[Online shopping] – Existing ICTA regulations more strictly enforced henceforth

If you are new here, rest reassured : You are not on ICTA’s web site. I know that it can get pretty confusing when you notice that the last two articles of this blog talk only about ICTA. lol 

News update ( May 2014) : No Type Approval Certificate / Permit is required when importing mobile phones for personal use. Read this post for more details.

News update ( Febuary 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*

Most online shopping addicts must have been surprised by the ICTA’s Communique published yesterday. I must admit that I was confused and I immediately mailed ICTA early yesterday morning so that I could get in touch with someone before I post any update on my blog.

Here’s the official communique (click to enlarge) on the newspaper :

Confused lexpress readers

And today’s article on l’express confused the readers (including me) even more, especially when they mentioned, I quote: ” […] l’autorité interdit même l’importation individuelle de ces produits, c’est à dire ceux achetés à l’étranger […]” and when they mixed up things while writing about the gray market and the impact on the local stores :

At the end of the article, you can read : “[…]Aucun préposé, ni porte-parole n’était joignable pour des éclaircissements au sujet de cette mesure.

Since I was without any reply to my mail, I gave ICTA a call today and thankfully, the officer on the line was very helpful 🙂

Enforcing existing regulations

As I guessed, there’s nothing new.

In fact, existing regulations are now being put in practice and enforced at the customs. Similar to the requirement for an ICTA permit for radio-enabled devices as from June 2011, the ICTA and Customs are now going to be strict on the imports of ALL devices using radio communications. As you probably know if you read my blog, the same ICTA permit was required mostly for routers previously. Other devices such as mobile phones or tablets could be cleared out of customs without any permit.

However, as from now, ALL devices with radio/wireless communications will require this approval letter from ICTA.

Why you should not worry…

After my talk with the officer, I was pretty much relieved because most of us won’t probably need to go through any hassle. If you are thinking to import a mobile phone or tablet already commercialized in Mauritius (by registered and recognized stores), this model of device is probably already approved by the ICTA. This means, the model already has its TAC (Type Approval Certificate).

The list of approved devices are available on ICTA’s web site. For example, a search on iPhone gives the following approved devices:

Update ( 10 March 2013 ) : A few days after I wrote this article, I noticed that the ICTA list of devices now contains exactly 2,363 items.

They regularly update this list as new devices are approved and as from now, it is essential to make sure that your device is listed there. Please note that the list contains exact technical model number of devices approved, so you will need to look for yours first.

When should you contact the ICTA?

No need for your device to reach Mauritius to get your letter of approval or your TAC.

Whenever you are sure to import the device, you need to send ICTA a mail on icta@intnet.mu or send them a letter to request them to send you an approval letter or to apply for a Type Approval Certificate (TAC) so that you can clear the device out of the customs. And the approval letter or TAC is free of charge.

You will need to provide

  • the exact brand and model number of your device.
  • The reference number of the device from ICTA’s web site
  • It is also preferable to include the technical brochures (from the manufacturer’s web site) in your mail or letter.

According to the officer who talked to me, it should not be long, perhaps it might take just a couple of days depending on their workload.

Getting the “permit” for an un-approved device

However, if the device is something that has just been announced and released on the market, then there’s a large probability that nobody imported it yet (through legal means) and thus, the ICTA does not recognize it yet. In these cases, you need to fill in an application for Type Approval (download from here) and attach the necessary documents specified in the form ( for example, you will need documents certifying that the device follows EU standards etc).

icta-form

After filling in the form and attaching your documents, you can mail them on icta@intnet.mu or post them to ICTA. It can take up to 2 weeks for them to process your application and give you a TAC. Of course, if you have submitted all required documents.

Summing up

parcel

News update ( May 2014) No Type Approval Certificate / Permit is required when importing mobile phones for personal use. Read this post for more details.

No need to get alarmed. We will still be able to buy our stuffs online without any extra charges. We will only need to make sure that we go through this additional paper stuff ideally before getting the item delivered to Mauritius or much before, by making sure that you can get the necessary documents required for its TAC approval. Finally, I just hope that ICTA will process the requests in a reasonable amount of time without penalizing Mauritians.

I hope that this article clears any doubts about the communique. And in case you are still new to online shopping, you can always have a look at my series of articles on the blog :

Take care and keep tuned to the blog!

Bon weekend!

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92 thoughts on “[Online shopping] – Existing ICTA regulations more strictly enforced henceforth

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  1. Iphone.. importing one.. glad :p

    BUt considering unknown brands, this kind of worries me now,, Cz i never was someone who had to apply for icta certificate thing

    anyway

    Not a cyberisland in the end

    Like

      1. Say i wanna import the galaxy s5 or the nexus 6, why should i fill those things. These are international phonea approved by fcc and other international agency. Why should i be doing the work of icta like registering the phone here?

        Furthermore, is there any liability on me for regiatering a phone or should i obtain a licence firat or things like that???

        Like

      2. I am not taking sides but I suppose that the ICTA is a regulator not a gadgets agency, I mean that their job is probably not to sit in front of their computer and register each device released everyday.

        No, you dont need to pay or register yourself.

        Like

      3. If you want to be the first one to import the Galaxy S5, you submit a Type Approval request, provide the necessary conformity certificates (They are the ones saying that the device meets FCC and maybe other EU and ISO regulations). There is a liability if you submit forged conformity certificates. As a general rule, if you’re importing something new, you get ICTA appoval first, and then have your device shipped to Mauritius.

        Like

  2. Thanks for the article clearing things up. I have been spending the past hours playing the devil’s advocate and taking ICTA’s side on Facebook. Now I can just point people to your article.

    Like

  3. i bought a Cisco access point online and had to go through the ICTA permit but that was not enough.Customs ask for an import permit and to pass through shipping agent which cost additional Rs400.

    Like

    1. You’re most likely importing an access point which is not new. You’ll need an import permit for that and if the value of the goods exceed a certain amount, you’ll have to go through an agent.

      Like

  4. Good article but HEAVILY disappointed by how the ICTA functions. If you check their list of devices, they don’t even have phones from last year that have massively sold out abroad – Moto G, Nexus 5 are 2 examples. They’re not going to bother unless if a local rep does it for them. Essentially they’re putting their work on our shoulders which would’ve been fine if they could approve in 24hrs not 2 weeks.
    We’re going backwards in this country.

    Like

  5. Why do I need a permit for a device already on ICTA’s approved device list? To quote you:

    “If you are thinking to import a mobile phone or tablet already
    commercialized in Mauritius (by registered and recognized stores), this
    model of device is probably already approved by the ICTA. This means,
    the model already has its TAC (Type Approval Certificate).”

    If ICTA has already approved the device as importable, why do I still need to go through the hassle of paperwork? Makes no sense!

    Like

      1. I mean, if ICTA has a publicly accessible list of approved devices, why can’t Customs just download that list and do the checking?

        If it’s blocked, they could themselves file a request for device release based on the model and if ICTA officers approve, the device comes to you transparently, otherwise you are requested to get a form?

        Oh wait, nothing is computerized and there is no coordination, as you said… :/

        Like

  6. Thank you for the article. I have heard it on the radio and i was a bit worry because i got the 2 iphones which have arrived Mauritius yesterday and are processed for customs clearance..so i have nothing to worry then.

    Like

      1. mo tablet in saisi! tout ban dimune ki acheter lor ebay attention menti sa icta pas support fcc li zis supporte norme european! mo tablet ena zis wifi marque ematic! check bien sa nouveau laloi la p screw nou

        Like

      2. Update: I got my two iphones with no problem. They did not ask anything. Buy i an moto G will arrive to me this monday and DHL phone me , tell me that i need a type approval from ICTA. OK last week i talk with an officer and he explained me how to fill the form and its very easy. But now i was about to fill the form today for the moto G but i’ve seen that i should send a “brochure” of the phone + a compliance document. So i phone them to ask for help but i could talk to no one. I have try all day. I was thinking why they just collaborate with customs to make it easy. They can set up a database that custom could consulate to identify the cell phones, tablets etc.

        “I think that “ti copain” has put pressure on the authority to enforce this regulation as people just do not buy electronics on the local market,they rather buy online and get cheaper price”

        Like

      3. Yes i was able. They ask for a compliance documents + a brochure about the phone. Tips: I download them from the site of motorola. They just need the documents to be certify by the manufacturer and be in European standards. It took 9 days to get the letter of approval from ICTA. Next time i will apply before a purchase 😛

        Like

      4. IMHO, many people are making a fuss out of it. If you are buying something which is internationally recognized and above all, follows standards, no need to fear. The ICTA thing will just be an additional paperwork. Take it as a challenge 🙂

        Like

      5. I’m glad you finally got it. I have sent an email to icta on March 21 and have not heard anything from them yet. I did not make an application, I just asked them some information if I would be able to buy a Nexus5 as I have not found any detailed document talking about its SAR certification on LG’s website. It is weird though, they have not updated the list of approved phones and include the Moto G.

        Like

  7. Well, we should happy they woke up at last, after 4 years of slumber…

    Let’s hope that ICTA wakes up the other “authorities” in the process: Police, NTA, TEC, etc, etc…

    Like

  8. Update ( 10 March 2013 ) :
    A few days after I wrote this article, I noticed that the ICTA list of devices now contains exactly 2,363 items, compared to the initial 962 items.

    Perhaps we can interpret this as a positive sign…

    Like

  9. sony xperia arc s

    can i buy it from eBay without any problem at the Mauritius post for getting my mobile

    plz help me

    Like

  10. Hello Yashvin ,
    Is that possible for you to help me, I recently purchased a sunglasses on ebay.
    I would like to know what are the charges (Duty… or ) that I have to pay , to be able to retrieve my item from the post office. I paid 69.99 GBP for the item (Shipping Included).
    Thanks in Advance
    Josh

    Like

    1. Hi.

      If the customs hold the item, you will be required to pay 15% vat on the amount (less Rs2000 exempt) as written on the posts + a postal storage fee of around rs100.

      If you are lucky, you might get the item at your doorstep., without any charges.

      Like

      1. I see , so I paid Rs3,653.48 less the Rs2000 Exempt , I will have to pay tax on only Rs1653.48? and fees for postal storage.

        Thanks for your concerns
        Josh

        Like

    1. As far as I know, it normally applies to any device with those telecommunication functions ( bluetooth, wifi, radio links).

      Perhaps it can help to see if the playstation already exists in the online database.

      Like

  11. Yashvin, Do you know the company who is in charge for Collisomo post in mauritius? Collisomo is a type of shipping in france. so my item arrived for quite some days and no response from customs yet. heard a company called midex is in charge of that but they did not contact me yet. Googling said that Midex takes two weeks to inform the client about his parcel which actually sucks in a way or another. but im not sure either if it’s midex. Tracking suggest that the parcel has already arrived

    Like

      1. Thanx anyway, i tried calling parcel post office and they said a company named celero express is in charge of this. i called them they took my details and said they will call back, still waiting 😦
        Have a nice day ahed:)

        Like

      2. Were you able to get the parcel? I am facing quite a similar problem. The tracking says it has reached Mauritius but no news from parcel office.

        Like

      3. Yep i got it

        Call ARAMEX / CELERO EXPRESS

        – Celero express is the company name

        Maybe the person didnt put your phone number maybe

        if there are custom charges they would tell you

        Like

  12. Getting the approval letter is not as easy as it sounds even for some branded tablets (eg. Google Nexus 7). You need to submit several documents, and even when submitting technical brochures, you need to explicitly state where the requested information can be found. Otherwise, the ICTA engineers will not bother to look into it themselves. If you are able to find and submit all the necessary information, it’s quite fast (10 business days). However, if you are not that familiar with such technicalities, it can become very difficult, so better have someone who knows this stuff help you out.

    For unknown brands, you’re pretty much screwed.

    Also, if you are buying a refurbished tablet/phone/whatever, you will also need to go through a broker to collect the item as the product can no longer be delivered without an import permit (I think this is also an existing law which they just started enforcing).

    Like

    1. Thanks for sharing your experience.

      Yeah, used / refurbished items need another permit from the Ministry Of Commerce, and a broker is needed in this case. I strongly advise people not to go for used and refurbished items because of these paperworks and additional costs.

      Like

  13. Forgot something. The good news is that once someone has gotten a device approved by ICTA, it becomes dead easy for everybody else as you only need to request for the approval then. In fact, this is all this amounts to. The list of approved equipment on the ICTA website is outdated, and they are using this as a means to update their database.

    Like

    1. Exactly. Once an item gets its approval, other people importing the item only need a letter of approval.

      So, the pride of having the first device of a specific model in the island is a proof that you have successfully got the item approved by ICTA (if you have gone through the legal ways lol).

      Like

  14. Hello
    Though there are many ipad models being sold in Mauritius, why is there only one model only on the ICTA approved list? Can anyone help on that? What does that mean if I want a model other than that on their website?

    Like

    1. Hello,

      In case the model is not listed, I always advise to give them a call to confirm if they have not updated it in their web site yet. If still, it has not yet been approved, then you will need to fill in the application form, as described above, to get it through the approval process. And after its approval, it should be updated on the web site.

      Like

  15. Need some advice before ordering my next new phone and tablet.

    Suppose the galaxy s5 has not been approved by icta yet. Can someone send me the link for the technical brochure and the other document requested by icta for the tac? I cannot seem to fins it online.

    Is there anything else required besides those 2 documents and the duly filled in form?

    Like

    1. Normally, they should be available on Samsung’s web site. Or contact them to officially request those. As for the documents, I’m afraid that you need to check ICTA’s requirements again. Or just call them 🙂

      Like

      1. If i cannot find the documents needed for a ‘popular phone’ like s5. I wonder how to do for other phones. Icta such a bad ass

        Like

      1. Done with my first email
        feeling like a boss :p

        Let’s see the reply of them, not feeling like clicking the purchase button fast , let’s wait

        Like

  16. Hello,
    I went through ICTA approved list and saw a few chinese phones on the approved list. I was wondering how these phones got approved because I’m not sure the documents needed are easily available.

    Like

  17. Looking forward to purchase a samsung galaxy tab pro 8.4 Model SM-T320 online. The issue is i cant get the european compliance reports on samsung website (europe) . Only fcc(usa) tests available and was informed by ICTA that these are not recognised as being relevant . For info the tablet was released late April 2014. Suggestions welcome on the matter .

    Like

  18. hi, i need your help, i bought an android tv box from ebay, i got it on monday, the customs a the post told me that because it has wifi, you need a letter of approval from icta, i went to icta same day, they told me to give them a technical brochure and declaration of conformity , but i dont know where to find these document, i asked the seller, but in vain, he doesnt even know what this means, can u help me out ?

    Like

    1. Hi.
      Yes indeed, they are right. You will need to get the TAC (Type approval certificate) in order to clear the items out of customs. Well, if you purchased a Chinese product, then it might be difficult to get the necessary papers because in most cases, the unbranded ones might not have passed the minimum requirements for standards. In that case, I fear that you might not be able to get your item.

      You can try to Google the name of your product to get the necessary brochures and contact the manufacturer. There’s unfortunately no other way.

      Like

    1. Hello.

      That’s unfortunately the biggest problem. Some of these Chinese branded tablets do not meet the necessary requirements, especially when standards are met.

      There’s no other way except to get in touch with the seller directly and ask him for the papers but he might not have them. Or cancel the order by asking him, in case it’s not shipped yet.

      Like

  19. Hello ,
    1st of all thank you anyone who will help me on this matter.
    I would like to buy some surveillance camera on ebay (camera have internet connection features , but they not wireless) so i guess i do not have to get any certificate from the ICTA if I buy this product?
    The total amount will arrive at around 7-8k (Can you tell me what do I have to pay before receiving my package – Any Tax or duty to be paid? )

    Like

    1. Hi.

      As long as there are no wireless connections, no worry. But this said, I don’t know if IP Cameras with wifi included need ICTA’s certificate to be cleared out of customs. As for the tax, you will pay only the VAT (15%), as per normal practices.

      Like

  20. Hello all,

    I wish to buy a Sony Xperia Z3 compact on ebay.
    If the item is coming via DHL do I need to do these paper works?
    If so what are the procedures and papers I need to get it quickly from the customs?

    Also just to be sure the price range that require a broker has changed to 30k?
    thnx

    Like

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