Buying on eBay/Amazon from Mauritius (June 2011)
Many people land onto my blog while looking for information about doing their purchase on Ebay. Why? Most probably because the blog contains valuable data (found nowhere else on the Mauritian web) and on top of that, very active participation and numerous helpful contributions on the behalf of my blog readers.
If you have missed that blog article, I highly recommend you to go through it first and all the comments there (Over 200!)
- http://www.yashvinblogs.com/ebay-mauritius-2/ [November 2012]
- http://www.yashvinblogs.com/ebay-mauritius/ [July 2010] and
- Also, the blog post about Amazon : http://www.yashvinblogs.com/amazon-now-ships-to-mauritius/
Updated info about eBay/Amazon purchases and Custom clearance
About a week ago, I was informed about some changes at the Central Parcel Office and that’s the reason why I had to write an updated post to share these precious bits of information I gathered at the Central Parcel office while politely questioning a customs officer.
What has changed?
- A permit issued by the ICTA is necessary to clear all transmitter/receivers/routers from the customs. In short, everything which uses wireless transmission/frequencies to operate.
- An Import Permit issued by the Ministry of Commerce is needed to clear any USED/REFURBISHED items from the customs.
The custom officers are only applying the existing laws. These permits have long been in our constitution but they were not applied, until now. From what I have learnt, these measures are now strictly taken into consideration to control the entry of purchases into the island and also, to ensure that items are not forbidden by law.
How to get the permit(s)?
You should know that YOU cannot directly apply for an import permit. Only registered Custom Brokers can complete the procedures by acting as some sort of intermediary between the you and the ministry of commerce. It takes 1-2 days for the permit to get issued.
Now, the permit delivered by the ICTA is a bit more PITA.
Don’t know what it means? You should probably learn by yourself if you go through the steps, but anyways, I will help you. PITA = Pain In The Ass.
Why? It can take up to 2-3 weeks for the ICTA to process your request.
New to items clearance from the customs?
I will briefly go through some main points that were discussed on the previous post dedicated to Ebay/Mauritius :
- Any purchases above
Rs10,000Rs30,000 [Read this updated blog post - November 2012] need to be cleared out of the customs by a Custom Broker
- Any purchases above Rs1,000 Rs2,000 are taxable, 15% VAT.
- No duty applicable for items below Rs2, 000.
Items like bags/cigarettes etc have additional duty. For example, 30% on bags + the 15% VAT.
- A post office storage fee of Rs50-Rs100 is claimed for any item delivered at the Central Postal Office.
- Small and cheaper items usually get delivered by your postman or you may need to fetch it at the nearest post office (no charges to pay for)
What you need at the customs?
- Your National Identity card
- Your Paypal receipt or any other receipt/bank statement which shows the value of the purchase (very important)
Some prohibited goods.
- Guns (Including stunt guns/Pain ball guns) or any other kind of weapons or you may find yourself behind the bars and your house searched immediately after the parcel is opened for verification purposes.
- Sex toys. Not all of them but because I do not hold enough knowledge into the topic, I forgot those specific things which cannot be imported.
- Laser pointers > 1mW
Whenever you are ensure, do give a call to the customs office to inquire. The phone numbers are available on this page itself.
Note that you may need medical certificates to prove that you need some medicines(drugs) and all drugs are verified and approved by a pharmacian at the customs. (I think that was what I was told).
Where is the Central Parcels Office located?
That’s a question which I regularly need to answer (just like tons others on this topic.)
The Central Parcels Office is located at the back of the Post Office headquarters of Port Louis. The Postal Museum (that old famous stone-made building) is just 50metres away.
If you are travelling by car, you can use the Caudan Parking or the one found at the Granuary (just at the back of the post office). Rs25 for the first 2hours.
Some useful phone numbers
- Mauritius parcel office : 213-4813
- Customs (Post office): 216-3506
- Bureau d’exchange :212-0150
- EMS : 213-4813
- MRA Tariff Unit : 202-0500 (Call there to get details about duties applicable on products)
I know that many among you will probably be looking for the contact number of a Customs Broker to get your item cleared. In that case, you can drop me a message and I will contact you asap.
Do you have any questions?
Just as I mentioned above, I receive lots of questions either through the blog or by mail. However, lots of people contact me without reading the article and related comments. (btw, many thanks to all those people who contribute to the posts.)
I would politely ask you to go through my first article first, and if you still can’t find the answers to your questions on that page or on this new blog post, do not hesitate to post it here. This said, I have closed the comments section on the previous post, and all questions will now be replied here. If you really want to get an answer fast, the best thing to do is to comment on the blog.
Have a nice time shopping online!