other country or

    (iii)      an international body or organisation

    This also includes an immediate family member or a close associate of a person entrusted with a prominent public function.

  7. What can I do if I have a complaint against an entity licensed by the FSA?
  8. The individual is advised to approach the licensee with their concern and attempt to resolve the issue. If the issue is still left unresolved then the complaint can be escalated to the Fair Trading Commission (FTC). FTC will evaluate the complaints received and inform the FSA of the case so that the required enforcement action may be taken.

  9. If I am not a resident of Seychelles, what procedures do I have to follow to obtain a Tax Clearance Certificate?
  10. If an applicant is not a resident of Seychelles, the equivalent of the Tax Clearance Certificate must be submitted from the relevant country’s tax authority where the person resides. In order to facilitate this process, the FSA may issue a letter to the applicant (upon request by the applicant) which can be used to request this information from the relevant tax authority outside Seychelles.

  11. To whom should I forward enquiries regarding licences under the administration of the FSA?
  12. Enquiries on licensing related matters should be forwarded to the FSA:

    By Post:

    The CEO
    Financial Services Authority
    P.O. Box 991
    Victoria
    Mahé
    Republic of Seychelles

    By e-mail:

    Fiduciary queries = fiduciary_licensing@fsaseychelles.sc

    Insurance queries = insuranceservices@fsaseychelles.sc

    Capital Market and Collective Investment Schemes queries = capitalmarkets.supervision@fsaseychelles.sc

    Gambling queries = gambling.supervision@fsaseychelles.sc

    ITZ queries = leo@fsaseychelles.c or enquiries@fsaseychelles.sc

    Registry queries = Registry@fsaseychelles.sc

    Tel:              +248 4 380 800
    Fax:             +248 4 380 888

  13. Can I submit the licence application through a third person or by post?
  14. Yes, however we encourage the applicant to submit the application personally. The FSA will first review the application to verify its completeness (i.e. all necessary documents have been submitted) and the necessary feedback will be provided to the applicant in the shortest possible time-period. This is to ensure that there is no delay in the processing of your application.

  15. How can I apply for a licence with the FSA?
  16. An application for a licence shall be made to the FSA accompanied by the relevant Application Form, application fee and other relevant documents. The application forms and application guidelines for the different licences are available on the FSA’s website (www.fsaseychelles.sc).

    The applicant shall follow the instructions provided in the application form and ensure that the application submitted has been completed in full. Failure to disclose and submit all necessary information may lead to the FSA rejecting the application.

  17. Where do we submit the completed licence applications?
  18. All applications seeking the approval of the FSA for a licence must be addressed and either hand delivered or mailed to:

    The Chief Executive Officer
    Financial Services Authority
    P.O. Box 991
    Victoria
    Mahé
    Republic of Seychelles

  19. Where can we access the legislations, codes and guidelines pertaining to the licence being applied for?
  20. All applicants should become familiar with the FSA’s Codes and application procedures Guidelines. Applicants are advised that the relevant legislations, regulations and guidelines, pertaining to the licence being applied for, are available on the FSA’s website (www.fsaseychelles.sc).

    Legislations: Applicants may find the legislations useful in the application process which can be accessed from the ’s website: www.fsaseychelles.sc.

  21. How long does it take for FSA to respond to the licence application?
  22. The  FSA Service Standards Policy and Procedures outlines the timeframe to respond to an application received.

  23. In the event that I wish to discontinue my application, will I be reimbursed the application fee?
  24. The application fee once paid to the FSA is nonrefundable.

Registry

  1. How do I incorporate an IBC?
  2. To register an IBC in Seychelles, the interested person must approach an International Corporate Service Provider (ICSP) licensed in Seychelles by the FSA who will in turn laisse with the FSA to register the company.

  3. How long does it take to register an International Business Company (IBC)?
  4. The Service standards outlines the timeframe for registration.

Fiduciary

  1. What are the types of licences issued under the ICSP Act?
  2. The following licenses are issued under the ICSP Act:

    • International Corporate Services Licence
    • International Trustee Services Licence
    • Foundation Services Licence
  3. What is “International Corporate Service”?
  4. “International Corporate Services” is defined under the Act as the provision of any of the following services in or from within Seychelles:

    1. the formation (including continuation), management or administration of a specified entity
    2. serving as a registered agent, director or other officer of a specified entity
    3. the provision of a registered office, place of business or address for a specified entity
    4. serving as a nominee shareholder in a specified entity
    5. such other services as may be prescribed

    A specified entity includes:

    • an international business company
    • a company issued with a special licence under the Companies (Special Licences)
    • Act
    • a protected cell company
    • a limited partnership established under the Limited Partnerships Act
    • such other body corporate as may be prescribed
  5. What is “International Trustee Services”?
  6. “International Trustee Services” is defined under the Act as the provision of any of the following services in or from within Seychelles:

    1. services connected with the formation, registration or administration of an international trust
    2. serving as a resident trustee of an international trust
    3. such other services as may be prescribed
  7. What is “Foundation Services”?
  8. “Foundation services” is defined under the Act as the provision of any of the following services in or from within Seychelles:

    1. services connected with the formation, registration (including continuation) or administration of a foundation
    2. serving as a registered agent, councilor of a foundation
    3. the provision of registered office of a foundation
    4. the provision of councilor or protector for Seychelles foundations
    5. such other services as may be prescribed
  9. Will an applicant for any of the licences under the ICSP Act be eligible for a reduced licence fee if the application is approved by the FSA during the middle of the year / month?
  10. Depending on the month during which the application is approved by the FSA, the applicant shall be entitled to a reduced first annual fee which will be pro-rated on a quarterly basis.

  11. What happens when a licensee fails to pay its annual licence fee on time under the ICSP Act?
  12. Section 4(2) of the ICSP Act requires every licensee to pay the annual licence fee and lodge with the FSA’s Compliance Form as prescribed by the FSA in January of each year.

    Should a licensee fail to lodge the Compliance Form together with the payment of the annual licence fee in full on or before 31st January in any year, a penalty equivalent to 50% of the annual licence fee will be applied on the licensee for each month or part thereof during which the annual licence fee remains unpaid.

  13. What are the share capital requirements of a licensee under the ICSP Act?
  14. Section 8(2) of the ICSP Act provides that a licensee shall have and maintain an issued and fully paid up share capital as set out in Schedule 4 of the ICSP Act as follows:

    • Not less than SCR150,000 where the licensee holds an international corporate services licence
    • Not less than SCR200,000 where the licensee holds a foundation licence
    • Not less than SCR250,000 where the licensee holds an international trustee services licence

    Where a licensee holds more than one licence under the ICSP Act, the FSA will accept the minimum paid-up share capital to be the higher applicable amount of the licences being held.

  15. Can an IBC or a CSL do business in Seychelles?
  16. Yes

  17. Can PCCs be set up in Seychelles?
  18. Protected Cell Companies (PCCs) may be set up in Seychelles under either the IBC Act, 2016 or the Companies Ordinance, 1972 in the following manner:

    • By lodging a PCC application under the Protected Cell Companies Act, 2003. The application guidelines for PCC provides for the application requirements and the relevant fees (http://www.fsaseychelles.sc/index.php/legal-framework/securities-investment); or
    • By lodging a PCC application under the International Business Companies Act, 2016 (“IBC Act”). Section 221 and the Second Schedule (Part 1) of the IBC Act outlines the application requirements and the relevant fees respectively. The IBC guidelines provides additional information on the application procedures and requirements (http://www.fsaseychelles.sc/index.php/legal-framework/fiduciary).

Insurance

  1. For a general insurance plus a long term insurance licence, what should be the minimum paid up capital?
  2. US$100,000 or its equivalent in a currency that is fully convertible to other internationally accepted currency.

  3. Does the paid up capital have to be maintained in a Seychelles bank account at all time?
  4. Yes, both domestic and non-domestic insurers should maintain their paid-up capital in a Seychelles bank account at all times.

  5. If a non domestic insurance company does not have a physical presence in Seychelles, the company will require a Principal Insurance Representative. Can the registered agent be the PIR?
  6. It is not required to appoint the Principal Insurance Representative, the company secretary may suffice. However, a registered agent can be appointed as the PIR subject to approval from the Authority.

  7. Directors of a non domestic insurance company may be a Seychelles resident or a non-resident. Should the company appoint an insurance manager? If yes, should the person be based in Seychelles?
  8. Pursuant to section 11 of the Insurance Act, 2008, if the FSA has reasonable grounds to believe that, in order to enable it to exercise its supervisory role as the insurance regulator, it may require a licensee to operate an office in Seychelles.

  9. Can the company appoint overseas actuary, auditor, bank?
  10. Yes, you will have to lodge a formal application with the FSA for same.

  11. Can a Seychelles IBC conduct insurance business in Seychelles?
  12. No

  13. What are the taxes imposed on the local insurance premiums?
  14. The below taxes are applicable on each insurance policies:

    • 15% Value added Tax (VAT) on gross premium (excluding Life Insurance, Marine cargo, and private medical insurance)
    • 5% of the reinsurance premium ceded is charged as reinsurance withholding tax
    • 1% Policy Owners Protection Fund (POPF) is levied on gross premiums
  15. Are actuaries and auditors subject to Fit & Proper assessment by the FSA?
  16. Sections 36 and 40 of the Insurance Act, 2008 requires that the FSA provide approval for the appointment of auditors and actuaries to all insurance companies. As per procedure, the approval is subject to a fit and proper assessment of the leading auditors and actuary representing the firms who will be handling the insurer’s accounts. In order to conduct such assessment, the FSA will require the submission of a Personal Questionnaire (PQ) form accompanied by the relevant documents.

  17. What are the requirements for setting up a brokerage business?
  18. In line with section 67 of the Insurance Act, 2008 (“the Act”), the applicant of a broker license must submit the documents listed in the Insurance Broker guidance on the FSA website.

Gambling

  1. Which sectors of the gambling industry does the FSA supervise?
  2. The FSA is mandated to administer the Seychelles Gambling Act, 2014 (SGA), through which it licences, regulates and supervises casinos, slot machines and interactive gambling activities in the Seychelles. The other aspects of the gambling industry such as lottery and games of chance remain under the purview of the Seychelles Licensing Authority.

  3. Do I have to register a company in Seychelles to apply for a licence?
  4. Yes. An application for a casino, slot machine or an interactive gambling licence under the SGA must be made by a company registered under the Companies Ordinance, 1972.

  5. What does the FSA recommend I do, before I apply for a licence under the SGA?
  6. The FSA highly recommend that, the applicant –

    (a) has located a designated premise to conducted the gambling activity in Seychelles which has been approved by the Seychelles Planning Authority (SPA) to be used for such gambling activities
    (b) has obtained the relevant sanction from the Government (i.e. the Land Division of the Ministry of Habitat, Infrastructure, Land and Transport (MHILT))   for any non-Seychellois holding an interest in the applicant company to lease, purchase or acquire immovable property (land or building) in Seychelles for the proposed gambling activity.

  7. Is the FSA’s approval required before the importation of gambling device including accessories?
  8. Yes

  9. What are the requirements for a person to be employed in a gambling business under the SGA?
  10. All employees of a casino, slot machine or interactive business must hold a certificate of approval issued by the FSA before they can be employed in the industry. An application for a certificate of approval shall be made to the FSA in the form of a Personal Questionnaire which is available on the FSA’s website. A person specified in section 34(1) of the SGA is not qualified for a certificate of approval.

Capital Markets and Collective Investment Schemes

  1. Does the FSA issue spot forex?
  2. The FSA does not supervise or regulate the foreign exchange market. This falls under the purview of the Central Bank of Seychelles.

  3. What is the leverage to forex?
  4. The FSA does not supervise or regulate the foreign exchange market.  This falls under the purview of the Central Bank of Seychelles.