Among the various functions of Customs is the screening out of items which may be harmful to Mauritius’ interests. Importation of some goods is prohibited. Others may be admitted only after they have been subjected to treatment, or if they are accompanied by the appropriate documentation. These may be listed as follows:
Mauritius is relatively free from exotic pests and diseases.
Importation of plant and products thereof, micro-organisms, soil and products containing soil are subject to phytosanitary control. All such items must be declared to Customs or to the representative of the Ministry of Agro-Industry & Food Security.
The following classes of goods must be declared to Customs. Clearance is required from the above mentioned Ministry prior to release by Customs:
- Fruits and vegetables
- All fresh fruits and vegetables
- Dried fruits and vegetables containing seeds or fruit skin
- Plant, seeds and soil
- Plant materials including plants, cuttings (e.g. Flower cuttings), roots and bulbs
- Ornamentals-Live plants, weeds, cut foliage /flowers, fresh cuttings rooted and unrooted
- Dried flowers of Graminaceous origin, cactus plants, nursery stocks and plants of Araceae family, specimen of plant
- Seeds (including commercially packaged seeds) and spices
- Coconuts and coconuts by-products, brooms of plant origin
- Dried plant material
- Remedies and medicine containing herbs, seeds, fungi, bark and dried plant material.
- Souvenirs, artifacts and goods made of unprocessed animal products such as rawhide, feathers, teeth, bones and other animal parts
- Dried flowers arrangements and pot pourri
- Handicrafts made from or containing seed, pinecones, bark (including Christmas decoration), moss and straw, bamboo, bamboo basket, lay, dried grass.
- Laboratory material
- Medicinal and animal samples
- Diagnostic kits and micro-organisms
- biological specimens
- Equipment used with animals
- Camping gear, golf clubs, used sports shoes and used bicycles and other items that may contain soil remains
- Wood with bark
- Wooden furniture
- Used/Second hand agricultural equipment and spare parts
Contact the Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security for more information.
1. Domestic Pets
Pets may be imported subject to procedures below:
- Application to be made for "Import Permit" to the Veterinary Service of Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security prior to importation
- Import Permit is issued with specified requirements for compliance
- Imported "Live Animals" are subject to Customs Formalities and payment of duty and taxes
- Animals are taken charge at entry point by a Veterinary officer upon arrival for quarantine for a period of one month prior to release
- If you require any further information on the importation of pets, please contact the Veterinary Division of the Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security
2. Endangered Species
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) was formulated to regulate and monitor the trade in endangered species. CITES works by placing controls on international trade in specimens of CITES-listed species.
The CITES has a set of rules designed to regulate the export, re-export and import of live/dead animals and plants and other by-products linked to wildlife. It operates with an import/export permit system whereby, trade in CITES-listed species, is allowed only if certain conditions are satisfied.
Animals and plants are classified into three appendices, depending on their degree of endangerment.
Appendix I lists species that are the most endangered among CITES-listed animals and plants. They are threatened with extinction and CITES prohibits international trade in specimens of these species except when the purpose of the import is not commercial, for instance for scientific research.
Appendix II lists species that are not necessarily now threatened with extinction but that may become so unless trade is closely controlled. International trade in specimens of Appendix-II species may be authorized by the granting of an export permit or re-export certificate.
Appendix III is a list of species included at the request of a Party that already regulates trade in the species and that needs the cooperation of other countries to prevent unsustainable or illegal exploitation.
The following plants and species may be subject to CITES, as well as any products manufactured from them, for example, fur, jewellery, ornaments, carvings, feathers and so on.
This list is not exhaustive:
- aloes (except aloe vera)
- birds (including birds of prey, storks, cranes, bustards, kestrels, owls, hummingbirds, hornbills, birds of paradise, parrots and parrot allies)
- cactus and euphorbias (micro cactus)
- cats (except domestic cats)
- crocodiles and alligators
- cycads (sago plant)
- elephants (including ivory products)
- giant clams (benitiers)
- hard coral (including black coral and coral found on the beach)
- queen conch (shell)
- swallowtail and birdwing butterflies
- tortoise and turtles
- whales and dolphins
More information on CITES-listed species is available on the CITES Website
Firearms and Weapons
The importation of firearms is strictly controlled and a Police permit to import is required.
If the firearm or weapon is imported prior to the approval of the permit, same will be detained by Customs at the time of arrival and thereafter handed over to the Police. After approval the importer may collect the firearm.
Importers already holding a valid firearm permit will also have to go through the same procedures, that is, the firearm will be detained by Customs and handed over to Police for verification of the Firearm and the Permit.
It is prohibited to import certain types of weapons such as flick knives, swordsticks, knuckle-dusters, and any weapon designed to give the appearance of another article.
If you are carrying prescription medicines or controlled drugs you should:
- have a (legible) prescription from your physician advising that the medicine is being used under a doctor’s direction and is necessary for your physical well-being
- carry the drugs in their original containers
- have sufficient quantity not exceeding three months supply for prescription medicines or one month supply for controlled drugs
- for controlled medicines, approval from the Government Pharmacist of the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life is required.
For further information on the clearance of pharmaceutical products please contact the Chief Pharmacist on phone no. 201 1334, 201 1367 and 201 3326(fax no.)
Money (cash currency, bearer negotiable instruments, precious stones and metals (diamond, gold, jewellery), work of arts or any goods of high value
Any person entering Mauritius with more than 500,000 mauritian rupees in cash or bearer negotiable instruments (BNI), precious stones and metals (diamond, gold, jewellery),work of arts or any goods of high value or its equivalent in any foreign currency is required to make a declaration to Customs.
A Customs officer may request you to complete a Declaration Form for currency/Bearer Negotiable Instruments/ precious stones and metals (diamond, gold, jewellery), work of arts or any goods of high value when you are entering Mauritius. This will usually occur at the Arrival Hall at airport or seaport. Any person making a declaration may be questioned by an officer on the particulars of the declaration and in the course of any questioning, the officer may inspect the person’s travel documents, passport, laissez-passer, tickets and accompanying luggage. The officer may also under reasonable cause, detain and search the person in accordance with Section 132 of the Customs Act 1988.
Any person who, when so required, refuses to make a declaration, or makes a declaration which is false or misleading in any material particular, or refuses to answer questions without any reasonable excuse, shall commit an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine not less than 20% of the whole amount which is subject matter of the offence but not exceeding 2 million rupees and to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years.
Objectionable Articles (Obscene Matter)
Obscene literature and pornographic materials (such as video tapes, films, records, and publications containing obscene matter) are prohibited imports and may be forfeited.