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Amendments to the Companies Act and Registration of Associations Act |20 October 2021

Amendments to the Companies Act and Registration of Associations Act

Mrs Pierre accompanied by Mr Bastienne during the interview (Photo: Louis Toussaint)

Domestic companies to benefit from amnesty programme


Domestic companies and associations will benefit from an amnesty programme exempting them from meeting obligations under the Companies Act and Registration of Associations Act until July 31, 2022.

This follows amendments to both pieces of legislation which were approved by the cabinet of ministers recently, giving the green light to the amnesty.

Wendy Pierre, Registrar General at the Registration Division, explained that the amendments give an extension to companies and associations in regards to meeting obligations such as submission of annual returns and payment of annual fees.

The decision to implement this amnesty programme stems from difficulties encountered by companies and associations to comply with the Companies Act and Registration of Associations Act, mainly due to the effects of Covid-19.

The item was pushed by the Seychelles Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) which brought the challenges faced by the private sector to the attention of the government.

“I am very happy with our discussions with the Registration Division and that it was able to understand our situation, which is why we feel that it is only fair we are present today when the registrar makes this announcement,” stated chairperson of the SCCI, Oliver Bastienne.

“We have also put forward to the Registration Division and the government, the fact that there are some companies that have already met their obligations but with some penalties. Out of fairness, we have asked the government to find a mechanism to consider the situation of these companies who had to pay these penalties,” added Mr Bastienne.

Ms Pierre noted that the Registration Division found merit in the request especially since it had been receiving a number of letters appeals from domestic companies and associations asking to waive or extend penalties that come with non-compliance.

“The fact most of these requests also came from companies and associations that usually are able to meet their obligations further showed that these were genuine concerns that needed to be addressed,” stated Ms Pierre.

There are currently around 7000 companies registered with the Registration Division and under 2000 of these companies have been able to comply with their obligations.

Meanwhile less than half of the 750 registered associations have yet to meet their pre-requisites under the Registration of Associations Act.

For domestic companies some of the obligations that have been extended include annual returns of companies for 2019 and 2020 which were supposed to be submitted in 2020 and 2021 respectively and annual fee.

Associations have similarly been acquiesced extensions to submissions of their annual returns, audited accounts and payments of surplus profits which they have to pay by March of each year.

The amendments will be brought to the National Assembly for its approval in the coming weeks

“Even though the government is making some efforts to help the private sector, it is important to stress that businesses and association should still work to meet their obligations,” concluded Mrs Pierre.


Elsie Pointe

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