President Ramkalawan holds talks with President of the EU Council |21 September 2023
On the sidelines of the 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA78), President Wavel Ramkalawan on Tuesday held discussions with the President of the European Council, Charles Michel.
The area of discussion focused predominantly on Seychelles’ overall rating of ‘Partially Compliant’ following the recent adoption by the Global Forum of Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes of the 2023 Exchange of Information on Request Supplementary Peer Review Report (Second Round) for Seychelles.
During the discussions, President Ramkalawan highlighted the negative impact this brings for Seychelles including the probability of being included on ‘Annex I of the EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes’ (the Blacklist). The head of state also stressed on the various critical reform efforts Seychelles has been engaged in.
“While we respect the position of the Peer Review Group (PRG) and the assessment team, we naturally oppose this rating, as we believe that we provided sufficient justification to be assigned a Largely Compliant rating. For one area of the assessment under Element A1, Seychelles was rated as Partially Compliant, which is largely due to one specific case, involving a single registered agent that has ceased its operations in Seychelles since 2018. Since 2020 to date, Seychelles has undergone extensive reform in the form of legislative changes in key areas, to ensure the framework for exchange of information is in place – which the report has acknowledged.
The legislative and administrative amendments have mitigated further reoccurrence of similar matters. However, despite exhausting all means to remediate the deficiency, and our ability to demonstrate effectiveness of the reforms going forward, we continue to be adversely impacted in our rating.
Seychelles remains steadfast in our commitment to honour the international standards on tax transparency and be an effective partner in exchange of information for tax purposes. We are already addressing the recommendations of the report, and welcome the opportunity to continue discussions with the secretariat and Code of Conduct Group in relation to the progress and action plan to secure a favourable rating in the future,” added President Ramkalawan.
On his part Mr Michel reaffirmed the European Council’s continuous support for Seychelles and his commitment towards finding possible solutions as well as take into consideration the above concerns raised by the President in relation to Seychelles’ rating.