[Post-budget 2013] – Buying on eBay from Mauritius (Nov 2012)

UPDATE 09 June 2017:

Following the Budget 2017-2018 exercise, the exemption limit (introduced in the budget 2013) was raised from Rs2000 to Rs3000. Read more here

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.
*End update*

While everyone can have their opinion about the budget 2013, yours might change after reading this post, especially if you shop online frequently. Previously a customs broker was required to clear out your parcels from the customs if the total amount was greater than Rs10,000 – (Read here and here). The Minister of Finance, Xavier Duval announced the following on the 9th October 2012, I quote:

Recourse to the services of a custom broker is presently required to obtain delivery of articles imported by post or courier services if their value exceeds 10,000 rupees. I am raising this limit to 30,000 rupees.

What does this mean?

You won’t be required to hire the services of a customs broker unless your item is over Rs30k!!!

You can easily save from Rs1,000 to Rs3000 when purchasing mobiles, laptops, camera equipment and so on. But please remember that refurbished or used items need special permits from the Ministry of Labour Commerce. Also, equipment with wireless communications need another permit from the ICTA. You can read more here.

Another budgetary measure :

Customs duty and VAT exemption will apply on the first Rs 2,000 of the import value of the goods, instead of Rs 1,000. Such exemption does not apply to imports for sale, alcohol, tobacco products and illicit goods. This change will take effect immediately.

Items can be bags for example.

Today, I spent quite some time on the phone to get these confirmed. Neither the central postal office nor the MRA Tariff Unit could officially say whether both of the budgetary measures will be effective immediately and put into practice immediately as announced.

You are the most welcomed to share any further related information here. And please, do read the previous article (here and here) before asking any questions or sending me mails. Most often, I have to ignore many mails because I wrote and discussed everything on the related posts.

Keep tuned and long live online shopping!

Thanks for reading!

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246 thoughts on “[Post-budget 2013] – Buying on eBay from Mauritius (Nov 2012)

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  1. Can i buy perfume like diesel,paco rabane, hugo boss,etc from any online shop? Wondering whether only Mado has the license….but i will buy max 3 edts….

    Like

  2. Hey Yashvin,
    When shipping via Fedex do you still require a custom broker?
    I mean doesn’t Fedex have their own in-house custom brokers?

    Thanks.

    Like

  3. Hi Yashvin,really sry to bother u n take your time,i know you are very busy,i read many of your posts,i found it really interesting with all necessary informations,n it helped many people.in fact I needed a help regarding buying things on ebay,I’m a frequent buyer from ebay,buying several gadgets sometime every months.recently I was planning to buy a smartphone which USED,but after I read your post,i came to know that,for used items,we require a special permit from ICTA.so my question is how do I apply for this permit,do I have to pay for it,if yes about how much if the phone is costing less than 10k,or if it cost more than 10k,and lastly,when should I apply for this permit,before my item reach Mauritius or after? am really sorry,i know that sometimes these msgs and questions are sometimes annoying,but please I really need help I this matter,thanks in advance for your help dude

    Like

    1. Hi.

      No worry, I’ll answer that question to clear any doubts.

      First of all, used items need a permit from the Ministry of Commerce, not ICTA. Normally, an ICTA permit is needed for items which use telecommunication frequencies and mobile phones are exempted from that permit. So, no worry on that side.

      Now, for that Used items permit, you will need to hire a customs broker. He will do the necessary paperworks (unless you already know how to proceed yourself). But, I strongly recommend people not to buy used items, especially online.

      Lastly, coming to the limit, you probably read an old thing, that Rs10,000 limit has been increased to Rs30,000. Great thing since you can import more expensive items without the need to pay any additional amount.

      Feel free to ask any questions 😉

      Like

      1. thanks a lot for your quick response,but when you say mobile phones are exempted from that permit,you mean to say that I do not need a permit for the phone am buying even though it is used?

        Like

  4. hi ,

    Can i get more info about this plz,

    actually i already buy 25 clothes from a shop in dubai(free shipping),it will take around 2 week to reach mauritius,must i have a busines permit to get it and must i pay at fee at custom to get it??

    Like

    1. It seems so logic that you might probably need some business permit because I don’t think that you are buying 25 clothes just for you. Unfortunately, I do not have any information regarding business imports.

      If the items are really for your personal use, you will be required to pay the normal 15% vat and a postal storage fee of around Rs100.

      Like

  5. Hello, I have been reading your blogs regarding ebay shopping and its very useful. However since I am a first time buyer, I am still not sure about the procedures involved when buying an ipad. Can you help please?

    Where does the product gets delivered, at home or at the custom’s office(as I thought at home; which the case when I bought some books delivered by UPS)?

    Any additional fees to be paid for an item around $700? so that I plan the budget and know what will it cost in total.

    Thank you in advance. Keep up the good work.

    Like

    1. Hello Heetesh.

      I know that feeling when you are buying for the first time. I have already explained everything on the blog, but nevertheless, I will quickly reply to your questions.

      If your item (ipad) is valued at $700, the customs will definitely hold it for verification at the central parcel office and payment of VAT of 15%. However, you have probably heard about the ICTA approval. You will need to contact the ICTA to get a free approval letter so that you can clear the item out of the customs. Have a look at the recent posts, you will find the link.

      If you have any other questions, just ask 😉

      Like

      1. Thank you for your answer. I’ve read your blogs but wanted to confirm if it was the same for all products and if shipping is done at home or we always have to go to the custom or does it depend on the company doing the shipping. Will check further for the ICTA

        Like

  6. HEy guyz.. I have just ordered a pharmaceutical product DAA-Ultra which basicaly increases the Testosterone level in your body its actually for Bodybuilders and i have recieve a card from my post officewhich says Customer Assessment and Delivery Advice all i need to know what basically is the process from there..ans is there any fees? the product costs about 800RS…and where should i pick it up?

    Like

    1. Doesn’t it mention whether you can pick it up in your local post office or in the Central Parcel Office, Port Louis?

      As far as I know, these type of products are delivered in Port Louis, after they get it checked by a Pharmacist there.

      Like

  7. Some comments here don’t stick to the blog details. I’ve bought a mobile costing Rs6800.00. On the tracking it says arrival at border point of destination country, MUPLUC. What are the remaining steps to be done? Please really need help, this is my first transaction on ebay. Thanks to reply asap.

    Like

    1. You unfortunately can’t do nothing other than waiting. Try calling the Central Parcel Office to inquire about your item and tell them that the tracking has not been updated since long. They will then check on their own systems to verify the status.

      Like

  8. Hi. Could someone tell me what I should do if i buy mobile phones on “aliexpress.com” and choose DHL as shipping method? Do I need to send a mail to ICTA or have any other documents? DO i still have to go to the post office.., etc… I never bought anything online so bear with me.

    Like

    1. Hi.

      As written in one of my recent articles, you don’t need that ICTA permit anymore if you are importing mobile’s for personal use. However, if the customs ask you for a clearance letter, then you should get in touch with ICTA.

      Like

  9. Hi, just wanted to ask if i bought a new mobile phone around $600 + $40 shipping, do i need to pay for additional charges like vat or duty? also, can i tell the seller to list the price lower than rs 2000 to not pay the vat(if i have to pay), I mean is it posssible? Thkss

    Like

    1. Is vat still applicable for fedex packages? or they are just going to deliver it at my house instead of the central parcels office without paying the vat.

      Like

  10. hi…….mne aste linge online (indian clothes) pa lor ebay……m bill in arrive 12000….eski m pu bzin pay custom duty e tax kan sa pu vin moris……..

    Like

  11. Hi Yashvin,
    Thanks for the awesome article. I just bought an Iphone 6 and as the price of the phone + shipping exceeded $1k, i contacted the seller and told him to undervalue the product which he did ($799) and he told me he’s going to declare it as a gift. The shipping is via Fedex, i thought that they will be delivering the item to my doorstep and that they’ll be getting it out of the customs but since i’m not sure, can you please confirm this? I just want to know what i should do 🙂

    BTW, here’s the tracking img, i’m really excited .

    Thanks in adv!

    Like

    1. Hi.

      Thank you for your comment.
      Well, I purchased with “FedEx” several times and each time, I had to go to the central parcel office to fetch my item. It was not a door delivery, as expected. I am not sure how they work but one thing for sure, DHL delivers to your doorstep.

      Like

      1. Hi,

        Thanks for the fast reply. I just have one last question, is it possible to get my Fedex package shipped via DHL in Mauritius? Sorry if this question sounds stupid, but i would prefer to get the product at my doorstep. Please let me know if you’ve done this before or if you have had similar experience.

        Thanks in adv.

        Like

      2. Hahaha.. Just want to share my experience till now, today at around 10 am Fedex MU called me, the guy on the phone asked me whether i have a broker or not to get the phone out of customs, they told me they can provide me with a broker if i want to, of course at a price..since i told the seller to undervalue the item under $1k i was pretty sure that i don’t need a broker (thanks to your helpful post Yashvin).. he then told me to wait and he confirmed that the phone is valued at around Rs 27k.. Then he made some amendments to my “receipt” and he told me that MRA tax (15%) is payable upon delivery… So they are going to deliver it at my doorstep anyways 😀

        Like

      3. I’m glad that this post was of great use to you since it avoided you from being fooled by FedEx! I will just request you to share the link among your friends to spread the word. Thanks again for your comments. 🙂

        Like

  12. Hello yashvin, just to make a clear…
    If I but something from ebay and only if the price exceeds 2000rs then I need to pay 15% Vat

    Like

  13. Hii…
    I actually want to buy an Apple iPhone 6 from Apple Store Online…its priced at $649 and theres free shipping…
    Id like to know how much it will actually cost me to get the product here ? i still didnt understand the VAT thing etc…please help !!!

    Like

    1. Without being an Apple fan, I don’t think that Apple store ships to Mauritius. So please check this beforehand. As for cost, you will pay 15 % vat when the item reaches the Mauritius Post, as simple as that.

      Like

  14. Hello..
    i want to order an android tv box, it costs $60

    The issue is that it supports dual wifi bands 2.4GHz and 5GH. Can you please tell me if customs will block this item?
    Thank you

    Like

  15. Hi, you remember I posted a comment somewhere else on your blog in which I said I’m going crazy about why package/projector has still not arrived?

    Well, I called Mauritius Post in the afternoon. They told me that they have already sent my package to my post office..but to my great surprise instead of sending it to Riv. des Anguilles, they sent it to Riv. du Rempart post office!!!

    My pain was just about to begin when I called the Post Master -Riv. du Rempart (he was being a jerk). I gave him my tracking number..

    WELL WELL WELL.. He told me that this package was on SOMEONE ELSE NAME!! (He also told me that another guy (a third person) also called him with the same tracking number)

    On top of that, this particular person has already taken/acknowledge the package today.. How is that even possible???!!!

    Now this is driving me crazy..
    Good part is that I received a full refund from paypal today itself after opening a case..

    Like

    1. LOL!

      That’s the most absurd story I read about Mauritius Post. How can there be 2 parcels with same tracking number. Imagine the other guy who purchased a $1 item and when collecting the parcel, he received a projector lol!

      Anyways, thanks a lot for the update! And good luck for next time 😉

      Like

      1. I called Mr Lollbeehary from Mauritius Post’s Enquiry department(2082851) this morning before leaving for work. He told me he has received numerous complains (nearly hundreds) of same nature these days. They are mainly from people buying from China and Singapore. So buyers beware.. I think a big fraud is going on from chinese and singaporian sellers on Ebay.

        So, I don’t know what’s really going.. Maybe you should too give him a call and write a small article about that..

        Again thank you very very very much for your blog Mr Yashvin.. And thank you for taking your time to reply to every comment.

        Like

      2. Thanks but the merit also goes to all those who make this blog active 😉
        It is rather difficult to say why these parcels get lost. There’s even an article on the blog on this topic : http://www.yashvinblogs.com/lost-parcels-in-mauritius/

        That’s why, I always prefer to look for an item located in United Kingdom (2 weeks delivery time – 99% of parcels received) or the United States (3-4 weeks delivery time – over 80% of parcels received).

        Like

      3. What scam are you talking about? The only scam i read here is that Parcel Post PLouis sent your projector (with you full name and address, postcode) to the wrong local post-office. From there, the staff gave your parcel (with your name on it) to someone who presented his national ID. Does that person also bear your name?

        It should be possible from the registry of deliveries of RivRempart post-office to find out who that person is. To me this is a mistake of Parcel Post and the local post-office for handling a parcel with your name on it to the wrong person. To me you this is how you need to present this case to Customer Care and threaten them to make a complaint at your police station (this is a mistake but this is also theft. Police should investigate this.).

        Like

  16. ive bought a mobile phone worth rs 3400 on ebay And its new.its free shipping and the weight is 160grams. my question is do i have to pay more fees when come to mauritius or do i have to go at portlouis (LADOINE) to pay more?? thanks 🙂

    Like

  17. Do you know the reason why you need a broker that cost Rs 5000 for cameras that cost over Rs30K? What is his role in this transaction? I am looking at Nikon D750 which cost around Rs50K plus Rs3000 shipping.

    Like

  18. hi Yasmin, recently I placed an order at Kleek.mu and paid by my credit card via pay pal. The seller (kleek.mu) is still waiting for the payment by pay pal after 4 days but in my pay-pal account it said that the transaction is completed and the recipient has received the money. I phone the company in Mauritius and they insist they are still waiting for the money and they also said that it is taking time because I made the payment from abroad. So how to sort out this issue , I need your help

    Like

  19. Hi Yashvin. I noticed many people mention electronic things are cheaper in Dubai. Would you know of any such website that would besed in Duabi, offer competitive prices like ebay and ship to mauritius?

    Like

    1. Hi.
      I’ve been to Dubai once but couldn’t see a huge difference in price. I find the local price ok because despite we pay an additional vat of 15%, we also get warranty on the product.

      As for online shopping, I haven’t come across any of them. You can try ebay and in the search criteria, add location : UAE.

      Good luck!

      Like

      1. Thanks. Actually there not many items available locally and on ebay and ali express they dont ship to mau, thus looking for feasible alternatives. Tried limiting location to UAE but none found lol.

        Like

  20. Hi Yashvin, do you have any feedback on websites that provide parcel forwarding to mauritius? Example they give you a US addess and thus let you buy items available only in US on ebay and then they forward it to mauritius? Example http://www.borderlinx.com/.

    Like

  21. Hello Yashvin I want to buy an iphone 6s on ebay at $545.09 (Rs19094.05) + A Shipping of $43.05(Rs1508.08) and could you tell me how much do i have to pay when it arrives please.

    Like

  22. Hello Yashvin! I’m currently considering buying some skincare products online and i was wondering over the features of EMS shipping and whether it is worth it? Your advice would be very much appreciated.

    Like

  23. used motocycle parts ? asking me for permit how to get it ? (item value 128$)(weight 2kg ) any one know something about ?.

    Like

  24. Hello Yashvin,

    I need some clarification on a purchase that I recently made. I bought a saree from an online shop in India and it is due to get delivered by tomorrow. I got a call from a UPS lady this morning telling me that my parcel has been retained by custom and I will have to pay for a clearance fee of around Rs1000. The value of the saree is approx around Rs 2800. When I asked the lady to clarify as to why my parcel was retained and to explain abt the clearance fee, she was absolutely of no help. I dropped them an email but still awaiting their reply.

    So thinking that maybe you could clarify abt that custom clearance procedure meanwhile 🙂

    Thank you.

    Like

    1. Hello.
      Normally, you should be paying the following :
      – VAT Charges of 15% of ( the total amount – Rs2000 exemption)
      – Post Office Fee (Around Rs50 to 100)

      Hence in your case, you should pay 15% of Rs800 = Rs120
      + Let’s say, Rs100 for the post office
      = TOTAL : Rs220

      Now, you haven’t told me about the shipping charges on your saree. Are they charging you the shipping fees?
      Or you already paid for them during the transaction?
      Normally, the customs can charge up to 80% of the shipping charges when calculating the VAT and in your case, there’s no way that the total amount justify the Rs1000 fee they are asking for.

      You absolutely need them to hand over the detailed costs.

      And please, do revert back if you have any updates;;;

      Like

      1. Hi Yashvin,

        Thanks so much for the speedy response and very clear explanation! I actually got free shipping on the saree I bought, shipping usually costs abt 12 USD on that particular site.

        The amount that they are charging for custom clearance is ridiculous, unfortunately the UPS lady could not even explain the procedure to me! I’ll keep you posted and thanks again for providing all of us with such valuable info on your blog 🙂

        Cheers,
        Nat.

        Like

      2. Hi Yashvin,

        My parcel was delivered to me today by UPS and I had to pay them Rs 1215 for a saree costing 78 US dollars (approx Rs2880).

        Here are the details of the amount I had to pay them :

        Verification fee = Rs 50 + VAT = Rs 57.50
        Custom VAT = Rs 123.00
        Brokerage = Rs 900 + VAT = Rs 1035.00

        Total amount paid = Rs 1215.50

        After receiving the parcel, I called UPS again and managed to get hold of someone who could explain what the Brokerage fee was all about.

        I was told by a lady that Brokerage fee (Rs 900 + VAT) applies to any item costing more than Rs 2000, it is a fixed fee which is claimed by UPS for custom clearance.

        So basically if you are buying an item costing more than Rs 2000 and it gets delivered through UPS, you have to pay Custom Vat + Verification fee + Brokerage to them.

        I would love to know if anybody else encountered a similar situation with other Courrier Services concerning the Brokerage fee..

        Don’t even ask about how I feel concerning my experience with UPS 😉

        Cheers,
        Nat.

        Like

  25. Hello Yashvin,

    I saw a comment on this post but I need more clarification. I bought some items from an online shop in India. It has already reached Mauritius on 08th July 2016 but Skynet called me to inform that custom has kept hold of my item and has told me to pay extra fees for broker, etc…
    Also, Skynet told me to send a receipt for the purchase because they think that the shop has sent a fake and undervalue receipt along with the package. I have already emailed them the receipt. Now it is tomorrow that the company will send the documents to a broker to start working on it. (They are delaying the process and I am in urgent need of the item)

    The total amount was about Rs 3800.
    As far as I understand I have to pay tax (15% x 1800)

    But why is there a need to pay for a broker? I buy a lot of things from Ebay and if ever it is more than rs 2000, I pay only the 15% tax on the exceeding amount but no fees for broker.

    Please can you clarify further.

    Thank you.

    Like

    1. Several persons raised similar points. Some companies charge excessive fees and you can’t contest, except by refusing to collect and pay. In this case, you have been trapped at their game too, unfortunately.

      Like

      1. Yeah exactly. I have to pay for the broker to be able to take my parcel now. Skynet is still delaying the process. I still have not received it since they are telling that the item is still at the airport.

        I will inform you when I receive my item.

        Thank you for your reply. 🙂

        Like

  26. Does anyone have any experience ordering an item above Rs30k? What are the prodecures and cost? Should I look for a broker or the customs office can provide one?

    Like

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