Outline of the system
Mauritius together with Madagascar and Indian Ocean Islands has been designated by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as a biodiversity hotspot. The majority of endemic Mauritian flora and fauna are considered threatened and with some 60 species of native plants believed to be already extinct.
Invasive Alien Species (IAS) which are introduced plants, animals and microorganisms represent the main threat to the biodiversity of Mauritius and its ecosystem. As a consequence, legislation and regulations have been enacted to control and monitor the entry of exotic wildlife.
Mauritius being party and compliant to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna (CITES) also regulates trade with respect to CITES listed species.
The National Parks and Conservation Service (NPCS) is responsible for regulating both importation of exotic wildlife and CITES listed (prescribed) species through provisions of the Native Terrestrial Biodiversity and National Parks Act 2015.
The CITES and Wildlife (Prescribed Species) Regulations 2022 has been promulgated under the Native Terrestrial Biodiversity and National Parks Act. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is an international agreement between governments to regulate international trade of threatened species. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten the survival of the species. The regulations are effective as from 16 August 2022.
(a) Import of CITES listed specimens
In accordance to the provision of the Native Terrestrial Biodiversity and National Parks Act 2015 (NTBNPA), an import permit is needed for the importation of prescribed wildlife under CITES for Appendix I and II. In that respect CITES import permits are issued by NPCS as the CITES.
(b) Import of exotic wildlife other than domestic, livestock and fish
“Exotic wildlife” is defined as any wildlife introduced in Mauritius as per NTBNPA 2015. In accordance to Section 35 of NTBNPA, a permit is needed for the importation of living animal other than domestic, livestock and fish.
Nature of licensing
If Automatic, administrative purpose
If Non-Automatic, description of the notified Non-Automatic Licensing regime
Products under restriction as to the quantity or value of imports
Yes, for CITES cases only.
Questions for products under restriction as to the quantity or value of imports
The system applies to products originating from which country?
The system applies to goods originating from all countries.
Expected duration of licensing procedure
Is the licensing statutorily required?
The Native Terrestrial Biodiversity and National Parks Act 2015.
Does the legislation leave designation of products to be subject to licensing to administrative discretion?
Is it possible for the government to abolish the system without legislative approval?
Eligibility of applicants
Is there a system of registration of persons or firms permitted to engage in importation?
There is a system of registration for persons or firms to engage in importation.
What persons or firms are eligible to apply for a licence?
All persons or firms having the required facilities for the specific trade are eligible.
Is there a registration fee?
A registration fee as prescribed by the Native Terrestrial Biodiversity and National Parks Act 2015 (NTBNPA) applies for such registration.
Is there a published list of authorized importers?
There is no published list of authorised importers.
Contact point for information on eligibility
Submission of an application
Administrative body(ies) for submission of an application
National Parks and Conservation Service (NPCS), Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security
What information is required in applications?
General information requirements for CITES and IPEW are as follows: Details on importer, scientific name of imported wildlife, age, country of origin, source of wildlife, purpose of trade, sex of wildlife, quantity of wildlife imported.
What documents is the importer required to supply with the application?
Window of submission of an application
How far in advance of importation must application for a licence be made?
Are there any limitations as to the period of the year during which application for licence can be made? If so, explain
Issuing the license
Can a licence be granted immediately on request?
Minimum time for processing applications:
(a) CITES permit - three working days.
(b) IPEW permit - ten working days.
Maximum time for processing applications:
(a) CITES permit - ten working days.
(b) IPEW permit - 90 working days in case applications should receive clearance of National Invasive Alien Species Committee.
Can licences be obtained within a shorter time-limit or for goods arriving at the port without a licence
Information concerning filing of applications for clearances are provided at the Office, on the Ministry’s website, by phone and by mail upon request.
Which administrative body is responsible for approving application of licences?
Written applications are submitted to Director (NPCS) for both categories of permits. Application forms for IPEW permit are also available at NPCS office.
Must the applications be passed on to other organs for visa, note or approval?
Are there any other conditions attached to the issue of a licence?
Fees and other administrative charges
Is there any licensing fee or administrative charge?
CITES import permits are issued by NPCS as the CITES Management Authority of Mauritius against payment of a prescribed fee. In addition, export and re-export CITES permits are issued by NPCS against payment of a prescribed fee. An import permit for exotic wildlife (IPEW) is delivered by the NPCS against payment of a prescribed fee.
What is the amount of the fee or charge?
A fee of Rs 300 is claimed for each CITES permit issued. A fee of Rs 50 is claimed for each IPEW permit issued.
Is there any deposit or advance payment required associated with the issue of licences?
Payment is made upon application of import permit.
Amount or rate?
Is it refundable?
What is the period of retention?
What is the purpose of this requirement?
Refusal of an application
Under what circumstances may an application for a licence be refused other than failure to meet the ordinary criteria?
Permits are refused in case of non-compliance of the NTBNPA 2015.
Are the reasons for any refusal given to applicants?
The applicant is informed accordingly.
Have applicants a right of appeal in the event of refusal to issue a licence?
In case of refusal of permits, the applicant can make an appeal.
If so, to what bodies and under what procedures?
In case of refusal of permits, the applicant can make an appeal to the Senior Chief Executive of Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security.
Are there any limitations as to the period of year during which importation may be made?
What documents are required upon actual importation?
Import permit from NPCS and Veterinary certificate.
Are there any other administrative procedures, apart from import licensing and similar administrative procedures, required prior to importation?
Yes. In cases where the application needs clearance from CITES Scientific Authority and/ or Invasive Alien Species Committee and approval of Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security, the time for processing of permits is extended and applicant is informed accordingly.
Conditions of licensing
What is the period of validity of a licence? Can the validity be extended? How?
a. CITES import permits are valid for one year.
b. CITES export and re-export permits are valid for six months.
c. Import permit for exotic wildlife (IPEW) are valid for six months. All permits are non-renewable. Applicants need to make fresh application against prescribed payment.
Is there any penalty for the non-utilization of a licence or a portion of a licence?
Are licences transferable between importers? If so, are any limitations or conditions attached to such transfer?
Is foreign exchange automatically provided by the banking authorities for goods to be imported?
Is a licence required as a condition to obtaining foreign exchange?
Is foreign exchange always available to cover licences issued?
What formalities must be fulfilled for obtaining the foreign exchange?