How to do business in Mauritius
Mauritius has a dual legal system based on the common and civil law of the UK and France.
In some sectors, businesses may have to apply for permits and licences. Some sectors require foreign investors to partner with a local company.
Business registration cards must be renewed every three years.
Contact DIT in Mauritius at: https://www.gov.uk/world/organisations/department-for-international-trade-mauritius#contact-us to help find tax and legal advisers before entering into agreements.
Standards and technical regulations
Mauritius’ Consumer Protection Act specifies the standards and technical regulations governing the production and sale of goods. See: http://attorneygeneral.govmu.org/English/Pages/A-Z%20Acts/C/Page-5.aspx.
You should consider taking out product liability insurance if you manufacture or supply a physical product that is sold or given away for free. See: https://www.abi.org.uk/products-and-issues/choosing-the-right-insurance/business-insurance/liability-insurance/product-liability-insurance/.
Contact the DIT team in Mauritius at: https://www.gov.uk/world/organisations/department-for-international-trade-mauritius#contact-us to help find tax and legal advisers before entering into agreements.
Intellectual Property (IP) protection
IP rights are territorial, that is they only give protection in the countries where they are granted or registered. If you are thinking about trading internationally, then you should consider registering your IP rights in your export markets.
It is recommended that trademarks and/or IPs be registered to avoid fraudulent use.
For more information on Intellectual Property and copyrights we suggest you read the information provided on the UK Government’s Intellectual Property page at: https://www.gov.uk/intellectual-property-an-overview, and at the Intellectual Property Office – the UK Government agency providing free and impartial advice on protecting and registering your IP in the UK and abroad. See: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/intellectual-property-office.
[Source – FCO Overseas Business Risk/gov.uk]
You can find out about getting a licence to export dual use goods, services or technology to Mauritius at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/beginners-guide-to-export-controls.
To find out which products will need certification or licensing before they can be exported to Mauritius, see: https://www.gov.uk/starting-to-export/licences.
Law on marketing and selling
If you are selling to consumers you must be aware of and comply with relevant Mauritian consumer protection legislation. See the Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) site for a comprehensive list of these laws, at: https://www.mcci.org/en/inside-mauritius/legislations/.
[Source – MCCI]
Labelling your products
Labelling requirements are governed by the Legal Metrology Act. Contact the Mauritius Commerce Division at: http://commerce.govmu.org/English/Departments/Pages/LEGAL-METROLOGY-SERVICES.aspx for full details.
There are a number of taxes in Mauritius, including:
corporate tax – set at 15%
income tax – set at 15%
Value Added Tax (VAT) – set at 15%
corporate social responsibility tax – set at 2% on book profits
land transfer tax – set at 5%
There is no capital gains tax, no withholding tax on interest and dividends.
The Mauritius Revenue Authority (MRA) is responsible for collecting all tax revenues and for enforcing tax laws in Mauritius.
The UK and Mauritius have signed a double taxation agreement allowing some taxes paid in one country to be deducted in the other. However, an amendment to this agreement signed in February 2018 has not yet come into force. See: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/
Currently you can zero-rate the sale of your goods to Mauritius, provided you get and keep evidence of your export, and comply with all other laws. You must also make sure the goods are exported, and you must get the evidence within three months from the time of sale.
More information on GST in non-EU markets can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/vat-exports-dispatches-and-supplying-goods-abroad.
For more information on taxation in Mauritius, see the Mauritius Revenue Authority (MRA) site at: http://www.mra.mu/index.php/taxes-duties/corporate-taxation.
You should check you have paid excise duty on any alcohol, alcoholic drinks, energy products, electricity or tobacco products you send to Mauritius.
[Source – DIT/ gov.uk]
A guide to the general process for importing goods into Mauritius, including registering your business with the Mauritius Companies Division, registering with the Mauritius Customs Department and registering with the Mauritius Revenue Authority (MRA) (if your turnover is over Rs 6 million), is available on the Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) site at: https://www.mcci.org/en/inside-mauritius/imports-exports/guide-to-import/.
[Source – MCCI]
A number of products are subject to import control as per the Consumer Protection (Control of Imports) Regulations 2017 (see: https://www.mcci.org/media/165408/the-consumer-protection-control-of-imports-regulations-2017-1.pdf). Import control is carried out mainly for health and security reasons as well as for protecting the environment and national interest.
See the Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) site at: https://www.mcci.org/en/inside-mauritius/imports-exports/procedures-documents/ for full details of the permits (licences) required for certain controlled products and the contact details of the body issuing the corresponding permit.
[Source – MCCI]
Contact the Mauritius Revenue Authority (MRA) for information on tariffs, at: http://www.mra.mu/index.php/import-export-others/tariff-information.
You can find out about import tariffs at the EU’s Market Access Database (MADB). See: http://madb.europa.eu/madb/indexPubli.htm.
The MADB also has a full list of procedures and formalities for Mauritius at: http://madb.europa.eu/madb/datasetPreviewIFpubli.htm?countries=MU&hscode
Complying with HMRC regulations to export to Mauritius
You must make export declarations to HMRC through the National Export System (NES) to export your goods to Mauritius. See: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/export-declarations-and-the-national-export-system-export-procedures.
You can find out how to declare your exports to Mauritius through the NES at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/export-declarations-and-the-national-export-system-export-procedures. You must classify your goods as part of the declaration, including a commodity code and a Customs Procedure Code (CPC).
Commodity codes and other measures applying to exports in the UK Trade Tariff can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/trade-tariff.
Contact the HMRC Tariff Classification Service at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/notice-600-classifying-your-imports-or-exports/notice-600-classifying-your-imports-or-exports#list-of-useful-contacts for more help.
You must declare any goods that you take with you in your luggage to sell outside the EU. See: https://www.gov.uk/take-goods-sell-abroad for further information.
Temporary export of goods
You can use an ATA (Admission Temporaire/Temporary Admission) Carnet to simplify the customs procedures needed to temporarily take goods into Mauritius: https://www.gov.uk/taking-goods-out-uk-temporarily.
Use the SPIRE system at: https://www.spire.trade.gov.uk/spire/fox/espire/LOGIN/login to apply for a temporary export licence.
[Source – DIT/gov.uk]
A full list of import procedures and documents required (for example invoice, packing list, bill of lading, bill of entry, Certificate of Origin, import permit, etc.), is available on the Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) site at: https://www.mcci.org/en/inside-mauritius/imports-exports/procedures-documents//.
[Source – MCCI]
You may wish to work with a Mauritian Customs Agent. Contact the DIT in Mauritius at: https://www.gov.uk/world/organisations/department-for-international-trade-mauritius#contact-us for further advice and lists of agents.
Shipping your goods
If you are not knowledgeable about international shipping procedures you can use a freight forwarder to move your goods. A forwarder will have extensive knowledge of documentation requirements, regulations, transportation costs and banking practices in Mauritius.
You can find freight forwarding companies to help you transport your goods to Mauritius via the British International Freight Association (BIFA) at: http://www.bifa.org/home or the Freight Transport Association (FTA) at: http://www.fta.co.uk/.
You can find out about sending goods by post to Mauritius at: http://www.royalmail.com/mauritius.
Shipping restricted, banned and dangerous goods
Special rules apply if you are shipping dangerous goods to Mauritius. See: https://www.gov.uk/shipping-dangerous-goods/what-are-dangerous-goods for more information.
You may wish to consider working with a local agent who can advise on the latest import licensing requirements. Contact DIT in Mauritius at: https://www.gov.uk/world/organisations/department-for-international-trade-mauritius#contact-us for assistance and information about third-party advisers.
Terms of delivery
Your contract should include agreement on terms of delivery using incoterms: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/international-trade-paperwork-the-basics#international-trade-contracts-and-incoterms.
UK Export Finance
The UK Government can provide finance or credit insurance specifically to support UK exports through UK Export Finance (UKEF) – the UK’s export credit agency. See: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/uk-export-finance.
For up-to-date country-specific information on the support available see UKEF’s cover policy and indicators for Mauritius at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/country-cover-policy-and-indicators#mauritius.
[Source – DIT/UKEF/gov.uk]
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