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Seychelles President Passes a Bill Safeguarding Company Confidentiality

13 February 2019
In 2016, the new Section 152 required that businesses registered in The Seychelles file a list of directors. They had until the 1st December to comply. This list would then be publicly available. Further, Section 152 also required a private register for official use only of a list of beneficial ownership.
However, this move was not popular. In December 2018, President Danny Faure signed into law an amendment to the country’s International Business Act 2016. This was designed to maintain confidentiality of offshore businesses registered in The Seychelles.

Pressure from Businesses in Seychelles

The offshore sector protested this move and the argument was made that many businesses registered in The Seychelles would simply relocate following implementation of Section 152. The Seychelles government were unmoved by the claims and pointed out that a public register of company ownership was fast becoming regulation across jurisdictions. However, this has not yet become the case and only a limited number have introduced the measure.
The Seychelles relies heavily on its offshore financial sector. Realising this, Ahmed Atif proposed that Section 152 be suspended with immediate effect.

Suspension Approved

The recommendation went to the National Assembly and an amendment passed prior to the 1st December deadline for registry. However, international businesses registered in The Seychelles are still legally bound to keep a register of their directors but at the registered office while also filing a copy with the Registrar. It is still possible for legal bodies to access this register if necessary.
The previous measure that the details be available for public view has been rescinded. It is not yet clear how this will affect The Seychelles standing with the OECD regarding the Global Transparency Forum.

See Seychelles Fact Sheet

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