Buying on eBay from Mauritius

Update : Febuary 2015

Great! I just called the customs at the central parcels office. The polite officer informed me that any device (whether using wifi, bluetooth etc) imported in REASONABLE quantity for PERSONAL use DOES NOT REQUIRE any ICTA permits. Read Facebook post here.

Update: November 2012

Following the new measures announced in the budget 2013, limits for online purchases have been raised. For example, you don’t need a customs broker unless your item is valued over Rs30, 000. Also, new measures for calculation of VAT and Duty. Read more in this post here.

Update: 29th June 2011

I have an updated post about some measures being strictly taken into consideration at the Customs office. Please make sure that you also read the new article as well as this one.  Comments section on this article is closed. Please ask any questions on the new post.

You can read it here :

Now, here goes the article :
I finally came up with this post since I have been asked practically the same questions for the last few days! Most of the people landed on my D5000 blog post in which I describe my first experience with eBay. So, this post will go mainly to Mauritians wishing to purchase something on ebay, some sort of eBay purchasing guide 😛

Secure Payment

That’s the main concern of most…

  • Be re-assured, payment on ebay is totally secure!
  • You need to have a paypal account, linked with your credit card *yeah, u need one*.
    When you create your paypal account, you need to “connect” your credit card to that paypal account. Once set up, paypal will carry out a tiny transaction to check if you are actually authorized to use that card. Once this transaction has been done, you need to check your credit card statement (either through an ATM or internet banking) and type the transaction code on paypal so as to get your credit card and paypal linked together.
  • Whenever you buy something on ebay using paypal, you will be required to enter your paypal login and confirm before the transaction is carried out. All of these go over a secure SSL line, no need to worry…

Note : Paypal accounts in Mauritius CANNOT receive money, not yet, neither from other persons nor through “donations” done on web sites.

What if my item never reaches me?

eBay even thought of this possibility… That’s why the site is one of the most reliable places to do your online shopping.

eBay Buyer Protection, everything is in the name…


In case you don’t receive the advertised item or the item does not reach you, the first thing you should to is : Contact the seller.
The item may have been delayed somewhere. Most sellers with whom I dealt were great, helping as much as possible. Some may even propose to send another item meanwhile or reimburse you. If ever the seller does not revert back to you, eBay advises you to open a case on the Resolution Center. This will enable you to recover your full purchase, including the shipping cost.

However, always be sure that the item provides eBay Buyer Protection, displayed on the item’s page. Also, it may be advisable to insure your costly item for a few dollars, usually offered by Seller during the purchase.

Finding the right item

eBay contains thousands of items on sale through bidding or “buy now”. So, it might be a bit difficult for you to browse the virtual stores without having the slightest idea about what you wanna buy. For your first purchase, let’s simplify things, we will be talking about “Buy now” items only, no bidding…

Do you really have a $2000 budget? So, as we say in creole : “Pas faire gros liziers!”

Set the minimum/maximum amount you are ready to spend!

IMHO, one of the best features of ebay remains the search engine driving the site. It is free, do try it out!

It is useless spending time browsing items which cannot be shipped to Mauritius. Make sure that the results listed are available to Mauritius by selecting “Mauritius” in the advanced search options.

Finding the right seller…

Sellers on ebay rely a lot on feedback, positive ones. No one wants to deal with a seller with loads of negative feedback. On the other hand, top rated sellers are the ones usually offering a better service, fast shipping etc… And everyone wants to deal with those “top rated” eBay sellers, marked as below :

If you wanna find out negative feedback from a particular seller, you can use third party web sites to check this out. Head over to and type in the seller name :

This is one of the best tools to check out more info about a seller. As you can see, there was only 34 negative feedback and 5898 positive ones registered over the last month. Now up to you to read the negative ones to see if they are really bad or the buyers were simply ‘stupid’. btw, I highly recommend CameraAuctions for your purchases. My D5000 and SB 600 flash both come from that shop 🙂
Hi to the great people out there!

Shipping and tracking

I have been using ebay for less than 1year, purchasing items starting as low as $1 up to the most expensive one at $700…. The items have been shipped from different countries, including US, UK, Hong Kong and China.

Most of the US sellers out there use USPS (United States Postal Service) to ship the items. The commonly shipping methods available are :

  • USPS Express Mail – See details in above screenshot
    ULTRA FAST and Costly but takes only 3-5 days to travel to Mauritius
  • USPS First Class Mail
  • USPS Priority Mail

You can get more info about the 2 last shipping here. The items usually take 2-3 weeks to reach the island.

USPS Tracking page :

Hong Kong post.

While purchasing my Tamron 70-300mm, I paid nearly $50 dollars for shipping. pff. Nevertheless, the parcel took over 3 weeks to reach Mauritius. At that price, it was much worthy to purchase the item from the US and pay for an USPS Express Mail for the same price!

Hong Kong post tracking page :

And China?

lol, I don’t even worry about items shipped from there… It usually takes 4-6 weeks, no need to hurry 😛

Free Shipping

It is sometimes tempting to look for items marked with “Free Shipping”… However, the item might take 3-5 weeks to reach you and no tracking is available for these “free shipping” items. So, be patient!

Collecting your parcel

Yay! You finally got a card from your postman, asking you to come over to the post office… Take your ID card and run to the nearest post office asap!

Depending on the type of item/price/size, it may be collected from the post office directly. In that case, just sign the necessary papers before going away with your parcel.

Now, if your parcel/item is quite bulky/expensive/important, the postmaster will handle you a card, which needs to be shown at the Parcel Office of Port Louis. All (if not most) personal purchases collected there will be charged a vat amount of 15%.

VAT Calculation :

Given that you have purchased the item for personal use and below Rs10,000 Rs 30, 000 (Read this updated post), you will be charged a vat amount of 15% on (The value of your purchase – Rs1000). Example : Your item costs Rs8000, you will be charged 15% vat on Rs7000 only.

Hence, do not forget to add the VAT amount in your estimations before buying an item.

Post office delivery charges

I do not know the exact amount, but you may be charged around Rs50-100. Unfortunately, I have no additional info on this part. I just paid it quietly 😛

Purchases over Rs30,000 – Critical!

All items valued above Rs10,000 Rs30, 000 (Read this updated post) cannot be cleared out of the customs without hiring the service of a “Customs Broker”, a.k.a “Courtier Maritime”. These persons will thus be representing you and carrying out the necessary paper works so that you can get your item out of the customs. They will need some of your personal details to register you at the Mauritius Revenue Authority as an “importer”. Their fees might vary. I paid Rs1, 400 to the one I hired for my camera.

So, before confirming your purchase of over Rs10000 Rs30,000 , make sure that you add the custom’s broker fee to the purchase’ total amount.

Duty on certain items

No duty is applicable to camera equipment. However, items such as Bags have a duty of 30%!

So, if you bag costs Rs3000 on ebay, duties would be calculated on (3000-1000) = Rs2000. Make sure you add (30% + 15%) = 45%, which roughly comes around Rs3900… A few weeks ago, the MRA officer advised me to check the MRA web site for further details about the duty on applicable items. Need to find that list!

Some last words…

We are no more living in a remote island and the advances in technology are bridging the little gap which still exists. Online payments are becoming part of our everyday life, unlike some years ago. The price difference is indeed huge, I had the opportunity to compare prices of DSLR cameras a few months ago.

Shopping online through eBay might be the only solution to Mauritians if they need to access items either not available to Mauritius yet or simply, items at a more reasonable price. From what I learnt, transactions on Amazon and Google Checkout are not possible for us yet, but I am confident that in a few years time, we won’t really feel that we are thousand of kms away from the biggest stores of the world…

I end this long post with these words and hope that the content here really helped you to understand some basic things about eBay, especially if you are looking forward to your first purchase from within the paradise island of Mark Twain…

And finally, don’t forget that there’s a newer article (November 2012) with update info about the limits, etc. Read it here : 

Feel free to share and like this article on Facebook!

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  • Great article. Sums up everything there is to know about eBay. 🙂

    Only thing I’ll add is to take note of the state of the product – new, refurbished or used.

    Anyway, I’ve been buying some cheap goods on eBay (via a friend) & I’ve been quite satisfied with the shipping time & quality of products.
    I failed to receive purchases only twice. 🙂

  • chervine

    Thats a very helpful and informative post..nice job!

  • Zuu

    Thank you man! Great and useful article! 😀

  • yurit0s

    post office storage fee is Rs 56.

  • Mike

    Very informative article on your e-bay experience. Interesting since I have never used this service. Good that you mention Paypal which is very useful. Paypal also has a service where you no longer need to link to a credit card but you can directly credit a Paypal account. However, not sure if this is already available for Mauritius.

  • Le_Voyageur

    @Carrot : banla in rembourse tOii t mOneyy when the items didn’t ship to you ?

    @ Yashvin : Great article, like it very much =).. as carrot pointed out : refurbished, new, used ?

    sa pou aide moi kan m pou gagne my 18 ans 😀

  • I bought an 8gb SD memory card once. It came by post mail so didn’t need to pay tax at the customs office but guess what. It didn’t work. No money back. No return.
    But well, its just one defective item on about 15 purchases I made online.
    My recommendation: never buy stuff from China and always use PayPal.

  • I forgot to tell that you forgot to write about “sniping” on ebay.
    Just google it to know more about it. I can just tell you that it might come handy especially for auction sales.
    I recommend that you use Gixen (

  • Great Article. Really helpful for newbies

  • Sun

    Nice article!

    Although i’m more concerned with ‘selling’ something on ebay, after reading your post , i’m thinking that its impossible. Since Paypal for Mauritius cannot receive money. 🙁 *sad*

    As for your note that online transactions should be made possible in Mauritius(PayPal, gulgul checkout, etc) ‘in some years’. I think that it should have already been implemented. The people at the IT section in the government dont even know whats PayPal. Nobody makes the move. The banks are happy , the government is happy ,Paypal is happy & they dont give a damn about ‘online banking in Mauritius’. Sad it is really. To imagine all the possibilities that would offer.

    Just to name some :

    Local Online Shopping
    Cinema/Restaurant Booking
    and the list goes on..

    Who’s the minister of IT? I dont even know his name :/ What’s he been doing since he was elected? li p pon dizef. Anyways. long comment , just to show my *anger* at these NOOBS sitting high up.

  • @Le_Voyageur
    Penkor, parski eBay p enkor process sa case la.

    The items in question were button batteries from HK & thermal paste from US, in all $6.

  • Great article, Yashvin. Gonna help us a lot.

  • Yashvin it’s a great article! Did you ever buy anything from Mauritius through Borderlinx (DHL)? I heard about two stories one more or less positive the other negative.

  • Am a die hard ebay fan…

    bought a whole bunch of things out there(pendrives, jewels,books…) and never got any problems…sometime you can even bargain with the seller for a better price!!!

    paypal is awesome 🙂

    so…let’s ebay friends!!!

  • Yashvin , great guide and as usual very informative. One golden rule of buying any stuff : If it sounds too good to be true -> it probably is.

    As Sawan mentioned , Ebay Snipping is a good alternative of finding decent deals. Check out two sites I use:

  • Esha

    Great post, really sums up most ebay transactions!! i’ve been buying most gifts for my friends and its really great! I pay for them three or four times lesser that in mauritius(mem lor la rue bazar plus cher, enfin, des fois!) I’ve also been refunded twice, i never got 2 items i bought.. No hassle, some great sellers…

  • tourette_guy

    Another informative topic. Great Job!

    Anyone ever bought from japan here through EMS Express?

    Curious to know your delivery time? Heres my tracking info

    According to japan post, my seller and tracking info, it was shipped out of japan on the 24 July[there were no snakes on the plane]. Everyone receives tracking updates when it hits customs or went through transits at different airports. Cause im postive that one plane does not stay more than 4 days in the air. I would understand if it was priority mail or regular airmail or even seamail though.

    Other countries can track their items once it reaches their destination country through their local post office sites, so I went on the tracking page, it felt like the 1990s again []. Couldnt get anything.

    So I called the post office, they simply said it was in Tokyo saturday. That little piece of info changed my life. Seriously, as if I didnt know. Then he told me to wait 1 or 2 more days. Tomorrow ill call back.

    Back to my question, anyone with the same kind of updates problem? Apparently the update of the tracking is relayed to mauritius once it reaches here. I wonder if there is a lack of communication between the customs and the EMS guys here. In various cases, some people’s tracking info was still dispatched,when they received theirs. Maybe I should call customs tomorrow.

    End of my rant. Gotta learn to be patient too :s

  • Good post Yashvin. I have been buying from eBay via PayPal for a couple of years now from sellers in UK, USA, China, HK, India. As a rule, I only buy from sellers having a feedback of 200 or more.

    About receiving money via PayPal, there seems to be a solution if you are making an ecommerce site, by using an intermediate payment gateway that accepts PayPal e.g. 2CO. And then get the money from that gateway. How about we talk to PayPal about setting up a branch in Mauritius 😛 I think the market has matured enough for that now.

    Postage, if you really care for your item, I recommend any courier service e.g. DHL, TNT, UPS, FedEx. They can add from Rs 400-1500 to your shipping cost but you’re sure to receive the item within 4 days, from anywhere in the world. My service with EMS and USPS has been slow 2-3 weeks. I have received from HK Post in 1 week however.

    It’s another annoying thing that for some items the MRA at times may refuse to acknowledge the price you show in your receipt… Well happend one in a 100 times with my camera. I paid $120 for it, the manufacturer quotes $150, it’s sold at Mikado for Rs 10,000 but MRA insisted even after showing proof that it’s worth Rs 25,000!

  • Nice and constructive criticism.. ey tone met foto ki to p handle buku cash LOL

  • Ben

    Very useful, ordered something from Hong Kong guess it’ll take as much time as for you

  • [N][A][B]

    Thumbs up!!!
    Nice, informative and very useful post 😉 thankss
    But one thing?
    i see there is or and more
    Is it that i dnt find what i need on the first one, i can check another??? or same products on all & just prices in different currencies???

  • @Yurit0s : Thanks for that precise info, Rs56 lol! And I think that you are right, that’s the fee I just paid for my flash lol.

    @Mike : Unfortunately, am not aware about the availability of this service in mauritius, but most certainly, no… Do create your paypal and start shopping now 😛

    @Levoyageur : Hmm, u wrote something nice! New, Used, Refurbished… I think that I should have included that here but nevermind, we will keep it for another time 😉

    @Sawan : “Sniping” and other stuffs related to bidding can be a bit complicated for our first time buyerss 🙂
    We might keep that for the part 2 of this post lol!

    @Sun : I don’t know the name of the Minister me too *shy*.
    Bhoot gave an alternative to accept payments, try it! You can perhaps start earning money right now 😛

    @Carrot : lol… hope u get back your $6 haha! Do keep us updated, you can perhaps pay me some beers next time with that money 😉

    @Olga : Never used DHL till now but I think that our friend carrotmadman6 just received a parcel from DHL 🙂
    What about Borderlinx, did you try it? The prices listed there seem pretty cool!

    @Reena : Haven’t tried to bargain with any of them, lol! Kouma dir marsand lo simer sa 😛 haha

    @Esha : Yeah, eBay really opens up a different buyer experience, same or better stuff at affordable prices.

    @tourette_guy : Hey, thanks for your active participation in here since you discovered my blog!
    I once purchased something using EMS Express, but I cannot remember which one lol. I guess that the tracking is not updated as accurately as the more expensive shipping facilities available. You said it, patience… Good luck!

    @bhoot : Thanks for the additional advice you gave in here. I remember you told me about the over valuation of the camera. How did the case ended finally? Did you get the camera, and at which price?

    @Yasir : yeah lol, did not find any other better picture to put in here 😛

    @Ben : Surprisingly, my flash diffuser reached mauritius yesterday and collected it today. It took only 2 weeks and the item was abt $3.4 dollars total, including shipping lol. I guess that’s my luck!

    @[N][A][B] :,, are all different sites, targeted to different countries. They usually quote price in the countries’ respective currency.

  • TL

    as mentioned earlier – for items over USD$200 or any other amount, first try to bargain with the seller by contacting him/her through email. I once got $30 discount on a $400 Ebay item when dealing directly with the seller. Payment was done through Paypal.


  • Raj K-B

    Nice article! It really sums up the basics of ebay transactions – which can become quite addictive! Been ebaying since 2005 and it’s very often worth it but always have been wary of really huge purchases! Be very very careful about the seller’s reputation, check and recheck the reviews (good or bad) that a seller may receive from previous buyers – this can save you a world of aggravation later on!
    Patience is one thing I’ve learnt with ebay stuff – unless specialised delivery like UPS or DHL are involved. And be prepared also for long waits (sometimes) at the parcel office – went there a couple of times recently and was amazed at the amount of time it took me just to get a small package! Mais bon!
    Cheers for a great article!

  • sachin chamansing

    well very useful article for me as i already made my first purchase on ebay,payment being done via pay pal,i already get the tracking number i think i will take me around 2 weeks to have the parcel.the product itself cost rs6000 any idea how much i will need to pay ,and how i will know when the parcel already come to Mauritius,if i will be informed .

  • Keshav

    thnx yash..very helpful to me.. 😛

  • krishnen

    Great article! very useful.going to try and buy a phone on ebay right now!

  • @Yashvin: I have finally installed the “Reply” plugin…
    Testing in progress 🙂

  • Awesome Ninja

    @Yashvin: ‘would be better if comments were in nested view instead of flat 😀

  • @Awesome Ninja:
    Yeah, I know what you are talking about but in fact, I don’t really like the nested ones because you can’t really follow the order in which comments were left. Anyways, thanks for the suggestion, might consider it afterwards 🙂

    Take care!

  • Loic

    Its CametaAuctions, not CameraAuctions…lol

  • @Loic: Merci! I am correcting it 😉

  • Dishalen

    Great Post man, really helpful.

  • tourette_guy

    Hello again,

    Sorry to spam your blog with my rants, but I hope it helps some people

    Guess what,I was actually right. The lazy people at customs forgot to update the tracking for 10 days.

    (Reminder : Guitar bought on ebay and shipped out of japan on the 24)

    Shipping Method : EMS EXPRESS AIR (shipping costs amounted to 350 dollars)

    When I called the Mauritius post office after 6 days, they said they couldnt help me, its japans problem .

    Then I made someone else call(a foreigner speaking ENGLISH) They actually went and investigate the problem. (mauricien gagne moins privileges dans so propre pays)

    Results : I learnt that my item had effectively arrived in mauritius within 72 hours after shipping and been sitting over a week in customs and that the guys forgot to update the tracking. And my friend demanded that they immediately process the item at customs and get back to me. Which they did actually.


    Will update about the VAT when they call me to go get it.

  • @ tourette_guy:

    You are so right!!! Mauritians are treated like scum by Mauritians..pff!!!

    The post office over here is sucha shame…when you receive a parcel they act as if you’ve smuggled drugs and tear the parcel so much that they can even damage your product.

    I used to receive parcels with tape all over it, always saying hey received the parcel in bad conditions…pff!!!

    Oh by d way, for those interested in books, just make sure you buy them on Barnes & nOBLE..THEY are simply great…just make sure you provide a valid phone num for they will call for the delivery…it arrives through UPS…

  • Very informative post, helps a lot buddy!

  • @tourette_guy: :S

    Wow, I can imagine how anxious you have been, waiting for a ghost ship/plane to deliver an item which is already in the customs, right here in Mauritius.

    Seriously, they s*ck!
    Is there any possibility for you to file a complaint somewhere? Perhaps postmaster of the central office? (once u get it out of customs of course, attention zotte tire l’aile!)

    Thanks for keeping us updated and hope u get it in the next hours 🙂

    I bet that you won’t be sleeping tonight haha!

  • tourette_guy

    Great news.


    I only paid Rs 796 VAT + Handling fees

    How? Marked as Gift by Seller, Fake receipt of 200 Dollars inside package.

    Package was declared at its full price plus shipping : 1850 dollars.

    Imagine the VAT I would have paid on that if I did it the normal way.

    Well in my case it was safe, even if the fake receipt inside was 200 USD. I was covered by the real declared value in case of Lost package or paypal refund etc.. So its better to avoid lowering your declared value if youre too paranoid.

    And finally people, you gotta act like an Arrogant Know it all Jerk at the post office, pretend you are well informed and ready to file complaints if theres something fishy.

    Well, hope it helps.

    Thank god I found this blog, phewwwww
    Keep up the good work

  • @tourette_guy: I am glad to know that this post helped you 🙂
    Don’t forget, keep tuned to!

    Enjoy life!

  • Ben

    Hi again, just bought something from Hong Kong but the shipping method is “Standard Int’l Flat Rate Shipping” while i usually send it through the other international option. How likely will it reach me?

  • @Ben:
    I guess that’s the simplest shipping that might be available, without any tracking info. oh, that might take long time, but do keep us informed 🙂

  • prithvi

    when i go to the ATM to get my credit card and paypal iinked together where will i get the transaction code to put on paypal? thx in adv

  • @prithvi:
    Hi Prithvi!
    Well, after registering your credit card number on paypal, paypal will carry out a small transaction, as I stated before.
    When this transaction is processed, you should print out a credit card statement from your ATM or check your internet banking.
    You will find the transaction code besides this paypal transaction. Just key in the code into paypal, you are done!

    Let me know if u need more help 😉

  • prithvi

    i live in curepipe and if for example i have bought a ps3 game and it has already reached mauritius. how will i know and where should i get it?

  • @prithvi : You will get a letter from the post, informing you where you should collect it, either in ur town/village post office or at the central post office.

  • prithvi

    i have a debit card but there is a visa electron logo on it can i use it to buy on ebay cause some people say we can use to buy buy stuff online. do i need to get a visa card only or can i use my visa electron?

  • @prithvi :
    As far as I know, No. As u said, that one is a debit card.
    To do purchases online, you need a credit card but it is better if you call up at any bank and ask for more details.

  • I didnt read all the comments, but from my professionnal experience here is the calculation :

    Cost of the product : 100
    Freight : 20
    ———total : 120
    Duty (30%) : 36
    Total with duty: 156
    VAT (15%) : 23,4
    Total with Vat : 179,4

    This is for Bigger import.
    As you mention more thant 10’000 rs i think…

  • Ronald Greenan


    I’m having a few problems which have only arisen in the last three weeks July/Aug.
    Previously i had no problem buying items, signing in,contacting paypal and making payments.
    Now, for some reason, it takes forever to connect to the sites and i have lost out on items.
    I now have to run to the store 150m down the road that has a internet cafe. (and only in there opening hours.)
    As it is a recent problem, could the problem be due to the bad weather at the moment or the site being saturated.
    i would appreciate it if you can give me advise on this matter.
    R G

  • Mike

    @Ben: just bought a pc accessory from Hong Kong with free shipping, I got it in 7 days

  • Mike

    @Yashvin: You can link a VISA debit card to your Paypal account. I have done it and have used it to buy stuffs online

  • @Mike: Nice then! Hope it works if someone tries it! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Ben

    Hi again, was wondering about receiving my items, the service is a real hectic, for instance one pen i ordered i had to go fetch at the local post while when two came it came directly at my place, go understand one small package i had to go fetch at port louis , a bigger one got to curepipe, anyways the guy at customs is telling i should bring a proof of purchase price next time i go to port louis to fetch something, what page should i printscreen and print from ebay? moreoever am i paying tax on the purchase price or on the product plus shipping (the product is about one thousand but the shipping too)?

  • ramesh

    A little question.
    Does amazon ship to Mauritius.
    I mean all their products.

  • @ramesh: Hi! As far as I know, Amazon does not ship to Mauritius, but I never tried again. If anyone else can corfirm, that would be nice. Thanks.


  • Boss34

    Article great.

    One question. How about when you did not receive a purchased item from ebay. Paypal supposed to refund. And can one receive money back for an article paid by paypal in Mauritius. I claimed twice and paypal confirmed money refund but the money is not tangible to me. Response please.

  • @Boss34: Hi! Thanks for the question, but till now, I have not come across any undelivered items, fortunately.
    But it is true that we cannot receive money in Mauritius. I have also once tried to “donate” some dollars to a Mauritian friend and his paypal account refused to accept the money transfer. I may guess that the money can be temporarily held on the paypal account itself and used for any further transactions?

    Perhaps someone else with some more “bad” experience may share how this is done for Mauritians? Thanks in advance.

  • Sukrit

    I am very interested in selling on ebay. Unfortunately, people from mauritius cannot receive money from paypal.
    I am ready to do all the necessary procedures from mauritius to get this right. But i need your help and guidance.

    Can somebody help please

  • Muzzammil

    You can have a refund of the exact amount u paid for the purchase. I did have a refund once on a small amount. $5. the object was not working properly.

  • Akhil

    Hi Yashvin, I would like to know what did you insert in the field for “Postal code” (which is compulsory) because as far as I know, we do not use postal codes in the Mauritian post system?

  • @Akhil: Hello Akhil! Try using 00000. That’s the one I use 🙂

  • Akhil

    Thnx dude…

  • ramesh

    Just buy something on ebay, and tracking the item it shows

    departure from outward office of exchange on 2010-09-12 till now

  • Kamal

    Hi Yashvin…

    Nice article by the way.

    Just wanted to add a couple of lines if i may…

    You can clear customs in Mauritius even if the item is over Rs10,000 without the use of a broker… But you will definitely need to have the supplier to send you the invoice with the package. I’ve cleared a few packages over that amount without any probs.

    Secondly for the Buyer protection. Ebay displays it when your paypal account is verified, but we will need to be careful here, as it may not apply to all purchases even if its displayed in the listing. As “normally” buyer protection is available when your account is verified and your address is confirmed. Currently, we cannot “confirm” mauritius addresses. But it depends…

    For any problems with Ebay purchases, the best bet is to contact the seller first and if your issue hasn’t been resolved, then file a case on Paypal’s resolution centre. This is the fastest way to get your case resolved compared to Ebay’s resolution centre as Paypal will take off the money from the seller’s account until the case is resolved :)… So the seller tries to resolve any issues quicker…

    Hope the above does help


  • i bought all my electronic equipments on ebay. if i’ve bought it in mauritius i would be paying it 10 to 50 times more expensive and don’t forget ebay is safer than products bought fro laboutik sinois.

    take care!!!

  • Can you give an instruction on how to make a pay pal account as am bit lost.

  • @Federik: Hi! That’s very simple.
    1. Go to
    2. Sign up for a new account
    3. enter your personal details.
    4. if asked for Postal Code, put 00000 in the space provided if you are in Mauritius
    5. Paypal will ask to carry out a verification transaction during which it will credit abt $1 to check if it can access your credit card.
    6. Once successful, check your ATM or internet banking to get the Transaction Code for that transaction
    7. Enter the transaction code into paypal to confirm your credit card
    8. There is no other steps left!


  • shweta

    hi people, i am expecting a parcel from the us sometime next week, its a personal package and but the contents are valued above 10 000 rupees , what will happen at customs? thanks

  • @shweta: Hello! Welcome to this blog.
    Here’s what will happen :

    The parcel will likely reach Mauritius 4-5days after your purchase
    You will receive a card/letter at home, asking you to come to the parcel office at Port Louis
    The MRA officer will first of all ask you about the contents of the parcel. He will then open it in your presence. He might inform you that you need a “customs broker” to clear the item out of customs.
    Ask the sender if they included a receipt in the parcel or if they wrote the value of the parcel on it. If not, I would advise you to print a receipt and bring it with you since the customs officer might not agree with the value you tell him or might over-estimate the value
    You should also note that you will need to pay VAT as I explained in the post + you might need to pay other custom duties if for example, your parcel contains a bag.(30% tax)
    In case the MRA officer asks for a customs broker, you can contact me. I will email you the telephone number of they guy. Else, that would save you a big deal of money

    I wish you good luck and keep us informed. Cheers!

  • shweta

    hi, thanks for the response, it is a used item(rc car) i dont have an actual receipt for it but i can request one maybe.will i still need to pay for vat even though it is not brand new? the status is is still international dispatch as from 06/10/10….no change yet, is this normal? can you please email me the number for a customs broker so i can contact him/her.

    thank you

  • Carl

    Can any one tell me if i have to pa a sum of money to link my paypal account with my credit card? Or do i have to paypapal for using their service???

  • Kamal

    @Shweta Yes VAT might be applicable even on used products. Basically the customs officer will value the product, sometimes they might even over value the product you purchased and this is why it is important to have your receipt handy. Next time, ask your supplier to include the receipt in the shipment(which most of them normally do).

    @Carl There are no costs in linking your credit card to Paypal 🙂

  • Carl

    Thanks for the quick response ….but when linking my credit card i am getting an error : This credit card has been denied by the bank that issued your credit card. For details on why your card was denied, please contact your credit card issuer’s …it my own card and 1 entered the card number correctly….anyone else got that problem…??, can someone please help?

  • Carl

    The thing is that i have a debit card and only a credit card is accepted to make payments online…, it no sense because the debit and credit card are basically the same , with no overdraft facility for debit cards

  • Kamal

    @Carl – Make sure that your billing name & address is exactly the same as what’s displayed on your credit card statement. The postcode for Mauritius is 230. Secondly make sure that the card you are using is currently supported by Paypal. For example a Visa Electron card issued in Mauritius won’t go through. For Mauritius, only Visa Credit, Mastercard Credit and Amex cards work with Paypal. Now if you are haven’t used your card previously online, then do check with your bank or credit card issuer as sometimes they block your card for online transactions. Tell them that you will be using Paypal as well.

    Do take into consideration that for verification purposes, Paypal will charge your credit card two small amounts with should be less than $1 each.


  • titof93

    hi.. well great website for us mauritians willing to buy on ebay… i was just wondering how much time will Standard Int’l Shipping take and the item is from the US.. as i will be buying a pair of shoes and wanted to know how much weeks it would take to arrive??

  • @titof93: Hi! Well, it will surely take more than 1 month since
    – Mail Express international : 3-5days
    – Priority Mail International : 2weeks

    However, it would be nice if you can keep us updated abt the time it took. It may be helpful for other Mauritians 🙂

  • @titof93:

    hi…it all depends…maybe you could try too….not bad for clothes,shoes etc…

    as for ebay, each item has a shipping price…check at the bottom of the page if not contact the seller 🙂

  • Sharia

    hey there
    nice blog. My question; anybody knows specifically for what kind of items you get to pay duties and when you have to go get it from customs?
    I have always have my purchases home delivered before, but then theyv always been pens,shades and the likes.
    Anyone knows anything about shoes? Can i get them delivered to my place too?
    Thats more than one question, thanks for replying

  • @Sharia: Hi Sharia.
    As far as I know, a 15% VAT is applicable for all (or most) purchases (and even gifts).
    If there is no receipt, the custom officers might evaluate the item.

    Electronics have 15% vat only
    Bags are taxed at 30% + 15% vat.
    That’s unfortunately all that I know.

    Anyone, please share…

  • Kamal


    I would assume most of the products are subject to VAT. There are some exemptions but only the Customs & Excise department can give you more info on this as it depends on them really. I’ve seen people being charged VAT & duty for imports of shoes, and some paid only Rs40 for the Post Office charge… Do bear in mind that whenever you are purchasing anything online or from abroad and that the product is being shipped to Mauritius, you are considered as an importer.

    I think they do have a certain policy on the type of product as well, for example once i received an electronic item which was “estimated” @ Rs1,500. There were no VAT applicable. The reason was that an electronic item below Rs2,000 are not subject to VAT. But i don’t know if it still stands or not.

    In regards to the delivery, it depends, if they ship the product by USPS service from the US, then you will have to pickup your product either at the local post office/depot or at the post office in port louis. But if they ship by DHL, FEDEX etc, they should do home delivery and take care as well of customs clearance.


  • Sharia

    oh well thanx, iv never had to pay vat here before, maybe the items were too insignificant or something.anyway thanks, thats a very nice blog u got going here, coming up with ideas and stuff on a regular basis; hi five man, keep it up.
    Shoes, anyone?

  • @Kamal @Sharia:

    The VAT is calculated as follows, applicable to personal use items :
    If ur item is 5000 for example, VAT is calculated on rs4000 only.

    For kunal’s example, they perhaps found it unnecessary to charge vat on rs500. I once had a Rs2000 item, and I paid vat on rs1000. And once I had a Rs1000 item, I did not pay any vat. Hope that replies to your query.

    Thanks for sharing your experience.

  • Sharia

    Ok thanks guys, this been very helpful. c ya

  • Hivi

    Great article!! am impatiently awaiting when big stores and brands will ship to mauritius!!

  • nelly

    hi thnx for all the help guys but i was wondering if you had ever come across an item( that you really wanted) which the seller wasn’t initially shipping to mauritius and that mauritius wasn’t in the shipping areas.. like the seller was only shipping to US, JAPAN, CANADA etc.. and if you emailed him to see if he could kindly make the necessary for you to be able to buy the item and eventually ship it to mauritius. Because i want to but somethin and the seller doesn’t ship to mauritius. do you think i should email him or something..Is it safe.

  • Kamal


    Hi… You can always try to email the seller but make sure the transaction is goes through Ebay for your protection. Some sellers might tell you to do a bank/wire transfer or pay via Western Union etc… Do not ever pay via such methods. Only checkout with Ebay & pay by Paypal!


  • Hivi

    @ Nelly
    You should contact the seller and if he might agree to ship it to mauritius. i recently bought an item that wasn’t initially shipped to mauritius. i contacted the seller and asked if he could ship it here n he agreed. he included mauritius in the list of countries he was willing to ship to and i got the rates for shipping. i paid as usual via paypal and i can track my item.

    make sure u pay by paypal and not by any transfers.

  • Pacif
  • Xudi

    Hi yashvin,
    nice article !!

    im planning to buy a camera before my vacations.. and i think ill be buying from that same seller of yours !!! ^^ could you explain the procedures to me please.?? and also it is safe ???:o 😮

    waiting for your reply
    thanks :):)

  • @Xudi: Hi! I have explained everything from above.
    If you have any questions, do post it here. I will reply to you asap.

  • Sukrit

    hello everyone,

    this blog is very helpful. Well, i want to buy a car. but my budget is very low. so i searched for cars online and i wads amazed at how the prices are low. Well, can anyone explain to me how i can get the car to mauritius please? What is the percentage of vat/tax, how is the custom clearanced and duty charged. What other charges do i have to pay here.

    Thank you for reading and helping 🙂

  • @Sukrit:
    Hi! Importing a car?
    Unfortunately, I do not have any experience in this specific product lol.
    But one thing for sure, there are many other charges involved. And I think that it may not be wise for you to import a car if you dont have any experience.

    Hope someone can advise you 🙂

  • pacif

    Will the visa electron debit card make it? Or we need absolutely a credit card.
    thanks for help!

    great blog!

  • Hi @pacif!

    As far as I know, you must have a credit card. I may be wrong, in that case, I am deeply sorry.
    Can anybody confirm?

    If you need to ask any questions, feel free koz you are knocking at the right door!

  • Kamal

    @Sukrit – Forget about importing cars to Mauritius. There are loads of issues when it comes to importing vehicles over here… For example, there are different conditions in importing from the UK and from the US. If you buying a car from the UK, it needs to be less than 10years old and has been in your name for 1 year prior to importing(this is to have less to pay in regards to taxes etc…). Even if you pay a car for around $2000, the customs over here will re-estimate the market value here in Mauritius, so the same car can be worth over ten fold. Taxes are damn expensive as well, which of course depends on the Engine size, they can go over 200%… There are a lot of trouble for such imports, best advice: forget about it or go to a local dealer in reconditioned vehicles and ask him the costs of importing a car of your choice.

    @Pacif – Visa Electron Cards issued in Mauritius are not valid for online payments, whether be it through Paypal or other Online Payment Gateways… What i know is that such cards do not have AVS(Address Verification System) which prevents online gateways to process the card when it comes to address verification and on top of it, i am sure Visa Electron issued in Mauritius don’t support “Card Not Present” Transactions. They can be used in ATM Machines or any Terminal which accepts them physically.

    But Visa Electrons issued in countries like UK, US can be used online.


  • Thanks a lot @Kamal for all these details!

  • pacif

    Thanks @kamal and @Yashvin,

    ok ,I was confuse as I saw Visa electron accepted on paypal website, Again exception for Mru! I’ll apply for a mastercard, Are there any bank in Mru who are more secure on internet banking, I like to know your view if this question is not making free ads for the banks.

    Thanks again

  • Kamal

    @Yashvin – No worries buddy… You know, it will be great to have an article done on the negative side of buying on Ebay from Mauritius. As there are many issues that many buyers don’t take into consideration such as Warranty, International Shipping etc etc :). A review of the online stores available for Mauritius as well wouldn’t be bad…

    @Pacif – Welcome! One piece of advice, Internet Banking in Mauritius is not secure as it should be, this apply to every bank currently providing this facility except HSBC… Anyway, the best bet is to get a credit card and tell the “Bank” or “Card Issuer” to authorize payments only from Paypal, and if it’s over a certain amount, then they should call you prior to approve it. Here’s what i personally do and it works perfectly, if i have to make a payment for example over $500, then i will call the “Card Issuer” and tell them that i will be processing a payment online, still through paypal, and if they can authorize it. I recently bought a Camera Lens online which was around $850 and they authorized the transaction up to $875. They do it without any probs. And payments under $500 goes through automatically.


  • pacif

    Thanks @kamal,

    That’s great piece info.I was thinking of creating a bank ac just for paypal but now with these info ,I’ll go by your advice

    Thanks again for your valuable help.

  • charlie

    does anyone have news on Economy Int’l Shipping.??? it would be helpful to know how much time a product will take to arrive to mauritius with this sort of shipment..and if it is reliable..

  • Hi @charlie!

    You must try to ask the seller what does he mean by “Economy Int’l Shipping”. Perhaps we can help you if you give more details on the country, price you paid for and size of parcel.


  • Sukrit

    Well, thanks a lot @kamal and @yashvin for their reply, was very helpful.

    I have another concern. I am a designer/artist/Educator and i was doing research on how to sell my items on ebay from Mauritius.

    So I wanted to gather info on shipping cost for different volume of small packets and parcels for different destinations internationally, packaging requirements/procedures and the amount of time it takes to arrive at different destinations. I went to inquire all these info at the victoria square post and i was deceived by the ‘UNprofessionalism’ of the customer service and knowledge of the postmaster. I went to different central post, but still i have not been able to get any concrete simple info. So if anyone knows anything, please do let me know.

    Secondly, as per my research, i need a US visa debit card which i am researching online. However, my question is: Can i use any Visa debit card from my countries which can operate a merchant account on ebay? Or do u guys have any other options?

    Please let me know if i need to research for more info/stuff in order to sell on ebay.

    Thank you for your time and guide 🙂

  • jeannot

    what kind of credit card should i use to connect to paypal.. ?? does any credit card work with paypal or should i have a specific one??

  • Gri

    To me MCB is very secure. Their internet banking comes with a security token (like a small calculator) that generates a string of digits. Without those digits no one can make any transfer from your account even if they get hold of your password. They also have a virtual keyboard where you use your mouse to “key” in your password, meaning keyloggers cannot record your password.

    Paypal will accept any credit card from Mauritius, maybe not the electron type though.

    I am also pretty sure (just not 100%) you cannot withdraw money from Paypal if you are in Mauritius.

  • Kamal

    @Charlie – Economy International Shipping depends reality on the chosen carier. For Example, Economy shipping on Fedex, DHL, UPS is reliable, trackable etc with a delivery time around 20days max for international shipments from the US. But Economy shipping from USPS is not really reliable.

    @Sukrit – If you are planning to sell on Ebay from Mauritius, don’t bother about it as you will have to use Paypal. It’s easier, convenient and quick. You can get US Debit cards online, you will also need to create a US paypal account. You will be able to verify the paypal account with the debit card, but only at 50% as US paypal accounts needs a US Bank account in order to get fully verified and lift the limits of transfers. But even if you can get hold of a US debit card and a US bank account, accessing your account outside the United states will get your Paypal account blocked and any money available locked and refunded back. Ebay doesn’t currently offer any other Online Payment Gateway support as it owns Paypal… So… You can use Bank/wire transfer or Western Union to receive your payments but Ebay states that it’s not secure and discourages their customers to use such methods, furthermore, i personally wouldn’t buy anything and pay through offline methods of payments.

    @Jeannot – Any credit card will work. Any other cards will not go through at all. Currently in Mauritius you have Visa, Mastercard and Amex.

    @Gri – Secure online login procedures doesn’t necessarily mean secure online banking :). You are right though, Paypal doesn’t allow withdrawal from Mauritius.

  • xudi

    hi yashvin
    i finally made my purchase from cameta. used express mail international.. according to the tracking

    Detailed Results:

    .International Dispatch, November 13, 2010, 9:50 am, ISC NEW YORK NY(USPS)
    .Processed through Sort Facility, November 12, 2010, 7:30 pm, JAMAICA, NY 11499
    .Processed through Sort Facility, November 12, 2010, 3:54 pm, MELVILLE, NY 11747
    .Shipment Accepted, November 12, 2010, 3:14 pm, FARMINGDALE, NY 11735
    Bullet Electronic Shipping Info Received, November 12, 2010

    but its wednesday 17 today and still no news of my purchase 🙁 🙁
    should i worry ? or it would be late ??

  • @xudi : I would advise you to give a call to the parcels office on 212-0150.
    You can also try on
    – EMS 2134813
    – postmaster – 208-2855

    Give them your tracking number and ask if they can check if it has arrived. Perhaps they haven’t updated the records yet. Good luck!

  • xudi

    @Yashvin: thank you very much yashvin
    ill called the ems, the lady told me. tracking number and she said it has not arrived,, then she asked for my name, i told her and as magic she said it arrived today and tomorrow you will received a card… pfft i think if i hadn`t called i would be waiting till next year… anymway im so happy it arrived and maybe tomorrow ill be holding my camera !!! hehehe
    thanks for your help yashvin and happy shooting 😉

  • @xudi : It’s my pleasure to help you.
    btw, is your item’s value >10k?
    You should start looking for a customs broker in that case. Drop me a message if you want me to send you the one I used.

    Do keep us informed!

  • xudi

    @Yashvin: nooo.. i thought about this one ^^ its around 9000rs shipping included.. hey but the lady told me to bring a receipt :s i bring the order confirmation from cameta or that from paypal ???

  • @xudi : Both will do. Since you are dealing with Cameta, they already include a receipt (the cameta receipt) in the parcel. But just to avoid any issues with customs, bring in a copy too.

  • xudi

    @Yashvin: oki :):) im waiting for the card from the post office ^^ thanks yashvin 😉

  • Z. K


    Thanks for this post. i just started buying online. lol. and i found there’s much better out there than in our stores!

    if you would know, how can i bypass customs tax? would they believe if i tell them the parcels are gifts (ofcourse, i ask seller not to put receipt in the package)? would that help?

    Then, what’s best postal service to deliver here? fedex, ups, dhl? fedex left it at my door. for usps, i have to go to port louis!

    Last thing, what’s the best place to buy a camera. not necessarily a professionla one, just a good one.

    Many thanks!

    Oh, and when i typed “buy online mauritius” i found this! pretty helpful 😀

  • @Z. K : Hello. Welcome here 🙂

    Bypass custom’s tax? Say it on a lower tone dude!
    Unfortunately, at this moment, I am not able to say precisely if gifts are subject to custom taxes. As far as I know, yes, everything…

    The price will be much higher with Fedex, UPS and DHL. You said it yourself, they left your parcel at your doorstep and nothing is free in this world 🙂
    The Express Mail international package from USPS (United States Postal Service) is very reliable : Tracking, Delivery within 5 days.
    Priority Mail from USPS is good too, at nearly half the price of express mail. Takes up to 2-3 weeks as I wrote on the article.

    Feel free to spread the word about this blog 🙂
    See you soon!
    And do come back if you found the solution to bypass tax 😛

  • Z. K


    About custom’s tax, i found that a big cheesy smile worked, esp if there’s a guy checking your parcel. Am waiting for a packet since 11 days(Express USPS – i thought it would take less time) – am excited (even if i know what’s in there. lol).

    So, would you know a site to buy a good camera (i’ve never used ebay)?


  • pacif

    Hi guys,

    Please do you the price range of a D90, anybody working with this baby,


  • jeannot

    yeah thnx but i wud like to know if only credit cards are accepted?? can i use a MCB debit card ??

  • Kamal

    @Z.K – There are many good sites around that will give you good prices for cameras etc… Ebay is not necessarily the cheapest around. By the way, Express USPS to Mauritius takes around 14 business days to get delivered.

    @Pacif – A D90 should be around Rs30k but i would not personally go with a D90 as there are loads of issues about it.

    @Jeannot – Only credit cards will go through. MCB Debit cards will not work.

  • Jean-noel

    Hey man… thanks a lot for the info provided.. its my 1st experience and its really helpful 😉 cheers.

  • jo

    good job boy

  • Kavi

    Hi all,

    Just to be sure of something, i ordered 2 items having total of $515. Do i have to pay tax on that? Should i bring my paypal receipt when going to the post?

  • @Kavi : Yes, it is advisable to bring your receipt, just in case the officers overestimate your item.
    Depending on your item category, you will need to pay 15% VAT. The vat is applicable on every item passing the customs, as far as I know.
    You said that the total cost for the 2 items is $515. To remind you, for all items whose value >Rs10,000, you MIGHT need a broker to clear them out of customs.

  • tom

    i have a mcb mastercard.. ive registered through paypal.. how do i check on the mcb site to get my transaction code??

  • @Tom : Normally, the test transaction done by Paypal should appear on your card statement once it has been processed by the MCB. You will see a transaction code alongside the transaction and that’s the number you should type into paypal.

    Have a look at the ATM’s statement, or on the Internet Banking (if you have one).

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  • Leo

    You shared good info. I’m a regular customer on ebay and the price is too
    good compared to local listing.
    1. Why I cannot receive money through paypal yet? That very disgusting and I think the govt need to look into the matter of priority since there many online business that a mauritian can do via paypal but cannot receive money.

  • Akhil

    Hi Yashvin, the calculation you did using the example of the Rs 2000 bag isn’t very clear. You seem to have calculated the 15% VAT using Rs 2000 though you mentioned earlier that Rs 1000 must be subtracted from the price. The 30% duty was seemingly also calculated from Rs 2000 itself. Could you confirm the correctness as well?

    What about the list of % for duties. Have you found it on the website of the MRA. Please provide me the link if you found it. I could not find it as the website is too messy.

  • Hi @Akhil!
    Nice point you noticed! Yes, you are right, I should have said that the bag initially cost Rs3000, and then the vat would be calculated on Rs2000. But, one thing that I am not sure whether the 30% duty for the bag would be calculated from Rs3000 or Rs2000.
    Thanks a lot for this point, I will do that correction.

    However, I think that at the end of the day, most of us understood how VAT etc are calculated.

    Good day,

  • salim

    HI !

    Nice info !

    Can you pls tell me what is the best shipping method for Mauritius ?

    It seem that product from US is taking more than 2 months ? How about that ?


  • Hello @Salim.

    The best, most secure and quickest shipping to Mauritius remains the USPS Express Mail International. Thougth it is expensive (but 2-3 times less than DHL and other services), the item can reach Mauritius as fast as 4-5 days.

    You failed to mention what product and which type of shipment you are talking about in your comment. More than 2 months, in that case, you should have already contacted your seller to start the procedures for a refund/resend. Keep us updated if you wish.

    Thanks and Good luck!

  • salim

    Thanks , but USPS Express Mail International is not available to all seller ….

    DO you know what’s USPS expediated shipping means ?? any idea ?

    I am having lots of trouble with items coming from US ….they are taking too much time ….However those from HongKong is coming very fast …

    Thanks for your help !

    Salim ( Ex CSE IT Technician )

  • @salim : Well, you should probably ask the seller to give more details about the carrier/service he will be using.
    Just to give you an idea (applicable for a large category of ‘medium sized’ items ):
    A priority mail international costs around $20 while the same item when sent by Express mail international will cost around $40.

    The fastest parcel from Hong Kong took me abt 2weeks and I paid $50! So, my experience with hong kong post has been bad so far.

    It’s a pleasure for me to help you!
    Take care!

  • salim

    Thanks for your help !

    keep in touch !


  • lavish

    pls guys i cant shop on ebay without zip or postal codes what to do ???????? pls hlp me guys n gals…….:D

  • @lavish : You can use 00000 as ZIP Code for Mauritius.

  • lavish

    n guys where do i need to go to get it at port louis or wil it be delivered at my house pls ban mauriciens svp reply pls…..:)yashvin pls toi kii an pro ebay buyer plssssssssssssssssssss………..:D

  • @lavish : Depending on the item, it may get delivered to your house or you may have to fetch it at the central parcel office, port louis.

  • lavish

    tnx dude tnx a lotsssssssss b twa pu zip code ebay to ti met 00000 alors ?

  • kevin

    Hello Everyone Is iT saFe to buy A car On Ebay Will iT cosT a loT when arriving In mauritius….THanksss

  • @Kevin : Unfortunately, I do not have any experience in buying a car from Ebay. I think that it is better to leave this business to those who really know the procedures, legal aspects as well as duties on importing a car.

    To end, I would say that importing a car is not as simple as buying a $5 item.

  • The prices of the car online is real low coz they don’t have the shipping cost and taxes we apply here…

    Unfortunately you might find yourself paying the same amount you bought the car at the custom services here…(la doune etc..)

    My dad had a friend who bought himself a BM from another country and the car stayed almost 3-6 months at the customs coz he had to pay almost same purchase amount to detax the car..pfff…

    This is why cars cost the apple of our eyes here…tax is real high 🙁

  • kris

    do you have to send money from your credit card to your paypal account as once ive linked my credit card to my paypal account and got the transaction code i see my paypal balance is 0.00$?? i dont really know how it works so can someone help??

  • Muzzammil

    From what i know, you cannot import a car older than 4 years. Also the excise duty on car is 75% and above, it depends on ur engine capacity. the duty is usually calculated from the estimate of cost of vehicle by custom.
    you can avoid the duty if you are a returning resident with 10years abroad and you’ve had the car registered to you for at least one year.

    these are an approximation, am not a expert.

  • Muzzammil

    VAT also has to be added.

  • kris

    do you have to send money to your paypal account?? because i have successfully linked my credit card to paypal.. got the transaction code etc… confirmed my email address but i see my paypal balance is 0.00$ usd… ?? can someone help pls..??

  • @Kris : No, you don’t need to send money to your paypal. Your balance on your paypal will always be $0.00.
    Once your credit card is linked to your paypal account, any payment amounts done with paypal will be automatically deducted from your credit card.

  • kris

    thnx yashvin so this means i can start buying on ebay..:)

  • kris

    i just bought an item on ebay and i paid 40$ for express mail international so when should i expect receiving the item.. ?? how fast has your item reached our island when you bought via express mail international??

  • christina

    which is faster usps priority mail international or usps first class mail?? personal experience would help..

  • @kris : As I said above, Express mail international can take a few days only. Usually 1 week.

    @Christina : I am unsure which is faster but I can tell that Priority mail international takes about 2 weeks.

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  • kris

    once your item is shipped do you always get a message form paypal tellig you tjhat the seller shipped the item..?? because i got one saying so…so im confident the item will be arriving sooner or later..

  • Hello @kris.
    Always? Yes if the seller marks your item as shipped on ebay. However, the seller might mark it much later after he/she ships it.

    Good luck!

  • Neel

    nice post!.. this will help me a lot in future buying xD

  • kris

    just tracked mypurchased product throught usps and saw that my product arrived today …. by when will i get a letter from the post office..?? do ypu have to bring identity card etc to the post office..??

  • Hello again @kris.
    Yes you need to bring your ID card and also, keep a copy of the paypal receipt with you.
    Since it arrived today, you might receive your letter tomorrow. You will then need to go to the parcels office to clear it out of customs.

    Keep us informed!

  • yeahman45

    Great article! Very helpful.. i have one question; for the VAT calculation do u include the shipping price + price of product or it’s only on the product’s price?

    and are there duties on mobile phones?

  • Bob

    hi very nice info about shopping from ebay.i have only one question?
    what is the shipping cost from united states?

  • @Bob : The costs depends on the weight, service used etc.

  • Bob

    of course all these parameters come into play when calculating the shipping cost but perhaps you could indicate all potential buyers about the average price for the shipment from the us.

  • @Bob, the best way to get the prices is from the item’s page on ebay itself. As you mentioned “Potential buyers”, the latter already know what they are looking for, hence, they are clearly aware of the item’s weight etc.

    You are asking me for an average price of what exactly? I can’t guess the weight as your item may be an SD card or even a car. Thanks for your visit, hope that you get your answer soon.

  • Bernardo


    Can you please tell me the average price of a vegetable? Independent of what it is and how much it weighs?

  • @Bernardo: Yeah of course. Quarandouze roupies.

  • Kamal

    Hi All,

    I hope this might help you guys to calculate shipping from the US to Mauritius… Here’s the link to International Postage Calculator for USPS:

    Do bear in mind that packaging depends on the seller, some might repack a product to be safer during transit. If the shipping weight and box size is not mentioned on the listing, then contact the seller 🙂

    I personally don’t think anyone here will be able to tell you guys the shipping costs from X countries to Mauritius, just the seller can…


  • yeahman45

    @Kamal: thx.

    for the part
    “Purchases over Rs10,000” .. do you include shipping cost with it? e.g. if i buy a product at Rs. 10,000 and the shipping cost is Rs. 1,500; does it count as being a purchase of over Rs. 10,000?

  • @yeahman45 : I asked this question to the Customs office 3 weeks ago. He told me that they can include up to 20% of the shipping costs when calculating vat. In this case, the total might be over Rs10,000 but it all depends on the customs officers since they do allow a few purchases over Rs10k to clear customs without a broker.

  • yovin

    Nice blog. I liked it.

  • yeahman45

    @Yashvin: ok thx man!

  • kris

    i finally recieved my shoes yesterday… i went to the post office at port louis and payed 56rs for handling and 150rs for tax.. in all i paid 206rs… really satisfied with the product and i didnt have to bring the receipt only my ID card.. thnx yashvin for your help and happy new year..

  • K.

    So hello again,

    I commented on this article when i first started to buy online. since then i bought a lot. i dont have paypal. but i bought from merchants that are paid members usually. like 3 weeks ago, i was charged for something i purchased for. the seller never sent me the shipping number which i asked for more than once later. the seller never reply to any of my emails and i havent received anything. Was i cheated?


  • Hello @K.
    That sounds pretty serious. First of all, I hope that it was not a big purchase and the seller is well-rated.
    As you can guess, you won’t be able to file a dispute since the transaction was not carried out through ebay/paypal. That’s why it is always advisable to use the proper channels when shopping on ebay, just to avoid cases like this one.

    Cheated? Only the seller can confirm this but in my opinion, your parcel might have been delayed because of xmas and end of year festivities. I also purchased a few things which did not turned up yet, more than 1 month but the sellers politely asked me to remain patient because of the delivery delays.

    I will advise you to remind the seller again (and continuously), since that’s the ONLY thing you can actually do.

  • K.

    It wasn’t ebay. it was a yahoo merchant. it’s not a big purchase ($100), but i hate the feeling of being cheated. i email the seller like 6 times asking for the shipping number which she never replied.

  • Hello Friend, Stop worrying abt Tax, Duty and Free Delivery on Ebay or any other online shopping. i Heard of an Offcial Online Shopping Now in mauritius . its more than Ebay, I think we need to help this company to send them their opinion etc.. it sell all wot u think..

    as services,
    – Price you see is what u pay !
    – No Additional Cost !
    – No Vat!
    – No Duty
    – Home Delivery in less than 24hours !
    – More you buy get get point for every Rs1 u spent and the point convert into CASH where you can use it on your next purchase.

    – 24/7 Customer Care services for any Kinf of Support on your purchase on phone by a FREE TOLL NUMBER 800 18 18 or by Monitoring Live chat from the give also free IT Support online for all customer and non-customer.

    – there is NO HIDDEN COST when you will receiver your product .



    http://WWW.TCLOnlineStore.COM Have a look ..

  • reza

    hello, for the ebay shopping, can i edit the receipt in microsoft word n reduce the price

  • hi yashvin,
    have u used package forwarding services such as viaddress
    for mauritius.
    well if…. they offer to forward packages from ebay which
    can only be shipped to us to mauritius by offering a ‘virtual’
    u.s address. they also forward ur package using ups fedex or dhl.

    is it well worth trying?

    thanks btw ur article is awesome…

  • Hello @reza. Did you assess the risks with this practice?
    1. Your seller might already have included the original receipt in the parcel
    2. Your seller might have not included a receipt but for insurance purposes, he/she might have declared the parcel as the true value.

    So, you are at the parcels office, the MRA officers ask you for the cost and the receipt, you handle your $100 receipt to them.
    However, unlike the MRA officers, you have not yet seen what’s written on the parcel. And the box has not been opened yet.

    The MRA officer then informs you that the parcel is valued at $500, declared on the parcel’s itself and when opening the parcel, the original receipt of $500 is found.

    From that moment, you got the right to do only one phone call, probably to your lawyet. Good luck!

    @Davy007: No, I have never tried nor heard anyone making use of this shipping. Anyone willing to give it a try?

  • reza

    @ yashvin , no, i didnt do it..i was thinking about it.. glad u told me about it!!
    NB: to everyone: Please dont do this..dont get involve in police matters

  • Freesoul

    Hi yashvin, does the seller ships to the name and address of ur ebay acc or paypal acc?

  • @Freesoul: Normally, that’s the name and address on your Paypal account. During the checkout, you have the option to add new addresses. Or you can do so from your paypal acc directly.

    I once paid an item on ebay with my paypal account, but added a different shipping address, to someone else. The latter received it without any problems.

  • ronnie

    man, can i buy on ebay with my mr best card via papal or other similars?
    i dont have a credit card(ihv heard that i need to be earning an income to apply 4 a credit card,pfff….).can i shop online wiz my debit card?

  • Hello @ronnie.

    Unfortunately no. You can’t purchase on ebay with a debit card. You absolutely need to get hold of a credit card.
    Try to see with ur parents 😛


  • Freesoul

    @ Yashvin: aaah great! thnks for the info. BTW buying on ebay IS ADDICTIVE! im a gadget/gizmo fan and ebay la kuma dir cavern ali baba!! and having the EBAY APP on iphone is great, u can search, review your watched items, check bidding and bid in real time, even make payments while on the go! mo conner to pa ene fan de iphone 😛 mais i advise everyone to get this free app!

  • Salman

    Hi..i want to buy a phone which is about $200 n $20 for shipping. How much will it cost me alltogether here in mauritius? (vat,boker..etc)

  • Hello Salman.
    I will do the estimates using the buying price at $200 and 1 $ = Rs32.

    $200 = Rs6400
    So, your VAT = 0.15 x (6400-1000) = Rs810
    You will also need to pay a small fee at the postal office, of about rs50-rs100.
    Be reassured, you wont need to hire a customs broker since your item is much less than the limit, Rs10,000.

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  • Vipin

    Hmmm after reading your blog, I finally gave ebay a try =)…though I bought a $5 screen protector only lol…its being shipped by USPS First Class Mail International…about how much time do you think it will take? =)

    Previously I’ve used B&H Photo Video to buy camera stuff online, they are super reliable 🙂

    Great blog overall, I’ll be having a look here one in a while 😉

  • Hello @Vipin.

    You were cautious for your first purchase lol, $5. My first one was about $700 haha.
    For first class mail international, it can take about 2 weeks, from my personal experience. Keep us updated when you get it 😉

    I never tried B&H. Should check it out.

    Good luck!

  • Vipin

    Woaw fast reply :)…yeah gonna post when it arrives…btw just noticed you made this blog post on the 28 of July, that’s my birthdate XD

  • Freesoul

    Hi yashvin, i just got a card from the postman today asking me to go and collect my parcel from the Parcel Post Office at Port Louis.(yeah im super excited!) Can you please tell me where is it found? Is it the post office near victoria bus terminal? Thank you in advance!


  • Hello. No it is found near the old post office, the great stone building found near Port Louis waterfront. Once there, you will find a building besides the old office, just after the taxi stand. The Parcel office is found at the back. It’s easy, you might see lots of postmen going in and out or even Post office vans.

  • Keshav_B

    Hi man, I saw a product on eBay costing around ‘US $284.99’, the seller ships worldwide and ‘Shipping: $36.75 USPS Express Mail International’. Meaning it will cost $321.74 which is about Rs9973.94… Now as you said I have to pay a small fee at the postal office, so now it might be over Rs10000! So, does that mean I should have this customs broker thing? And will there be any additional costs? P.s It’s an mp3 player, is there any customs fees, duty import taxes or vat on it also? Help me!

  • Freesoul

    @ ya: thanks for the info yashvin, i got at the parcel office today without any difficulty (despite the 32+ degrees temperature of portlouis and the occasional rain) to get my package. It was some stuffed hamtaro plush toys for my little cousin. Paid Rs56 for the tax.. The guys at the parcel office looked puzzled when i said i bought stuffed toys from Ebay, one guy even took at least a couple of minutes squeezing those poor toys looking if it was indeed toys or if i was bringing illicit products inside them! he even smelled it! (Do they have a drug detector nose training??) I could keep myself from smiling!! 😀

    BTW, when i received the card from the postman some days ago, there was an option where you could ask them to deliver the parcel at the nearest post office to your home. But they would have to open and inspect the package at the parcel office first. My question is; after you sign the card and agree with this option, what to you do with it? Do you leave it at the nearest post office?

  • @Freesoul: lol at the Nose smelling detector 😛

    I have never noticed the option you are talking about. Perhaps that I was always so excited to get my item asap, I never took the time to see the available options other than getting the parcel by myself from the Central Parcels Office.
    Need to gather more info on that.

    @Keshav_B: Sorry for late reply. Always difficult to give a reply immediately and I end up forgetting that people are waiting for an answer 🙁

    Don’t worry, you won’t need to get any customs broker because your item’s original price is much less than the limit. As I previously said, they may count only 20% of the shipping cost while calculating charges. As for items going beyond the limit, the MRA officers do make exceptions. It all depends by how much the limit has been crossed.

    You only need to settle the VAT and the postage fee, no other duty for electronic stuff.

  • Keshav_B

    thanks a lot:)

  • Kavi

    Save time, go to
    You will get everything which can be shipped to MUR once you selected Mauritius.

  • Freesoul

    @Kavi: i cant get it to work! i have already set my country as Mauritius but when i click search, it gives me the listing but the shipping option is set to either USA or AUS.. i need to click everytime on the shipping details and set it to mauritius only the see that most of the items are not shipped to Mauritius.. Anyone having this issue?

  • Vishal

    Nice article! Can you please send me the contact details of the Customs Broker? I got a parcel in the parcel office right now… Thanks!

  • Hello @Vishal, just mailed u the num.

  • Vishal

    Thanks a lot! 🙂

  • Bond..james Bond

    Greeting to all,firstly i’d like to thank the author Yashvin for such an informative & helpful article!!And yes im about to buy a perfume online ‘a chanel platinum-egoist’ but will a get slap by tax?The perfume is under Rs2000 on Ebay! Cheerz buddy:)

  • Exia

    Thank you very informative, but i HATE stupid taxes and the idiotic corrupted MRA Grrrrr!!!

  • tikomik

    Thanks, for the article and for replying to the many, many questions. Just bought a piece of equipment (a usb midi musical instrument) for my pc. It’s being shipped by USPS international express, so I guess it’ll take a few days.
    Somebody in the list of comments asked whether stuff can be bought at amazon’s. Yes, I have been buying books from Mauritius for more than 12 years, but they do not sell other stuff -electronics etc, that’s why ebay is such an interesting alternative.
    Right now the dollar is quite low (28.something) so it is worth taking advantage of it to buy stuff.

  • Lux

    Hey your article’s very informative. However I’m still kind of confused about the shipping. Say my item’s like $9 and shipping costs me $9.56. When I go pick up my item at the post office, how much I’ll have to pay ?

  • Hello @Lux.

    I don’t think that you will need to pay for anything. Most of the time, inexpensive items like this gets delivered to your door or you will need to pick it up at the local postal office.

    Do keep us informed 😉

  • Kenyue

    Wow nice post. Maybe I will try to buy something on ebay, do they accept payment via creditcard instead of paypal.
    Shopped twice online in Japan and had not problem receiving my parcels.
    1st one send by Airmail($30fee…)5 days WOW.
    2nd one send by economic mail….more than one month.
    Just received a telegram from the parcel post office?
    Do I have to go to port louis, why? It cost less than rs1000.
    Will they open it?(oops)
    It everything from japan be controlled when shipped?
    If anybody knows something please reply to me. Thanks.

  • Kenyue

    Made some horrible mistake on my post, sorry. Mauritius zip code is 742CU001. Never used it.

  • jp

    I buy often on ebay like bought 15-20 items in the last 2 years ranging from Rs.1000 to Rs.25,000.

    All items I bought are mostly electronics (music gear, computer parts) mainly.

    For all items, I have been exempted tax on the first Rs.1,000 and I have paid 15% VAT Flat on item cost only. No additional tax on shipping.

  • Oops. Looks like I haven’t responded to questions since some time. Anyways, @Kenyue: eBay accepts only Paypal, which is linked to your credit card, freely. Items less than Rs1000 are exempted from any tax.

  • ReenaDKL

    Some buyers are kind enough to mark your parcel as gift if you ask them to…then you are exempted from tax 🙂

  • jp


    normally everything is controlled, and all items are opened.

    for specific type of items, you need permits:

    I don’t know if it’s in the list, but a friend of mine had to issue a permit for a weight monitoring device.

  • Salim

    HI !

    Nice to see you again !

    I need to know someting about Watches , may ne you can tell me !

    I want to know how much VAT is there in women watches ….is it 15 % or more ??

    thanks in advanced

  • Muzzammil

    VAT is always 15% in Mauritius. I think there’s no excise duty on watches.

  • Pingback: What do you think about Mauritian online stores? | Yashvin, pages of my life()

  • Hey @Salim, ki dir?

    Normalement, comme @Muzzammil ine dir, to pu bisin paye 15% vat mo pense bien. Aster si to montre enbas Rs1000, or approx sa valeur la, to pu exempted.

    Bolfam pu content la kouma dir 😉

  • Mili

    what’s that paypal about?
    i’m sorry but am just 18, so i sooooooo want to buy on E-bay!!!
    if i could have a detailed explanation of what i should do from the beginning till the end, i’ll be grateful to you 🙂
    thanks on advance 🙂
    p.s: am from mru only 😉

  • shah

    hi guys
    spoke to amazon online person
    they do ship to mauritius
    however they charge quite high!

  • impulsive ebay buyer

    Hello, your article is so cool! i have recently bought airplane models on eBay (yes! they are on their way!) and i got a kind of discount on shipping from the seller since i bought 2 models from him/her and i got the refund on my paypal account.I’ve checked it’s there, how do i get it then? you think my bank will give it to me when i ask them?

  • Hello. As far as I know, you can’t retrieve the money from Paypal (For
    Mauritians). May be things are different for refunds, I never got any
    problems on ebay to confirm that (fortunately).
    But I guess that the amount will be stored on your paypal account until your
    next purchase.
    Can you try to buy a small thing just to confirm that? Thanks for informing
    us 🙂

  • impulsive ebay buyer

    Hello..I’ve checked my online bank statement. It’s there! I got the the money which the seller sent back to my paypal account!! It came in my bank account!! YAAAAAY!

  • impulsive ebay buyer

    Hello again! This blog is too cool, God bless. I just want to share a piece of “useful” info with those who really really to do online shopping (like me) but are not yet working [or don’t want to have parents to take the credit card-anyway they’ll have the bank statement and you are going to die] and can’t possibly have credit cards from MCB or SBM (which most of us have here). With a debit card from Bramer Banking Corporation you are able to link it with your PayPal account,and…tadaaa! buy online!! That’s what i do 😉

  • Hellooo!
    Thanks for sharing, that will definitely be of great help for those with
    debit cards 🙂

  • Mehfooz

    Hi Yashvin,i would like to know if i buy a refurbished Branded cellphone,do i need to have any permit to clear from customs?

  • Hello. It does not make any difference whether the item is new or
    You will still need to pay the usual charges as mentioned in the article and
    hire a customs broker in case your item is above rs10,000.

  • Mehfooz

    Thanks for ur reply Yashvin,No am ok to pay the charges..item costs $92 and is a Nokia N76,my prob is that it is branded,i want to make sure that items will be cleared as normal ones without any issues,coz i dnt know how they handle Brand item,this item when was out costs at least Rs21K ,as today itself,i went there,my friend just ordered an Iphone from USA.problem is that it is used one,and now they asking us to have an special permit from ITCA to clear the item..Dats why i wanted to know if i should get a permit to clear my Refurbished Nokia,Clarify me please,so its means only used items u should have a special permit to clear item,it doesnt apply for NEW and Refurbished one right ?

  • I never heard of the ICTA thing but one thing for sure, I did purchased a
    refurbished camera equipment and nothing special was required to clear the
    item out of the customs.
    Do keep us informed if you have any additional information, this might
    perhaps help others. Thanks

  • mehfooz

    Ok now i understand refurbished items there’s nothing to worry,what about if you buy brand name Cellphone?is there anything to worryabout ?Well for “USED items such as cellphone its for sure u have to get a permit from ICTA..

  • Safe

    Dear Friends,

    Pou zot linformation ena bcp changement dans regulations at parcel office,limit pou al rode courtier maritim pou al tire lartik aster ine pass a Rs 5000 non pas Rs10,000,si depasser kan p ht aster bizin al rode courtier pou dedoune..En ce qui concern cellphone 2nd hand bizin al rode import permit kot ICTA avant reuisi gagne lartik,aster si zot conne kit douanier its better au lieu al perdi le temps al rode permit tousa..Hope this may Help cheers…

  • @Safe : I can’t confirm both of the above news. I have just called the
    customs and the person who took the phone confirmed for the permit for
    mobile phones only. As for the custom clearance for personal usage, he told
    me that it is still at Rs10k.

  • Pingback: Buying on eBay/Amazon from Mauritius (June 2011) | Yashvin, pages of my life()

  • UPDATE : 29th June 2011I have an updated post about some measures being strictly taken into consideration at the Customs office. Please make sure that you also read the new article as well as this one.  Comments section on this article is closed. Please ask any questions on the new post.You can read it here :

  • UPDATE : 29th June 2011

    I have an updated post about some measures being strictly taken into consideration at the Customs office. Please make sure that you also read the new article as well as this one. Comments section on this article is now closed.
    Please ask any questions on the new post.

    You can read it here :

  • Pingback: [Post-budget 2013] – Buying on eBay from Mauritius (Nov 2012) | Yashvin, pages of my life()

  • Pingback: [Online shopping] – Existing ICTA regulations more strictly enforced henceforth - Yashvin, pages of my life()