Customs regulations to be reinforced


23-November-2011

This will be possible now that the National Assembly has ratified the International Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance for the Prevention, Investigation and Repression of Customs Offences.

A motion pursuant to Article 64 (4) of the Constitution calling the Assembly to ratify the convention was tabled by the leader of government business Marie-Louise Potter yesterday.

The convention – which is better known as the Nairobi Convention – was adopted in June 1977 in Nairobi, Kenya. It is an instrument of the World Customs Organisation (WCO) of which Seychelles became a member in June 2000.

It aims at making easier international cooperation relating to reinforcing customs regulations between countries.

It establishes the basis for bilateral and multilateral cooperation which allow countries to strengthen their customs regulations and exchange information and intelligence on taxes and duties, value of commodities, classification of tariffs, origins of goods being imported and judicial processes related to such cases. This is all essential in today’s globalised world where cross border or transnational crimes are on the rise and are becoming more sophisticated.

Ratifying the convention is important for Seychelles as it will help modernise our customs administration to allow it to better detect customs crimes such as commercial fraud, forgery, money laundering, illegal arms and drug trafficking which are becoming more sophisticated and well organised.

Seychelles is among 162 countries who are members of the convention but until June last year only 51 countries had ratified it.

Mrs Potter explained that the main reason for this is because many of these countries do not have enough capacity to apply the various provisions of the convention as stipulated in its 11 annexes.

But the Nairobi Convention allows for member countries to conclude agreements only on annexes they can carry out.

Countries of the region which have already ratified the convention are Mauritius, India and South Africa.

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