Seychelles to digitalise customs procedures for courier services
Afif said that currently, there is a lot of paperwork involved in the courier services which leaves margins for errors. (Seychelles Nation)
Seychelles is aiming to digitalise customs procedures for courier services at the Seychelles International Airport with the aim to limit errors and delays, said Vice President Ahmed Afif.
The announcement was made by Afif in a press briefing on cabinet decisions at the State House on Thursday.
Afif said that, currently, there is a lot of paperwork involved in this service which leaves margins for errors and this can cause delays in the end the client loses.
"So the intention is to modernise the service so that all the information entered by the courier agencies and airlines are captured by Customs. This will be used also by the clearing agents and will prevent delays caused by the much paperwork," he explained.
Afif also gave details on the changes in the proposed environment levy announced during the 2023 budget address by the finance minister, which was due to become effective in April but was delayed.
The rates proposed last year were SCR 25 ($2) for small hotels with less than 25 bedrooms, SCR 75 ($6) for establishments with 25 to 50 bedrooms and SCR 100 ($8) for hotels with over 50 bedrooms.
He said that this did not take place because there were consultations being done between the government and all relevant partners, especially on how to collect the levy.
"What has been agreed is that it will be a fixed sum of SCR75 ($6) per night and will not apply to Seychellois citizens and residents. These are people with gainful occupation permits, residential permits, or dependence permits. It will not apply to children below 12 years and crew members. It will be implemented in the second half of the year and the date will be fixed and announced later. It will be collected like taxes," he explained.
He said the decision was taken because it is simpler and whether a person stays in a small or big hotel, the impact caused on the environment is the same.
Afif also gave details on a report from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank aimed at the ways Seychelles conducts its capital projects.
Capital projects are infrastructures like houses and roads and last year SCR 1.4 billion was budgeted for capital expenditure.
"The idea is to look at how we plan, consult and implement it and the way we make payment and how we select people to do the projects. They also looked at the weaknesses and if we were taking into consideration the climate change taking place and how we are adapting. One thing raised is that we are putting SCR1.4 billion ($105 million) and often this sum is not spent and this is what we call under execution of projects. They looked at why we are not able to do it, where the problems are and how to improve the execution of procedures," he said.