INTERNATIONAL TRUSTS ACT, 1994 (Act 26 of 1994)



4. (1) An international trust is a trust or a constructive trust in respect of which -

(a) the settlor is not at any time during the duration of the trust a resident of Seychelles;

(b) at all times at least one trustee is -

(i) a resident of Seychelles;

(ii) an International Business Company authorised by the Authority to act as trustee; or

(iii) a financial institution;

(c) the trust property does not, subject to subsections (3) and (4), include -

(i) any property situated in Seychelles;

(ii) any shares, debentures, or any interests in any body corporate other than a corporate body incorporated under the law of a country other than Seychelles or an International Business Company or another international trust.

(2) For the purpose of subsection (1)(a), an International Business Company shall not be deemed to be a resident of Seychelles.

(3) Notwithstanding subsection (1)(c), a trustee of an international trust may, with the approval of the Authority and subject to any other written law -

(a) own such immovable property as may be required for the office accommodation of the trustee;

(b) invest in securities and hold other investments in Seychelles.

(4) A trustee may open and maintain with a financial institution an account out of which all payments required for the administration and operation of the international trust may be effected.

(5) Where at any time after declaration of trust has been submitted for registration under section 75, a trust ceases to be an international trust, the resident trustee shall forthwith notify the Authority of this fact.

5. Subject to this Act, an international trust is valid and enforceable in Seychelles.

6.(1) The proper law of an international trust is -

(a) the law chosen by the settlor to be the proper law, the choice being expressed or implied in the terms of the trust; or

(b) if no law is so chosen, the law with which the international trust is most closely connected at the time of its creation.

(2) In ascertaining the law with which an international trust is most closely connected, reference shall be made in particular to -

(a) the place of administration of the trust designated by the settlor;

(b) the situs of the assets of the trust;

(c) the place of residence or business of the trustee;

(d) the objects of the trust and the places where they are to be fulfilled.

(3) The terms of an international trust may provide for the proper law of the trust to be changed, but the change is valid and effective only if the new proper law recognises the validity of the trust and the interest of the beneficiaries.

(4) A change in the proper law of an international trust shall not affect the legality or validity or render any person liable for anything done before the change.

(5) The duties imposed on a trustee in Part V shall have effect notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the proper law of an international trust.

7. The court has exclusive jurisdiction in respect of all matters relating to an international trust.

8.(1) Subject to this section, a trustee or any other person shall not disclose to any person not legally entitled to it or be required to produce or divulge to any court, tribunal, committee of enquiry or other authority in Seychelles or elsewhere, any information or document which -

(a) discloses -

(i) the name of the settlor or of any beneficiary;

(ii) the trustee's deliberations as to the manner in which a power or a discretion was exercised, or a duty conferred or imposed by the law or by the terms of the interna- tional trust was performed;

(iii) the reason for any particular exercise of such power or discretion or performance of duty or the material upon which such reason will be or might have been based;

(b) relates to the exercise or proposed exercise of such power or discretion or the performance or proposed performance of such duty; or

(c) relates to or forms part of the accounts of the international trust.

(2) An information or document referred to in subsection (1) may be disclosed -

(a) where a request is made by a beneficiary under a trust or in the case of a charitable trust by a charity named in the charitable international trust as beneficiary, for information or disclosure of documents relating to the trust;

(b) to the extent permissible under the terms of the trust.

(3) The court may make an order for disclosure or production of an information or document relating to an international trust for the purpose of an inquiry or trial into or relating to the trafficking of narcotics and dangerous drugs, arms trafficking or money laundering on application by the Attorney-General on proof to the satisfaction of the court that the information or document is bona fide so required.

(4) Where, on application by a person interested, the court is satisfied that the disclosure is bona fide required for the purpose of any civil proceedings, the court may order the disclosure of information or document or part of it, subject to such conditions as it thinks fit to impose for the purpose of protecting the information or document so obtained from abuse.

(5) Where the information or document is stored in a computer, any disclosure or supply of the information or document shall be deemed to have been made in compliance with an order of the court under subsection (3) or (4) if it is made in a visible, legible and portable form.

9.(1) Unless an international trust contains an express power of revocation, it shall be deemed to be irrevocable by the settlor or the settlor's legal representative.

(2) Notwithstanding -

(a) any other law of Seychelles or the law of any other country; or

(b) the fact that a trust is voluntary and is effected without consideration, or is made on or for the benefit of the settlor, the spouse or children of the settlor, or any of them,

an international trust shall not be void or voidable in the event of or by reason of the settlor's bankruptcy or liquidation of the settlor's property or in any action or proceedings against the settlor at the suit of the settlor's creditors.

(3) Notwithstanding subsection (2), the court may, where it is proved beyond reasonable doubt that an international trust was made with the intent to defraud persons who were creditors of the settlor or the settlor was insolvent at the time when the trust property was vested in the trustee, declare t he international trust void or voidable to the extent necessary to satisfy the claim of a creditor.

(4) The onus of proof of the intent to default under subsection (3) shall rest on the creditor.

(5) Notwithstanding the Civil Code, an action under subsection (3) shall not lie against the trustee of an international trust after more than two years from the date of the transfer or disposal of the assets to the international trust.

10.(1) In this section, "foreign rule of forced heirship" means any rule of law of a jurisdiction other than Seychelles which, in order to protect or give effect to the rights of any person or class of persons to inherit, succeed to or share in the settlor's property on the settlor's death, purports to remove or restrict the settlor's right to encumber, alienate or otherwise deal in or dispose of property belonging to the settlor during the settlor's life-time and includes any judicial or administrative order of a jurisdiction other than Seychelles intended to enforce or implement any such rule.

(2) Where a person creates an international trust, or makes any transfer or disposition of property to an international trust -

(a) neither the trust nor the transfer or disposition shall be invalidated by any foreign rule of forced heirship, or by reason of the fact that the concept of trust is unknown to or not admitted by the law of a jurisdiction other than Seychelles;

(b) the settlor shall be deemed to have had capacity to create the trust or to make the transfer or disposition if the settlor had capacity to do so under -

(i) the laws of Seychelles;

(ii) the laws of the country or jurisdiction in which the settlor is domiciled or of which the settlor is a national; or

(iii) the proper law of the transfer or disposition.

11.(1) For the purposes of this Act, and notwithstanding any provision to the contrary in the laws of Seychelles or in the law of any other country, the duration of an international trust may continue until the one hundredth anniversary of the date on which it came into existence and will then terminate unless terminated sooner pursuant to a relevant direction in the instrument creating it or for some other reason.

(2) Subsection (1) shall not apply to a charitable international trust or to a purpose international trust both of which may continue without any time limitation.

12. A direction contained in the terms of an international trust for accumulation of income is valid for any period within the duration of the trust.

13.(1) Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary in the laws of Seychelles or the laws of any other country, an international trust shall be deemed to be charitable where t he trust has as its main purpose or object one or more of the following -

(a) the relief of poverty;

(b) the advancement of education;

(c) the advancement of religion;

(d) any other purpose beneficial to the public in general.

(2) An international trust established for one or more of the objects or purposes set out in subsection (1) shall be deemed to be charitable notwithstanding that -

(a) the object or purpose may not be of a public nature or for the benefit of the public, but may benefit a section of the public or members of the public, or that it may also benefit privately one or more persons or objects within a class of persons or objects;

(b) the international trust is liable to be modified or terminated whether by the exercise of a power of appointment or disposition of assets;

(c) the trustee has the power to defer the distribution of the benefits to any charity or other beneficiary of the trust for a period not exceeding the duration of the trust;

(d) the international trust may be discretionary; or

(e) the charitable objects are pursued in Seychelles or elsewhere.

14.(1) Notwithstanding any provision of the law of Seychelles or of the law of any other country, an international trust other than a trust with beneficiaries being -

(a) particular natural persons or bodies corporate whether or not immediately ascertainable;

(b) some aggregate of natural persons or bodies corporate ascertained by reference to some personal relationship,

shall be a purpose international trust.

(2) Notwithstanding any provision in the laws of Seychelles or in the laws of any other country, a purpose international trust shall, subject to subsection (3), be valid and enforceable.

(3) The terms of a purpose international trust which is not a perpetual trust, or which may be terminated, shall -

(a) specify the events upon which the trust terminates; and

(b) provide for the disposition of the net assets of the trust upon termination.

(4) A purpose international trust may be enforced by the settlor or the settlor's personal representative or by any person specified in the instrument establishing the trust as being the person appointed to enforce the trust.