Exportation is among the key elements which determine the level of economic activity of a country. Customs plays an important role in securing, monitoring and facilitating exports and it also provides data for statistical purposes. In Mauritius there are two main exporting points which are the Airport and the Port. In this part we will go through important information which stakeholders (exporters, declarants and members of the public) need to know while undertaking export activities.
- Export Permit
For controlled goods, you will be required to submit the export permit applications to the competent authorities for processing and approval prior to exportation.
- Export Entries
Export entries and other clearances are a legal declaration to Customs under the Customs Act 1988, providing details of shipments to be exported.
Customs suggests that you hire the services of a freight forwarding agent or a Customs broker to lodge export declarations on your behalf. This will help if you are unfamiliar with compiling entries, the related rules, determining tariff classification, customs value, or whether permit are required for goods you wish to export.
Penalty exists for erroneous export entries under the Customs Act 1988.
- Submission of Declaration
All entries must be submitted and processed prior to goods being authorised access to the port area or export warehouses at airport.
The following goods are exempted from the requirement to lodge an export declaration / bill of entry, but may still be subject to a prohibition / restriction which must be complied with:
- Corpse and human remains
- Goods covered by ATA Carnet
- Parcels and packets and bona fide trade samples, not being merchandise for sale, exported by post or courier
Note: Accompanied personal effects (excluding merchandise for sale) are exempt from the submission of customs declaration.
The information on your export declaration is vital. This enables Customs to assess the level of risk and decide whether we need to examine any consignment prior to shipment.
Customs declaration must be lodged prior to the goods being loaded for export. For export by seafreight, containers (general cargo) to be exported should reach the container terminal 48 hours before the expected date of departure of the vessel (for reefer containers and dangerous goods the time frame is 24 hours). For export by airfreight, goods should reach the export shed 4 hours (minimum) before take-off of respective planes. Our Customs Management System is able to screen an electronic export entry and provide either of the following status:
- shipment allowed
- examination required or
The export section at the airport works on a 24/7 basis while for the port export entries can be cleared for shipment until 20 00 hrs. However, if exporters lodge an entry less than 48 hours prior to loading for seafreight, or less than four hours prior for airfreight, the goods may not be cleared in time for the scheduled voyage or flight (due to processing time and/or if examination is required).
The exporter is responsible for:
- making an accurate and correct Customs entry
- keeping all commercial documents for a period of atleast five years and producing this documentation to Customs when required
- compliance with all legislative requirements.
Where an exporter uses the services of a Customs broker or freight forwarding agent in the clearance of goods through Customs, any declaration or action undertaken by the broker or freight forwarding agent in this process is deemed also to have been made by the exporter. The exporter may also be liable for any or all penalties that are incurred by the broker or freight forwarding agent in this clearance process. Under Customs legislation, actions by the broker or freight forwarding agent in the clearance process are regarded as being attributable to the exporter.