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National Assembly

National Assembly votes for Seychelles to join international convention on coding system |26 March 2020

Members of the National Assembly yesterday voted to approve for Seychelles to become a party to the International Convention on the Harmonised Commodity Description and Coding System.

Originally the motion to that effect tabled by the leader of government business Charles de Commarmond read:

‘That the Assembly resolves to ratify the International Convention on the Harmonised Commodity Description and Coding System’ but after lengthy debate on the matter, its implications, the phrasing of the motion, an amendment was proposed by LDS member Bernard Georges resulting in the motion reading as follows:

‘That the Assembly resolves to authorise the accession of Seychelles to the International Convention on the Harmonised Commodity Description and Coding System.’

In his presentation of the motion, Mr de Commarmond noted that Seychelles forms part of the World Customs Organisation (WCO) since July 25, 2000. It is an independent intergovernmental organisation whose mission is to increase efficiency and effectiveness of customs administration in partner countries. It is also responsible for the administration of the Convention of the Harmonised Coding System better known as the HS Code in Seychelles which is a tool developed to classify and describe all commodities for different reasons. It also facilitates trade, the collection of data, tax application on commodities.

Seychelles has been using the coding system since 1988 and it has now decided to be formally part of the convention.

The HS code is continuously being reviewed and a new version is published every five years.

Being party to the convention, Seychelles will benefit from technical assistance to amend its laws during the five-year review period; technical assistance can also be sought in relation to clear confusion related to the classification process of new products, changes in classification namely of technological products and Seychelles is also able to vote and veto any propositions and changes on classification that can have an impact on us, able to propose amendments, ask technical questions, share views on classification, discuss propositions tabled by other parties to the convention…

Mr de Commarmond noted that Seychelles is being encouraged to be a party to the convention not only by the WCO but also the African Union which is encouraging all its members to join with the aim to allow the African continent to also exert its influence which is at present very limited, in an important tool which has great impacts both on regional and world trade.


Marie-Anne Lepathy

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