Canned tuna is among the main exports from Seyhcelles to EU countries. (Seychelles Nation)
(Seychelles News Agency) – Seychelles will introduce the Registered Exporter System (REX) as of July 1 for goods originating from the island nation destined for the European Union countries through which local exporters will complete their own self-certification.
The manager of classification, valuation and rules of origin in the Customs Division, Gerda Cesar, told reporters that this is a system that will replace the EUR.1 which is currently being used.
“How this will work is each time that an exporter will have a consignment to export to EU countries, they will use the REX number on the invoice as a statement of export,” she said.
In order to be able to issue such declarations, exporters will have to directly register in the REX system, an online database developed by the EU. Upon registration, the classification, valuation and origin section of the Customs Division will assign a REX number to the applicant. The number has to be mentioned on the statement of origin.
Registration under REX is done by the exporter once and the REX number can be used for exports to all EU countries.
The REX system will be of benefit to exporters.
“Currently, each time there is a consignment leaving the Seychelles for an EU country, exporters have to provide the EUR.1 certificate and pay SCR100 [$7] for each consignment. With the REX system, the exporters will do their own self-certification, so the SCR100 will fade out and exporters will not need to go to the Customs Division for endorsement,” explained Cesar.
For the new REX system, the Customs Division of the Seychelles Revenue Commission has developed specific guidelines for the use of such a system that will soon be publicly available on its website.
Additionally, a seminar was organised on Tuesday at the Care House in Victoria to show local exporters how to register on the system.
|Training for local exporters was conducted by Danilo Desiderio on Tuesday. (Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY|
The training was conducted by Danilo Desiderio on behalf of GOPA Worldwide Consulting, a German-based company that coordinates the EU-funded long-term technical assistance programme to support the implementation of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) in Seychelles.
Cesar said that although local exporters will be doing their own self-certification, Customs will still be monitoring exportation to EU countries.
“There will be monitoring because when an exporter will register in the REX system, the person will need to fill in an information sheet which will need to include all the products being exported and the HS code, and from there we will be able to monitor all exportation,” said Cesar.
She said that the main products exported to the EU countries from Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, are tuna, canned tuna and cinnamon bark.
Cesar added that currently Customs approve all products for exportation after the division has conducted site visits to ensure that they meet the criteria as per the EU protocol.
Seychelles as well as Madagascar, Mauritius and Zimbabwe signed an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the EU in 2009, which entered into force on a provisional basis in May 2012. In July 2017, the Comoros joined the EPA and started its provisional application in February 2019.
The agreement allows products originating from the four Indian Ocean islands and Zimbabwe to be imported into the EU duty free, quota free, provided they meet specific rules of origin that are set out in the agreement.