Annual Report on Exchange Arrangements and Exchange Restrictions 2005
Chapter

MAURITIUS

Author(s):
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
Published Date:
September 2005
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(Position as of December 31, 2004)

Status Under IMF Articles of Agreement
Article VIIIDate of acceptance: September 29, 1993.
Exchange Arrangement
CurrencyThe currency of Mauritius is the Mauritian rupee.
Other legal tenderCommemorative gold coins are also legal tender.
Exchange rate structureUnitary.
Classification
Managed floating with no predetermined path for the exchange rateThe exchange rate of the Mauritian rupee is determined by supply and demand conditions in the foreign exchange market.
Exchange taxNo.
Exchange subsidyNo.
Forward exchange marketCommercial banks are free to provide forward exchange cover to their clients.
Arrangements for Payments and Receipts
Prescription of currency requirementsCash payments in excess of MUR 350,000 or its equivalent are prohibited except in the case of specific transactions involving banks or financial institutions.
Controls on the use of domestic currency
For current transactions and paymentsYes.
For capital transactions
Transactions in capital and money market instrumentsYes.
Transactions in derivatives and other instruments.Yes.
Credit operationsYes.
Use of foreign exchange among residentsYes.
Payments arrangements
Regional arrangementsMauritius is a member of COMESA and RIFF.
Clearing agreementsYes.
Administration of controlNo.
International security restrictions
In accordance with UN sanctionsRestrictions are imposed in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions.
Payments arrearsNo.
Controls on trade in gold (coins and/or bullion)
Controls on domestic ownership and/or tradeResidents are permitted to hold gold for numismatic purposes or as personal jewelry and ornaments.
Controls on external tradeA permit is required to import gold.
Controls on exports and imports of banknotesNo.
Resident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedThere is no distinction between accounts of residents and nonresidents in Mauritius. Resident natural and juridical persons may hold accounts in foreign currencies with commercial banks.
Held domesticallyYes.
Held abroadYes.
Accounts in domestic currency held abroadn.a.
Accounts in domestic currency convertible into foreign currencyYes.
Nonresident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedCompanies and individuals may maintain accounts denominated in foreign currencies with commercial banks.
Domestic currency accountsNonresident natural and juridical persons may maintain accounts denominated in Mauritian rupees with commercial banks, except international business companies, which are allowed to maintain accounts only for their day-to-day local payments.
Convertible into foreign currencyYes.
Blocked accountsNo.
Imports and Import Payments
Foreign exchange budgetNo.
Financing requirements for importsNo.
Documentation requirements for release of foreign exchange for imports
Import licenses used as exchange licensesFor goods that are not controlled for consumer protection purposes, an import permit issued by the Ministry of Trade and Shipping is required for foreign exchange to be released.
Import licenses and other nontariff measures
Open general licensesMost goods are imported under OGLs.
Licenses with quotasWhen necessary, imports of potatoes and salt are subject to quotas.
Other nontariff measuresImports of agricultural, horticultural, and livestock products require phytosanitary inspection. Imports of sugarcane are prohibited.
Import taxes and/or tariffsTariff rates range up to 80%. Certain items are subject to excise duties ranging from 15% to 360%.
State import monopolyImports of petroleum products, certain types of rice and flour that are governmentsubsidized, and 50% of cement imports are under state monopoly.
Exports and Export Proceeds
Repatriation requirementsNo.
Financing requirementsNo.
Documentation requirementsNo.
Export licensesA permit is required for exports of textile products to Canada and the United States.
With quotasMauritius abides by quotas on exports of textiles and clothing to the United States and Canada under bilateral export restraint agreements. The volume of sugar exports to the EU is restricted under the Sugar Protocol of the Lomé Convention; that to the United States is subject to U.S. quotas.
Export taxesn.a.
Payments for Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Controls on these transfersNo.
Proceeds from Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Repatriation requirementsNo.
Restrictions on use of fundsNo.
Capital Transactions
Controls on capital transactionsYes.
Controls on capital and money market instrumentsThere are no controls on the purchase by nonresidents of shares listed on the stock exchange. However, under the Noncitizens (Property Restriction) Act, the authorization of the Prime Minister and the Minister of Internal Affairs is required for nonresidents to purchase shares not listed on the stock exchange. In addition, such purchases must be financed by funds transferred from banks abroad.
On capital market securities
Shares or other securities of a participating nature
Purchase locally by nonresidentsYes.
Controls on derivatives and other instrumentsNo.
Controls on credit operationsNo.
Controls on direct investmentNoncitizens are not allowed to hold more than 15% of shares in listed sugar companies.
Inward direct investmentYes.
Controls on liquidation of direct investmentNo.
Controls on real estate transactions
Purchase locally by nonresidentsPrior permission of the Prime Minister and the Minister of Internal Affairs is required for noncitizens to acquire property in Mauritius, and these purchases must be financed by funds transferred from abroad through the banking system.
Controls on personal capital transactionsNo.
Provisions specific to commercial banks and other credit institutions
Differential treatment of deposit accounts in foreign exchange
Reserve requirementsDeposits in foreign currency by nonresidents are not subject to cash reserve requirements if the proceeds from these are invested in foreign assets.
Investment regulations
Abroad by banksInvestments in shares require Bank of Mauritius (BOM) approval.
In banks by nonresidentsNonresidents may freely invest in shares of banks that are listed on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius (SEM). Authorization from the Prime Minister and the Minister of Internal Affairs is required in the case of investments in banks that are not listed on the SEM and hold any immovable property in Mauritius. Holdings in excess of 10% of a bank’s capital by residents or nonresidents require BOM approval.
Open foreign exchange position limitsA daily overall foreign exchange exposure limit of 15% in relation to Tier I capital is applicable to dealers transacting in the interbank foreign exchange market. Daily overall foreign exchange exposure limits of 15% and 75% of required net owned funds apply to foreign exchange dealers and moneychangers, respectively.
Provisions specific to institutional investorsNo.
Other controls imposed by securities lawsYes.
Changes During 2004
No significant changes occurred in the exchange and trade system.

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