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.
I was much confused as you are right now when I was made aware of this.
In March 2014, the ICTA published a communique to inform the public about the existing regulations which will henceforth be more strictly enforced. Yes, that famous TAC (Type Approval Certificate) that is needed to clear any device with communication frequencies out of the customs. After personally inquiring about the exact procedures, I wrote my blog post to provide more clarifications about the topic. You can read the post here.
However, a reader (whom I will nickname as the Whistle-Blower) mailed me yesterday to inform me that the ICTA replied the following in different mails when he contacted them :
“The ICT Authority wishes to reiterate that should you, as an individual, wish to bring in mobile phones in reasonable quantities for personal use, the ICT Authority has no objection for you to use same within the territory of Mauritius.“
To clear any doubts about this, I promised him to give ICTA a call today. When I got in touch with one of the officers, I got the official confirmation that a mobile phone IMPORTED FOR PERSONAL USE does not need any Type Approval Certificate (that famous ICTA ‘permit’) to be cleared out of the customs.
However, the procedures remain the same in case you are importing for resale in Mauritius. Also, this means that Mauritians can now import their “high-copy” versions of mobile phones without any problem while this was practically impossible if a TAC was required since most of these phones do not follow European or any other recognized standards, as required by the Type Approval Certificate.
People should also bear in mind that this applies to mobile phones only.To make things clear : tablets, phablets, routers, laptops etc are not MOBILE PHONES!
The official communique
I must say that I had that strong feeling that the person on the other end of the line was pretty embarrassed about my questions, especially when I read out the official communique which is still on their web site :
Conditions for “Personal” use
The officer has put emphasis that this applies only for personal use. And according to ICTA, you can import up to 5 mobile phones for your personal use. Here’s a written confirmation from ICTA :
And the most stupid thing : Despite that the “regulation” exist to ensure that all devices on the Mauritian territory are conformed to standards for performance and safety, the the ICTA officer told me the following which also features in a mail sent to me by my “whistle-blower” :
“The ICT Authority shall under no circumstances, be held responsible for the safety and performance of the equipment. The mobile phones are solely for your personal use, and shall in no circumstances be marketed in Mauritius”
An ICTA clearance letter if Customs don’t agree!
Here’s a part which will make most of you laugh!
ICTA is aware that customs might create problems in here by making things more difficult for you when you need to clear out your item from there. In case you have such problems, you need to mail ICTA to inform them and ask for a Clearance letter. According to the officer on the other end of the line, that clearance letter can take up to 10 days ans is free of charge.
How stupid again!!! ICTA does not require any permit (the Type Approval Certificate) for mobile phones for personal use but the customs might need a Clearance letter!
Okay, you can now laugh at them, our incompetent authorities and people making those decisions.
Your questions and comments are the most welcomed. Thank you for reading and keeping tuned to the blog!
You might be interested to read more on this topic :
- ICTA Permit Communique [ March 2014]
- http://www.yashvinblogs.com/ebay-mauritius-3/ [ November 2012 ]
- http://www.yashvinblogs.com/ebay-mauritius-2/ [ June 2011 ]
- http://www.yashvinblogs.com/ebay-mauritius/ [ July 2010 ] and