Seychelles joins the World Trade Organization and reduces tariffs

Seychelles national flag

Source: nationsonline.org

In March, Seychelles officially became the 161st member of the World Trade Organization. This 115-island country in the Indian Ocean ranks highly in the region in terms of per capita gross domestic product and is an attractive tourist destination.

In the course of joining the WTO, Seychelles has reduced a number of its import tariffs to open its market to new trade partners. Here are a few key product categories with newly reduced import tariff rates:

 

Product type Tariff rates before WTO accession Tariff rates after WTO accession
Edible animal products (HS ch. 5) 25 to 200% Mostly duty free, 2 items at 25%
Cut flowers and foliage (HS ch. 6) 100% 10 to 25%
Edible vegetables (HS ch. 7) 25 to 50% 15 to 25%
Edible fruits and nuts (HS ch. 8) 50 to 200% 15 to 50%
Coffee, tea, mate and spices (HS ch. 9) 50 to 200% 25%, many items duty free
Apparel and textiles 5 to 200% 5 to 25%
Cut flowers and foliage 100% 10 to 25%
Motor vehicles (HS ch. 87) 15 to 225% 5 to 25%
— Motorcycles — 75 to 125% — 15 to 25%
— Bicycles — 25% — 15%

 

The highest tariff rate Seychelles maintains is on cigars at 200 percent. Mercifully, that for toilet paper was reduced from 100 to 50 percent (or 20 percent from European Commission countries).

In 2013 Seychelles imported around $820 million worth of goods with large shares coming from Spain and France.