National Assembly rejects motion to annul courier services regulations |21 September 2023
The National Assembly rejected a motion by the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly, Sebastien Pillay, to annul Statutory Instrument (SI) 56 of 2023, during yesterday’s sitting.
The Postal Sector (Clearance of Courier Goods and Door-to-Door Delivery) Regulations, 2023 came into effect on September 1.
It provides for the transformation of parcel handling. As per the provisions, individuals are no longer required to undertake clearance procedures for parcels valued at R3,000 and above, with courier services taking on this responsibility.
According to the Trade department, the regulation will serve to enhance the efficiency of door-to-door courier services and improve the overall logistics and service quality experienced by customers. Simultaneously, it aims to eliminate congestion at clearing facilities.
Hon. Pillay stated that government has not been forthcoming enough in its explanations regarding courier services.
He argued that with the enforcement of the regulations, an unspecified courier service has announced the introduction of an additional fee, inclusive of Value Added Tax (VAT), to be charged on simple Bill of Entry documents. However, this had not been applied, he remarked.
Furthermore, Hon. Pillay proposed that the regulations will put consumers at a disadvantage, in the form of additional fees, especially those from the inner islands, recommending that decision-makers be more calculative in taking decisions.
Similarly, Hon. Egbert Aglae, elected United Seychelles (US) member for Port Glaud, asserted the necessity for more consultations, prior to the enactment of such laws.
Other members, namely, Hon. Johan Loze, Hon. Aubrey Vidot and Hon. Rocky Uranie expressed their reasons for supporting the motion to annul the SI.
Leader of Government Business, Bernard Georges, pronounced himself on the motion, countering the arguments proposed by US members.
For his part, Hon. John Hoareau, Linyon Demokratik Seselwa (LDS) stated that the only fees applicable are customs fees such as excise taxes, rather than delivery fees.
Ten members voted for the motion, while 22 voted against.
The next sitting is scheduled for Tuesday at 9am.