HCFC refrigerants

Member: 

Basic information

1

Outline of the system

Mauritius has successfully implemented its Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) Phase out Management Plan since 2005 and importation of CFCs is completely banned. Presently, a Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC) Phase out Management Plan (HPMP) has been developed in 2011 and importation of HCFC refrigerants is being controlled.

A quota system based on a baseline figure (the average amount of HCFC refrigerants imported in 2009 and 2010), has been set since 2013. In 2015, as required under the Montreal Protocol and as provided in the HPMP, a 10% reduction was applied to the baseline import and a quota system worked out accordingly.

Following request from importers of refrigerants, the National Ozone Unit of the Ministry of Environment, Solid Waste Management and Climate Change issue a clearance to the importers. The Customs Department of the Mauritius Revenue Authority and the Dangerous Chemical Control Board (DCCB) of the Ministry of Health and Wellness are informed of our no-objection and DCCB issues the import permit for importation under the Dangerous Chemical Control Act, 2004. The Customs Department enforce the latter legislation.

Additionally, importation of equipment containing HCFC as refrigerant is banned, under the Consumer Protection (Supplies and Control) Regulations, 2013.

2

Product coverage

Importation of all HCFC refrigerants requires an import permit.

Nature of licensing

Automatic

3

If Automatic, administrative purpose

Non-Automatic

4

If Non-Automatic, description of the notified Non-Automatic Licensing regime

5

Products under restriction as to the quantity or value of imports

The licensing system is to restrict the quantity of the HCFC refrigerants being imported based on the quota as defined in the HCFC Phase out Management Plan (HPMP).

6

Questions for products under restriction as to the quantity or value of imports

Please see Answers 6.1-6.11.

7

The system applies to products originating from which country?

The system applies to goods originating from anywhere in the world.

8

Expected duration of licensing procedure

Eligibility of applicants

12

Is there a system of registration of persons or firms permitted to engage in importation?

13

What persons or firms are eligible to apply for a licence?

All persons, firms and institutions are eligible to apply for licences.

14

Is there a registration fee?

The NOU does not charge any registration fee.

15

Is there a published list of authorized importers?

There is no published list of importers at the level of NOU.

Contact point for information on eligibility

16

Ministry/Authority

17

Address

18

Telephone

19

Fax

20

E-mail address

21

Website

22

Contact officer

Submission of an application

23

Administrative body(ies) for submission of an application

Ministry of Environment, Solid Waste Management and Climate Change

Documentation requirements

24

What information is required in applications?

The importer must send a letter to the NOU and copied to the DCCB and specify the following:
• Type of refrigerants.
• Type of container.
• Weight per unit.
• Country from where it is imported.

25

What documents is the importer required to supply with the application?

Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) of the product can also be submitted by the importer, though not binding.

Window of submission of an application

26

How far in advance of importation must application for a licence be made?

N/A

27

Are there any limitations as to the period of the year during which application for licence can be made? If so, explain

N/A

Issuing the license

28

Can a licence be granted immediately on request?

N/A

29

Can licences be obtained within a shorter time-limit or for goods arriving at the port without a licence

N/A

30

Which administrative body is responsible for approving application of licences?

N/A

31

Must the applications be passed on to other organs for visa, note or approval?

N/A

32

Are there any other conditions attached to the issue of a licence?

While issuing the clearance by the NOU, the importers are requested to also seek clearance from the DCCB.

Fees and other administrative charges

33

Is there any licensing fee or administrative charge?

The NOU does not charge any registration fee.

34

What is the amount of the fee or charge?

35

Is there any deposit or advance payment required associated with the issue of licences?

No fees and deposit are applicable.

36

Amount or rate?

37

Is it refundable?

38

What is the period of retention?

39

What is the purpose of this requirement?

Refusal of an application

40

Under what circumstances may an application for a licence be refused other than failure to meet the ordinary criteria?

Application for a licence may be refused if the quota has been met.

41

Are the reasons for any refusal given to applicants?

The importer is informed accordingly.

42

Have applicants a right of appeal in the event of refusal to issue a licence?

The importer may contact the NOU and confirm whether unused allocation for other importers can be reallocated.

43

If so, to what bodies and under what procedures?

The importer may contact the NOU and confirm whether unused allocation for other importers can be reallocated.

Importation

44

Are there any limitations as to the period of year during which importation may be made?

N/A

45

What documents are required upon actual importation?

Production of clearance from DCCB is required prior to granting Customs release.

46

Are there any other administrative procedures, apart from import licensing and similar administrative procedures, required prior to importation?

No other administrative procedures.

Conditions of licensing

47

What is the period of validity of a licence? Can the validity be extended? How?

The licence is valid as from the date of issue to the date the refrigerants are cleared from the Customs.

48

Is there any penalty for the non-utilization of a licence or a portion of a licence?

There is no penalty by the NOU in case of non-utilisation of the licence.

49

Are licences transferable between importers? If so, are any limitations or conditions attached to such transfer?

Licences are not transferable between importers.

Foreign Exchange

50

Is foreign exchange automatically provided by the banking authorities for goods to be imported?

N/A

51

Is a licence required as a condition to obtaining foreign exchange?

N/A

52

Is foreign exchange always available to cover licences issued?

N/A

53

What formalities must be fulfilled for obtaining the foreign exchange?

N/A

The following questions are only for products under restriction as to the quantity or value of imports (whether applicable globally or to a limited number of countries or whether established bilaterally or unilaterally)

6.1

Where is information on allocation and formalities for licences published? Is the overall amount published? The amount allocated to goods from each country? The maximum amount allocated to each importer? How to request any exceptions or derogations from the licensing requirement?

All importers of refrigerants have been informed of the quota system.

6.2

Is the size of the quota determined: on yearly, six-monthly or quarterly basis? Are there cases where the size of quota is determined on a yearly basis but licences are issued for imports on a six-monthly or quarterly basis? In the latter case, is it necessary for importers to apply for a fresh licence on a six-monthly or quarterly basis?

Accordingly, the quota is allocated. However, importers have to make the request for clearance for a licence every time they intends to import. They need to indicate the amount as well as the country of origin.

6.3

Are licences allocated for certain goods partly or only to domestic producers of like goods? What steps are taken to ensure that licences allocated are actually used for imports? Are unused allocations added to quotas for a succeeding period? Are names of importers to whom licences have been allocated made known to governments and export promotion bodies of exporting countries upon request? If not, for what reason? (Indicate products to which replies relate)

Refrigerants are not produced locally. Unused allocations are not added to quotas for the succeeding period. No, names of importers have not been made known to export promotion bodies of exporting countries, as no such request has been made. However, there would be no problem to communicate these details if ever there is such a request.

6.4

From the time of announcing the opening of quotas, as indicated in I above, what is the period of time allowed for the submission of applications for licences?

There are no specific conditions but preferably the importers should submit their request two working days beforehand.

6.5

What are the minimum and maximum lengths of time for processing applications?

There are no specific conditions but generally the requests are processed within two days.

6.6

How much time remains, at a minimum, between the granting of licences and the date of opening of the period of importation?

No restriction, subject to importation is done within the same calendar year.

6.7

Is consideration of licence applications effected by a single administrative organ? Or must the application be passed on to other organs for visa, note or approval? If so, which? Does the importer have to approach more than one administrative organ?

No. The National Ozone Unit (NOU) of the Ministry of Environment, Solid Waste Management and Climate Change process only the no-objection and certifies that the refrigerant in question can be imported. It is the Dangerous Chemical Control Board of the Ministry of Health and Wellness which grants the licence.

6.8

If the demand for licences cannot be fully satisfied, on what basis is the allocation to applicants made? First come, first served? Past performance? Is there a maximum amount to be allocated per applicant and if so, on what basis is it determined? What provision is made for new importers? Are applications examined simultaneously or on receipt?

It happens that some importers have exceeded their quotas and have made an additional request. Reallocation is done only if the other importers have not fully used their quotas. A quota system has been established as from 2013 based on the average import during 2009 – 2010 for those importers who were registered during the said two years. A quota has also been assigned for new importers while being within the allowable baseline figure of import. Applications are examined on receipt.

6.9

In the case of bilateral quotas or export restraint arrangements where export permits are issued by exporting countries, are import licences also required? If so, are licences issued automatically?

For any importation of HCFCs an import licence is obligatory.

6.10

In cases where imports are allocated on the basis of export permits only, how is the importing country informed of the effect given by the exporting countries to the understanding between the two countries?

No such mechanism.

6.11

Are there products for which licences are issued on condition that goods should be exported and not sold in the domestic market?

No. The imported refrigerant can be re-exported, but the exporters need to again get the clearance from the NOU and licence from the DCCB.