New exporter-based certification to ease exports of Seychelles products to EU |09 February 2023
● REX system will come into force in July
Seychelles’ exporters have learned about a new online database development system, introduced by the European Union called REX system, which they will be using effective July 2023, when they export to European countries.
REX system will replace the EUR.1 certificate presently being issued for goods originating from Seychelles.
According to the classification, valuation and origin manager at customs division, Gerda Cesar, the system will allow exporters to self-certify the origin of their products without prior authentication by the customs division of the Seychelles Revenue Commission, simply by making a ‘statement of origin’ on their invoice or other commercial documents.
On Tuesday morning, the exporters were able to get details about the new changes in procedure and guidelines, including how to register into the system and make origin declarations on invoices, through a half-day seminar, organised by the customs division at the Care House, in Victoria.
The session included a detailed presentation by a senior trade and customs expert, Danilo Desiderio, on behalf of GOPA Worldwide Consulting, a German-based company that coordinates the EU-funded long-term technical assistance programme to support the implementation of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) in Seychelles.
Registration for a REX number is free of charge. Ms Cesar said the REX number will be issued once, and once this is done, exporters will be using the same number every time they export goods to EU countries. This will save time and cost.
“Currently what happens is that every time the exporter has a consignment leaving the country, he or she has to provide a EUR.1 certificate where they pay R100 for each consignment. With the REX system this will fade out, meaning the R100 will no longer be necessary,” explained Ms Cesar.
She said monitoring of goods by the customs division will continue as the exporters will have to fill in an information sheet detailing all the goods being exported.
During Tuesday’s session, exporters were able to seek clarification about the new system. To note there are presently 18 exporters registered and the goods they export vary from fish to cinnamon.
Paul Rouillon, who is into exporting recycled oil, said although he welcomes the initiative as it will give businesses online presence and make it easier for potential customers to learn about them, the R100 savings they will make on each consignment is not really significant.
“For me at the end of the day, another form, another step. Going online simplifies my work, because I will not have to travel with a lot of documents to Mahé, since I am based on Praslin, sit there and wait for it to be stamped, so it is one less hassle. Also the idea of potential clients learning about you when searching online to see whether you are registered that is a benefit I guess especially if you do not have a website,” said Mr Rouillon.
For his part, Pascal Azemia from Seward Company Limited said they will wait for July to see how the system actually works. “From what they have explained today the new system I suppose will simplify all our procedures but we will wait and see if that is the case,” he told Seychelles NATION.
All details about the REX system are available on the European Commission website.
Text & photos by Patsy Canaya