Buying on eBay/Amazon from Mauritius (June 2011)

Many people land onto my blog while looking for information about doing their purchase on Ebay. Why? Most probably because the blog contains valuable data (found nowhere else on the Mauritian web) and on top of that, very active participation and numerous helpful contributions on the behalf of my blog readers.

If you have missed that blog article, I highly recommend you to go through it first and all the comments there (Over 200!)

Updated info about eBay/Amazon purchases and Custom clearance

About a week ago, I was informed about some changes at the Central Parcel Office and that’s the reason why I had to write an updated post to share these precious bits of information I gathered at the Central Parcel office while politely questioning a customs officer.

What has changed?

  1. A permit issued by the ICTA is necessary to clear all transmitter/receivers/routers from the customs. In short, everything which uses wireless transmission/frequencies to operate.
    UPDATE 02 February 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.
  2. An Import Permit issued by the Ministry of Commerce is needed to clear any USED/REFURBISHED items from the customs.

The custom officers are only applying the existing laws. These permits have long been in our constitution but they were not applied, until now. From what I have learnt, these measures are now strictly taken into consideration to control the entry of purchases into the island and also, to ensure that items are not forbidden by law.

How to get the permit(s)?

You should know that YOU cannot directly apply for an import permit. Only registered Custom Brokers can complete the procedures by acting as some sort of intermediary between the you and the ministry of commerce. It takes 1-2 days for the permit to get issued.

Now, the permit delivered by the ICTA is a bit more PITA.

Don’t know what it means? You should probably learn by yourself if you go through the steps, but anyways, I will help you. PITA = Pain In The Ass.

Why? It can take up to 2-3 weeks for the ICTA to process your request.

UPDATE 02 February 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.

New to items clearance from the customs?

I will briefly go through some main points that were discussed on the previous post dedicated to Ebay/Mauritius :

  • Any purchases above Rs10,000 Rs30,000 [Read this updated blog post – November 2012] need to be cleared out of the customs by a Custom Broker
  • Any purchases above Rs1,000 Rs2,000 are taxable, 15% VAT.
  • No duty applicable for items below Rs2, 000.
    Items like bags/cigarettes etc have additional duty. For example, 30% on bags + the 15% VAT.
  • A post office storage fee of Rs50-Rs100 is claimed for any item delivered at the Central Postal Office.
  • Small and cheaper items usually get delivered by your postman or you may need to fetch it at the nearest post office (no charges to pay for)

What you need at the customs?

  • Your National Identity card
  • Your Paypal receipt or any other receipt/bank statement which shows the value of the purchase (very important)

Some prohibited goods.

  1. Guns (Including stunt guns/Pain ball guns) or any other kind of weapons or you may find yourself behind the bars and your house searched immediately after the parcel is opened for verification purposes.
  2. Sex toys. Not all of them but because I do not hold enough knowledge into the topic, I forgot those specific things which cannot be imported.
  3. Laser pointers > 1mW

Whenever you are ensure, do give a call to the customs office to inquire. The phone numbers are available on this page itself.

Note that you may need medical certificates to prove that you need some medicines(drugs) and all drugs are verified and approved by a pharmacian at the customs. (I think that was what I was told).

Where is the Central Parcels Office located?

That’s a question which I regularly need to answer (just like tons others on this topic.)
The Central Parcels Office is located at the back of the Post Office headquarters of Port Louis. The Postal Museum (that old famous stone-made building) is just 50metres away.
If you are travelling by car, you can use the Caudan Parking or the one found at the Granuary (just at the back of the post office). Rs25 for the first 2hours.

Some useful phone numbers

  • Mauritius parcel office : 213-4813
  • Customs (Post office): 216-3506
  • Bureau d’exchange :212-0150
  • EMS : 213-4813
  • MRA Tariff Unit : 202-0500 (Call there to get details about duties applicable on products)

I know that many among you will probably be looking for the contact number of a Customs Broker to get your item cleared. In that case, you can drop me a message and I will contact you asap.

Do you have any questions?

Just as I mentioned above, I receive lots of questions either through the blog or by mail. However, lots of people contact me without reading the article and related comments. (btw, many thanks to all those people who contribute to the posts.)

I would politely ask you to go through my first article first, and if you still can’t find the answers to your questions on that page or on this new blog post, do not hesitate to post it here. This said, I have closed the comments section on the previous post, and all questions will now be replied here. If you really want to get an answer fast, the best thing to do is to comment on the blog.

And finally, don’t forget that there’s a newer article (November 2012) with update info about the limits, etc. Read it here : http://www.yashvinblogs.com/ebay-mauritius-3/ 

Have a nice time shopping online!

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402 thoughts on “Buying on eBay/Amazon from Mauritius (June 2011)

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  1. I would like to share my awesome feedback for shipping like fedex, which actually took really less time to process my item and delivering it to me with no tax, no custom duties paid.

    I bought my mum’s eid clothes on ebay last week about monday, it was shipping on the 26th of july and i got it on the 1st of august and they phoned me and even sent me a text mentionning about item is ready for delivery please call back.

    I was not at home at that moment, i was at goodlands and they came to goodlands to provide delivery of the item without i paying for tax and custom charges.

    But my question goes about does DHL also provides home delivery? DHL: v/s fedex? which is better?

    DOes the tax/custom charges with shipping companies such as fedex/ups and DHL are the same as the tas charges of mauritius postal office? I didn;t actually had to pay a single penny to them, but concerning mauritius post, i had to pay 54 rs i guess for them For postal fee.

    I seriously doubt if the same item was shipping by normal shipping rate, i would had been screwed by the amount of tax i had to pay.

    plus they would had charged me postal fee.

    ps : inspired by fedex technologies, they got like a code scanner which actually update the tracking upon delivery 😛

    I have an item to buy so basically the probability of shipping is UPS, Anyone who understands UPS TAX stuffs or CHARGES? And will delivery be done by my home? Thank you 🙂

    p.s : my fedex shipping charge was on;y 9 dollar for a package of 1 kg

    Like

  2. Hi. I pre-ordered an Album (Audio CD) from Amazon UK for £11.08, shipping fees included. It’s being released in 2 days (on the 11th). Will the postman deliver it to my address ?

    Like

  3. I have 1 question. WHY WE CAN’T IMPORT USED CAR PARTS? This too require a permit. Their reason is “you can’t buy used parts because this can cause accidents” BUT ::::::::: There’s old spare parts in Mauritius. This can’t cause accidents. And what happen to items that they do not deliver???? IT IS SOLD ON AUCTIONS. pure pure shit

    Like

  4. Hello, i’m planning to buy a refurbished laptop from ebay, i wan’t to know if i will need a special import permit to clear it from the customs

    Like

  5. i have a question, will i have to request for the permit each time i receive a parcel or is it only once and its ok for the other ???

    Like

  6. Hi guys, i would like some info o whether i can import products like shampoo amongst others? i haven’t seen anything on these products.
    Thanks lotsss

    Like

      1. heya thanks tons for your quick response, and true i will check with customs, i hope the num u provided in ur article is still valid…
        i got very helpful info by reading ur article as well as all the comments…
        C ya… thanks again 🙂

        Like

      2. Hey, I bought a synthetic wig on ebay some days ago which has cost me less than Rs 700! Am I going to need a permit while collecting my parcel?
        Thanks in advance!

        Like

      3. Thank you so much! 🙂

        And the same thing applies for buying rings and wristbands on ebay, costing less than Rs 1000 right? 🙂

        Like

      4. Thanks again for giving your time replying to my comments! And you’re doing an excellent job of helping others stuck in the same dilemma as me! 🙂

        Take care! 🙂

        Like

  7. Hi Yashvin..
    Trust that you’re doing well. I want to buy a cosmetic on ebay (Proactiv). Will the custom authorities seek documents or something like explanation or medical prescription before releasing your purchase…. Merci d’avance for you response

    Like

    1. Hi. Definitely, you can purchase most of the items sold in the island but you should inquire about the duty on perfumes ( if applicable ). You can get this info by calling the customs or MRA tariff unit.

      Like

  8. Hi, offet mo p envi koner si mo kapav pr flash pu camera lor ebay ek kan li vin maurice si mo pu capav al pr zot soi mo pu bisin permit akoz Flash si mo pa tromP li wireless osi ???

    Like

    1. Hello.

      Mo pas croire to pu gagne probleme r flash camera. Sirement bane customs officer la pas meme koner ena wireless ladans 😛
      Si to al dir zot, to pu al faire zot decouvert l’amerique lo map.

      Like

      1. haha :D, ok b mo pr li si banla dir kisoz mo kapav contacter twa pu to pr li ?? akoz to deja ena permi tousa 😛 ??

        Like

      2. joke apart, ki mo fr si banla dir mwa b ena wireless kit ladan ek pa pu kapav paC si pa koi, mon envi nek koner ki mo pu bisin faire, si to kapav help me lor sa pu mo koner ki mo supozer faire, merci 😀

        Like

  9. Hello 🙂 I want to know if I will have to pay an additional fee for a product (let’s say a pair of shoes) which is less than Rs 1000 (i know usually we do not pay) BUT weighting more than 1 kg?

    And secondly, I would like you to confirm this please.. if I order few pairs of these shoes which are packed separately and are bought from the same seller, I’m NOT supposed to pay any fee, right?
    ( someone said: For EVERY product above Rs1,000 there is VAT. )

    Like

    1. No, you are not supposed to pay any VAT for both of the cases. I never imported a pair of shoes but do check if there’s any duty applicable on shoes. And since it is more than 1 kg, you will need to fetch it in your nearest post office, unless they specifically hold the item at the central one.

      Like

  10. hi yashvin , i want to know something , i have bought a camera body from abroad , it is used though , will i need a special permit for that too , it a very expensive item , though , i used to buy knew items photographic equipment new , no issue , now im purchasing a used one , please reply asap

    Like

    1. Hi.
      Normally, any used or refurbished item needs a permit from the Ministry of Commerce to clear the item out of customs. And as far as I know, you will need to hire a customs broker to do this job for you. That’s why I usually advise to buy new items only as far as possible.

      Can you please call the customs and confirm? Keep fingers crossed!

      Like

      1. thanks yashvin , one more thing , how much does it cost to have the permit ? and what about the broker you know , thanks for the help

        Like

      2. Hi. I really dont know about the costs associated. As for the broker, I do not have contact with him anymore. (because now, I avoid buying things with extra costs and paper works lol)

        Like

  11. Please anyone i need your opinion…i.want to buy a mobile phone on ebay,at about rs15000..the phone is new..so will i need that icta permit?? And i will pay 15 percent tax,,+ 30 percent?? Thanks for your reply…

    Like

  12. If I purchase a phone costing around 6000rs out of Ebay…
    So will I have to pay extra cost when it come to our Island??Does I require a permit.??

    Like

  13. I recently bought a mobile phone online. I had it delivered by DHL. Shipping fee + custom fees was a total of Rs2000. Saved me the pain to run around for paperwork to get my parcel. Got it delivered at my doorstep. So,when i think about it, I better choose DHL or other shipping companies to get my items delivered in the future. I don’t mind paying that little extra as long as it saves me the PITA of running around for permits and other paperwork. P.S : This is only my point of view. I felt like sharing this with you. Now it’s up to you people to decide which methods you prefer.

    Like

  14. Great article, dude.. Only one that is driving me CRAZY.. I bought a Projector on eBay.. It arrived in Mauritius last week..but I have not yet received any letter/card from my post office asking me to collect it..

    Any suggestion? Who should I call to get some information?

    My tracking is No. RC532255045CN .

    Like

    1. Hi.
      Call the central parcel office (or the exchange office). The phone number is somewhere on this blog or on the phone directory. They have their own tracking system which can be used to know if the item was correctly recorded upon its arrival here.

      Like

  15. Hi i have a friend who want to buy a rc quadcopter for his son on eBay for personal use. does he need any permit ?? or does this toy have taxes??? he will buy it new and its a rc kit. the product will cost 30 usd kit. reply as fast as possible

    Like

      1. I sent them a mail they send their dept will call me soon lol!anyway will let you know..thank you!

        Like

  16. sup. o/

    so, im a complete noob with online shopping (which means no paypal account or anything), and i’d like to know if i can actually buy a ps4 game on Amazon and have it shipped here.

    here’s a link for the game: http://www.amazon.com/Final-Fantasy-Type-0-HD-PlayStation-4/dp/B00KWJ4JW4/ref=sr_1_1?s=videogames&ie=UTF8&qid=1426585857&sr=1-1&keywords=Final+Fantasy+Type-0+HD

    If possible, i’d like to know the total value of the thing in the measure that the shipping is possible. thanks.

    Like

  17. Hey Buddy,
    First of all thanks with all the information you provided, its of big help
    Sorry if my question might seem something you already covered in your reply to previous comments, it just too long to follow through

    So my problem is i bought a football shoe online, and i wanna know if i have to pay a custom duty along with the VAT since the price is above 2,000 rupees

    And i need to go to the Central Parcel Office to collect it ?

    Like

    1. Normally, such big parcels need to be collected at the central parcel office. I dont think that there are duties on shoes but you need to confirm. As for the amount to be paid, yes, you will pay 15% VAT for all amount exceeding Rs2000.

      Like

  18. Hi Yash, I was wondering if you have any idea what the procedure when receiving books ordered from amazon. I am currently holidaying in mauritius and I need to get a text book sent to me via amazon… Thank you.

    Like

    1. Hello.

      Most probably, the text book (if small) might be delivered directly to your door step. In case the item is of a high commercial value, they might be held by customs where you will be required to pay the Value Added Tax of 15% and some other postal storage fee of around Rs100 or less.

      So, feel free to order your book. No hassles in view 😉

      Happy holidays and have a nice time on the island!

      Like

      1. Hi Yash,
        Thanks so much for your reply. There are several different text books and the total value is around $300 (excluding postage), but they are clearly for school?

        Thank you,
        Best,
        Donatella

        Like

  19. Hello Yashvin! i’m going to buy a 3d printer and the shipping is DHL, is there’s any problem about 3d printers, things to pay etc? thanks

    Like

  20. Hello Yasvin
    Hope u can help me. Actually i bought a missha nose patch on ebay and did receive it at the post office. Now i bought another one but i got a form from Mauritius post and i have tto come to Port louis. The item cost $ 8.10 but the declared value is $20. Accrording to your blog , below Rs 2000 , we dont have to pay. But do u think i hav to pay additional fees after opening? Or clearance fees or duty or vat ? Please help me. I’m confused and dont no exactly how it operates. Please help me. Can i go to the post office any day and time or is there a specific day for the item. Please help me.
    Thank u.

    Like

    1. Hello. Nothing to worry about. Even if it is $20, it doesn’t exceed the Rs2000 exemption limit. It is just a formality as sometimes, I believe that they do randomly hold items for verification. Do bring your receipt anytime you go there.
      Le 2 avr. 2016 12:54, “Disqus” a écrit :

      Like

      1. Hello
        Thank u soo much. This helped me out. I guess i re-post a comment. So please dont mind the other post. Thx once again.

        Like

  21. I would like to buy a laptop on ebay. Do you know about the fees for the broker? And if the product is delivered at my doorstep, do these procedures still apply?

    Like

    1. Hello.
      Unfortunately, I’m not aware of rates currently charged by brokers. So, I prefer that you get in touch directly to get an estimate.
      If DHL, for example, delivers you the item directly, they will charge you accordingly, including processing fees. However, the prices might be higher than what you would normally pay in the market.
      Le 18 avr. 2016 20:47, “Disqus” a écrit :

      “I would like to buy a laptop on ebay. Do you know about the fees for the broker? And if the product is delivered at my doorstep, do these procedures still apply?”
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      *Heetesh Bolah*
      I would like to buy a laptop on ebay. Do you know about the fees for the broker? And if the product is delivered at my doorstep, do these procedures still apply?

      12:47 p.m., Monday April 18 | Other comments by Heetesh Bolah

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      1. Do you know a broker or can anyone give me the contact details of a broker so that I can enquire?
        What prices might be higher than the market?

        Like

      2. Can’t find anything helpful as no answer from contacted broker till nowm Should I be looking for a company or an individual. If anyone know someone let me know

        Like

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