Annual Report on Exchange Arrangements and Exchange Restrictions, 2007
Chapter

MAURITIUS

Author(s):
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
Published Date:
October 2007
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(Position as of December 31, 2006)

Status under IMF Articles of Agreement
Article VIIIDate of acceptance: September 29, 1993.
Exchange Measures
Restrictions and/or multiple currency practicesNo restrictions as reported in the latest staff report as of December 31, 2006.
International security restrictions
Other security restrictionsRestrictions are imposed in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksn.a.
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.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksn.a.
Arrangements for Payments and Receipts
Prescription of currency requirementsCash payments in excess of MUR 500,000 or its equivalent must be reported for anti-money laundering purposes, except in the case of specific transactions involving banks or financial institutions.
Controls on the use of domestic currencyControls apply to the use of domestic currency for current and capital transactions and payments.
Use of foreign exchange among residentsYes.
Payments arrangements
Regional arrangementsMauritius is a member of COMESA and the RIFF.
Clearing agreementsYes.
Barter agreements and open accountsn.a.
Administration of controlNo.
Payments arrearsNo.
Controls on trade in gold (coins and/or bullion)
On domestic ownership and/or tradeResidents are permitted to hold gold for numismatic purposes or as personal jewelry and ornaments.
On external tradeA permit is required to import gold.
Controls on exports and imports of banknotesNo.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksn.a.
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.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksn.a.
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.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksn.a.
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
Positive listn.a.
Negative listn.a.
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 tariffsEffective June 1, 2006, tariff rates range up to 30%. Previously, effective January 1, 2006, tariff rates ranged up to 65% (previously, 80%). Certain items are subject to excise duties ranging from 15% to 230% (previously, 15% to 360%).
Taxes collected through the exchange systemn.a.
State import monopolyThe following imports are under state monopoly: (1) 100% of petroleum products, including liquified petroleum gas; (2) 100% of long grain white rice (25% broken); (3) 50% of flour; and (4) 33% of cement.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksn.a.
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.
Without quotasn.a.
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; sugar exports to the United States are subject to U.S. quotas.
Export taxesn.a.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksn.a.
Payments for Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Controls on these transfersNo.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksn.a.
Proceeds from Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Repatriation requirementsNo.
Restrictions on use of fundsNo.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksn.a.
Capital Transactions
Controls on capital transactionsYes.
Repatriation requirementsNo.
Controls on capital and money market instruments
On capital market securities
Shares or other securities of a participating nature
Purchase locally by nonresidentsThere are no controls on the purchase by nonresidents of shares listed on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius (SEM). 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.
Controls on derivatives and other instrumentsNo.
Controls on credit operationsNo.
Controls on direct investment
Inward direct investmentNoncitizens are not allowed to hold more than 15% of shares in listed sugar companies. 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 Bank of Mauritius (BOM) approval.
Controls on liquidation of direct investmentNo.
Controls on real estate transactions
Purchase locally by nonresidentsAuthorization of the prime minister and 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.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksn.a.
Provisions Specific to the Financial Sector
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 BOM approval.
In banks by nonresidentsNonresidents may freely invest in shares of banks that are listed on the 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 30% in relation to Tier I capital is applicable to dealers transacting in the interbank foreign exchange market. Daily overall foreign exchange exposure limits of 30% and 75% of required net owned funds apply to foreign exchange dealers and money changers, respectively.
Provisions specific to institutional investors
Pension fundsn.a.
Investment firms and collective investment fundsn.a.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksn.a.
Changes during 2006
Imports and import paymentsJanuary 1. The maximum tariff rate was reduced to 65% from 80%.
June 1. The maximum tariff rate was reduced to 30% from 65%, and the excise duties on certain items were reduced to the range of 15%–230% from the range of 15%–360%.

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