CHAPTER 95
IMMOVABLE PROPERTY (TRANSFER RESTRICTION) ACT

Arrangement of Sections

1. Short title.

2. Interpretation.

3. Restrictions on sales and leases of immovable property to non-Seychellois.

4. Matters to be considered and power of Minister to impose conditions.

5. Transaction unlawful and void for lack of sanction.

6. Penalties.

7. Declaration in respect of transaction to which this Act applies.

8. Power of the Minister to give retrospective validity to unlawful and void transactions.

9. Documentary evidence of sanction or validation.

10. Power to make regulations.

11. Rights of the Republic.

12. Restriction on the issue and transfer of shares in companies owning immovable property or rights therein.

5 of 1963,

13 of 1965,

4 of 1973,

23 of 1976,

10 of 1983,

8 of 1994.

Decree 13 of 1977,

16 of 1978.

SI 72 of 1973,

95 of 1975,

23 of 1976,

72 of 1976.

[Date of commencement: 24th April 1963]

1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the Immovable Property (Transfer Restriction) Act.

2. Interpretation.

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

"charge" includes any hypothecation, mortgage or charge, floating charge, or general floating charge, affecting any assets of a company except rents, rent charges and annuities granted or reserved out of land;

"company" includes a company formed and registered under the Companies Act, a holding company, an associated company and a subsidiary company;

"debentures" has the same meaning as in section 2 of the Companies Act, and includes debenture stock and bearer debentures;

"director" includes any person occupying the position of director by whatever name called and any person in accordance with whose directions or instructions the directors of a company are accustomed to act;

"financial institution" means a financial institution in terms of the Financial Institutions Act which is licensed to carry on banking business in terms of that Act, the Development Bank of Seychelles established under the Development Bank of Seychelles Decree, the Seychelles Savings Bank established under the Savings Bank Act, the Seychelles Credit Union established under the Co-operatives Act, the Mortgage Finance Company Limited or any body or person which the *Minister may, by notice in the Gazette, specify;

[*Note to 1994 Ed: Exercise and performance of powers of the Minister is delegated in part to the Chief Development Officer vide SI 18 of 1973 as amended by SI 37 of 1977 and SI 62 of 1974 as amended by SI 36 of 1977.]

"issued share capital" includes equity capital, non participating preference shares, preference shares which do not entitle the holder to any restricted voting rights and bearer shares;

"land" includes any interest in land or immovable property including any option on the sale or lease of land, any "promesse de vente" or other right to acquire any interest in land and includes a usufruct;

"lease" includes any agreement whether or not in writing whereby a non Seychellois takes occupation or possession (other than by way of purchase or acquisition of the ownership) of any immovable property of right or interest in such property;

"non-Seychellois" means—

(a) an individual who is not a citizen of Seychelles;

(b) a foreign State or the Government of a foreign State;

(c) a body corporate incorporated or established under the laws of a country or jurisdiction other than Seychelles;

(d) a body of persons unincorporated of which any of its members—

(i) is not a citizen of Seychelles; or

(ii) is a State or Government or body or company referred to in paragraph (b), paragraph (c), paragraph (e), paragraph (f), paragraph (g) or paragraph (h);

(e) in relation to a company limited by shares incorporated under the laws of Seychelles, a company of which—

(i) any of its directors is not a citizen of Seychelles, not being a company under the absolute control of the Government;

(ii) any of its shares, not being a share which entitles its holder to a right to participate in any distribution by way of dividends only, is held by or under the control, whether actual or ultimate, of a person or State or Government or body or company referred to in paragraph (a), paragraph (b), paragraph (c), paragraph (d), subparagraph (i) or subparagraph (iii) of this paragraph, paragraph (f), paragraph (g), paragraph (h) or paragraph (i);

(iii) the aggregate amount of the nominal value of the company's debentures, charges or other indebtedness held by a person or State or Government or body or company, other than a financial institution, referred to in paragraph (a) paragraph (b), paragraph (c), paragraph (d), subparagraph (i) or subparagraph (ii) of this paragraph, paragraph (f), paragraph (g), paragraph (h) or paragraph (i) exceeds an amount corresponding to 5% of the issued share capital of the company;

(f) in relation to an unlimited company incorporated under the laws of Seychelles, a company of which—

(i) any of its members is a person or State or Government or body or company referred to in paragraph (a), paragraph (b), paragraph (c), paragraph (d), paragraph (e), subparagraph (ii) of this paragraph, paragraph (g), paragraph (h) or paragraph (i);

(ii) 5% or more of the aggregate nominal value of the company's debentures, charges or other indebtedness is held by a person or State or Government or body or company, other than a financial institution, referred to in paragraph (a), paragraph (b), paragraph (c), paragraph (d), paragraph (e) of this subparagraph (i) of this paragraph, paragraph (g), paragraph (h) or paragraph (i);

(g) a corporation established under the laws of Seychelles by a specific written law which is not under the absolute control of the Government and any shares of which is ultimate, of a person or State or Government or body or company referred to in paragraph (a), paragraph (b), paragraph (c), paragraph (d), paragraph (e) paragraph (f) paragraph (h) or paragraph (i);

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