Importing car to Mauritius from UK as "returning" citizen

I'm moving to Mauritius next month (mid-June) and wish to take my car over from the UK. I have never been to Mauritius before, but I am in the process of applying for my Mauritius passport as I am Mauritian by descent (mother).

I have read on this MRA webpage that returning citizens only have to pay 15% excise duty and 15% VAT on importing a car regardless of age or size (30% total tax).

However, I've also read on another forum ( that the value is calculated using the formula:

Retail Market Price * 0.75 reduced by 9% for the first month of use and 1% for each subsequent month up to a maximum of 56%

My car is Porsche Cayman S and the Parkers Guide retail value is £44,328. This means it would be valued at 44% of this which is £19,504. 30% of this is £5851. Does that really mean I would have to pay £5851 in tax just to import my car into Mauritius?? This seems extortionate. Or have I got my information wrong (I hope)?

I've heard that I can pay even less if I have owned the car for more than three years, but I can't find any information on this.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.



Although you are eligible for Mauritian citizenship bear in mind that the authorities are very particular about paperwork being exactly as they want it and little things can cause delays. This could have a knock on effect on being eligible to avail of the returning citizen car scheme. Likewise, the MRA stick strictly to their criteria so it's very important to get accurate information from someone who has successfully done this. My wife was unable to use the scheme as she stayed in Mauritius for a short period longer than the criteria over a ten year period (every single flight to and from for almost twenty years was recorded). I'd say cars are about 30-40% more expensive here than the UK so if you can import it, it should be worth it. However, I think you have to repay the unpaid tax if you sell within four years. I hope that helps a little and best of luck.

Thanks for your reply. I've been speaking to the MRA today and they've said I'm eligible as a returning citizen having lived in the UK my entire life and holding a Mauritius passport (although I think I may also require an NIC as well to be properly classed as a citizen).

So, what sort of paperwork should I produce to say I've lived in the UK my entire life and never been to Mauritius? It's hard to produce paperwork to say you've not been somewhere :)

You're welcome. I think how it works is you'll need to use a shipping agent to handle the car move. You can use one company who operate at both ends (you'll probably see some on the Directory here) or split it between a UK and Mauritian operator. I did the latter on the advice of another expat who was moving just before me. He compared a few quotes and found this method cheaper. I found both operators very helpful and efficient. I'll try and dig out the details and send to you privately as not sure if I can post on the forum.
The shipping company here will apply for your immigration records (as per my wife's flight's to and from) and submit to the MRA on. I'm presuming this will evidence that you've never visited and are what you will require.
I would suspect you'll find that you're quite unusual in that regard i.e. a Citizen but not having visited.
In the governments new budget they mentioned specific measures [Budget Speech 2015-2016] Attracting Mauritian professionals abroad, which you'll find on the forum and should be worth looking into.
Hope that helps. :)

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Hi Jason,

Best advice .... get it from the horse's mouth! ;-) MRA Returning Resident section can provide you all information.

Having said this, I think you need to wary about a couple of aspects:

1) You will pay more than 30%. It's not that your disbursement will Vat 15% + Duty 15% = 30%!
This is because VAT of 15% is calculated on the (Value of the Vehicle as per formula + Duty (15% of the value) + Insurance + Freight). For insurance + freight, MRA will calculate that.

2) Also, there is possibly another surprise for you ... carbon emission levy co2. If the vehicle was registered after July 2005, you will have to produce the emission certificate (I think it is also displayed on DVLA V5C). Gas guzzling cars like your Porsche will be very high on the CO2. Thus you will have to pay a CO2 levy. There is a formula to calculate how much levy will be added - check with MRA.

3) You will also need to have an Export Certificate from DVLA. Without this, you won't be able to clear customs. You can get it afterwards, but remember you will pay MRA storage fees.

4) Check the latest update to the law for returning residents. At one time, I thought they added a maximum value to a car that you can imported by a Returning Resident.

5) Also, somebody mentioned that there are lots of incentives for expat Mauritians returning to Mauritius (bring your vehicle, live 10years without paying income tax, etc. This was in the budget speech in March 2015. However, I don't know if these measures have been enacted into law.

6) Somebody else cautioned into looking whether you are eligible. There are several criteria for eligibility. One is if you spent more than 10 years outside Mauritius. Usually MRA will get this information from Immigration Service. So, I don't think they can tell you now without looking at your passport. But, you also read the act and do the maths (they give an allowance for holidays etc).

7) Also, it seems you were born in the UK, isn't it? You have never been a resident in Mauritius. So, how come MRA is saying that are eligible as a Returning Resident?

8) Sorry, I'm playing the devil's advocate. But in the end, it will be to your benefit. You need to research this very well. Nobody will give you a written advice on this. With the sum of money that's at stake, you can get a return ticket to Mauritius, discuss all aspects with MRA, meet your potential clearing agent, have a holiday and sleep peacefully back in the UK. It's not a bad idea to come over here for say 1-2 weeks before taking the plunge (you can check accommodation, sort out issues with MRA etc). Note, you will have to go back to UK to export the vehicle.

9) I hope you do know that if you eligible as Returning Resident, you can buy a brand new car in a showroom in Mauritius and still benefit the 85% duty remission as Returning Resident, thus saving the hassle of importing your car.

10) Finally, the usual disclaimer! I've been through all this in 2012. I researched it, spoke to MRA and took the plunge. What I said above is what I can recollect from memory. But, my situation may be different to yours. And the laws have changed since 2012. So, best that you hear it from the horse's mouse.


Have you got a shipping agent? They usually would help in terms of all requirements and paperwork. Get all paperwork in order because once you are there you have to apply for other landing fees and it is best if sorted here.

Hi Jason,

My husband I are in a similar postion as you.  We are moving to Mauritius in Sept and would greatly appreciate any advise you have.  My husband's parents are Mauritius therefore since he has never lived there he would be classified as a returning citizen.  We are planning on buying a new BMW and shipping it over to Mauritius however we are finding it a little frustrating getting all the information we need.  How did you find the whole process?

Brit_Expat :

Hi Jason,

My husband I are in a similar postion as you.  We are moving to Mauritius in Sept and would greatly appreciate any advise you have.  My husband's parents are Mauritius therefore since he has never lived there he would be classified as a returning citizen. We are planning on buying a new BMW and shipping it over to Mauritius however we are finding it a little frustrating getting all the information we need.  How did you find the whole process?

How can you arrive at this conclusion when he was not born in Mauritius nor has he ever lived on the island?
His parents may be from Mauritius and he  can apply  for citizenship under  the Jus Sanguinis status ( because they are born in Mauritius e.g.) but be-forewarned that he will have to get all the required papers before he can apply.
You have to go to the government of Mauritius web site to find the info .

or else to understand the law in layman words: … essays.php

as for the "returning" part , only the MRA can tell you whether he is eligible or not.
Who is a returning Citizen? A returning citizen of Mauritius is any Mauritian whether or not born in Mauritius who is coming back to settle permanently in Mauritius. He should be the holder of a valid Mauritian passport.

Here is the form that he will have to fill:

Has anybody used BUREAU VERITAS. I have been told that we need to get our vehicle inspected. The price is so high £380 + VAT that I am wondering if another agency can do it. Their customer service is appalling and they seem to be the only ones that provide that service. Any suggestions?

Hi MangoLassi,

  We used Bureau Veritas, they are the only ones who can do it, I think thats why they are so bloody rude on the phone as they know this!! the price is £380 but you absoloutly need this paper from them to import your car here.

They came to our house to do the car inspection, and the guy who did the inspection was actually a real gentlemen and very professional.

Good Luck!

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I can imagine that it is expensive. Getting a new car here is already ridiculously expensive. I got a basic Kia Rio which cost me about the double I would pay in Germany. 11000 Euro to 840000 Rs
I could understand that they to try to refrain people from buying cars because space on the island is limited. But no idea what the excess money (100 effin %!!!) is taken for or in whose "coffre fort" this money is landing.
I really love Porsche and Audi but these cars I would never drive/buy here nor bring them to Mauritius. Then I'd prefer a decent Dodge Ram 1500 (not a bigger one because it could get stuck between the walls in some streets here)  :D

I am posting the below scenario in case it may be of assistance to anyone:

"Before moving to Mauritius we lived in the UK, where the price of everything is a click away on the Internet. For example, our 2003 Citroën Xsara Picasso was valued at £2,400 (or Rs 120,000) by Parkers ( Relative to Mauritius, cars are cheap in Europe. Unfortunately doing research on the cost of cars in Mauritius is not such an easy exercise.

The shippers told us that exporting our car would add only £500 to the total shipping cost. Once a car arrives in Mauritius, it is valued by Customs whereupon import duties and VAT are applied to that valuation. In our case it was:
- Rs 240,000 (Customs' valuation of the car - note that it is almost twice the UK Parkers value)
Therefore, Customs duties and taxes levied were:
- Rs 132,000 (55% import duty)
- Rs 56,000 (15% of Rs 372,000, being the value plus import duty)
- Rs 54,000 (first registration and road tax)
= total of Rs 242,000 paid (vs. a car that is worth Rs 120,000 in the UK)

Then again, a small second-hand city car costs in excess of Rs 400,000 from dealers in Mauritius. Chances are that we would have ended up with one of those if we did not import ours from the UK. Alternatively, it would have taken a lot of money, time and effort to find the same type of car as the Citroën. To rent a small car costs around Rs 25,000 per month, so you also need to add that to the total cost of importation.

There are administrative issues to be aware of. Even if your clearing agent has all the paperwork in place the clearing process will only commence upon physical arrival of the car. The Mauritian authorities will then contact the origin country's authorities to ascertain that the car is not stolen. Seemingly such requests are processed quickly in the UK. Our car was released 20 days following delivery of the container although we have heard that cars originating from certain countries (including South Africa) can take substantially longer to clear. Also, the Mauritian authorities will issue you initially with a temporary licence as the permanent version can only be obtained once the car is insured. Unfortunately the temporary licence is valid for three days only and as the insurance process takes longer than this, we had to apply for a second temporary licence which meant another trip to Port Louis. In the process we also discovered that under a temporary licence you are not allowed to transport passengers (a bit tricky if you have to do the school run) or use the vehicle at all on Sundays.

Manual second-hand cars are difficult to come by in Mauritius. Pretty much all second-hand cars are imported from Japan where vehicles tend to have automatic transmissions. Ultimately the choice of cars is limited if you are looking for value for money. Double-cab trucks/bakkies incur only 10% import duty. It seems that many expat families end up with a double-cab and a little Nissan, a good barometer of value for money in Mauritius. Only ship your car over if your car if you have a special reason or a double cab. It is touch-and-go whether it is worth the money and effort to import a 'conventional' car.

Also note that cars (not trucks/bakkies) with engines larger than 1,600cc attract 100% import duty."

Reference to the post above, your car is over 10 years old? On the MRA website it states imported cars have to be under 4 years old, is this still correct?

7.What are the conditions for importing a second-hand car?
Any person wishing to import a second-hand car should seek a valid import permit from the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Consumer Protection prior to the importation.The age of the car should be not less than 18 months and not more than 48 months at the time of the shipment.

Also, is there a problem with getting spare parts and repairing cars which they don't have in Mauritius? As I would like to import a Ford Galaxy (7 seater car), but never seen one of these in Mauritius.

Thank you for any advice.


I don't think that the 4 yr rule applies to returning residents. Please check with MRA.

Yes, spare parts can be a problem. You have teo options:
1. Buy a new car in showroom in mauritius with 85% duty remission
2. Or use Internet to order parts in case the imported car breaks down.


I don't think 'Fireworks C' is a returning resident as he has paid 55% import duty, returning residents pay only 15% import duty.

What seven seater cars are popular in Mauritius?

7 seaters are not popular in Mauritius.

The only one that i have seen here is the Nissan Qasqai +2.

In UK the Fords are popular.

Hi Jason,

being a Citizen of Mauriitus and Holder of a Valid mauritiian passport you are elogible to be  consider as a returning resident and eligible to be pay only 15%  custom Duty and 15%  for VAT;
you can contact us as per below email for further discusssion, note also that we have an agenrt in UK, who is used to handle this kind of shipment, we be pleased to handle your shipment.

hope to hear from you.


Yours faithfully

Richemond Bigaignon

Moderated by kenjee 4 years ago
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Hi Richemond Bigaignon

What age does the car have to be for importing from UK to Mauritius?

dianamarie :

Hi Richemond Bigaignon

What age does the car have to be for importing from UK to Mauritius?

When we tried to ship our car from UK to Mauritius in 2011, it was aged 4 years and 4 months and it was not allowed as over 4 years old - not sure if the law has changed on this since then.

Also since being here we have found out that official Alpha parts for our Alpha would have been extremely expensive, the same applied for my Saab Convertible.

I now drive a Nissan March Automatic (Like a Micra) lots and lots about as they so easy to drive and fit in anywhere,  and the automatic is great for all the stopping and starting we do here, was a shock as been many years since I had such a small car in fact over 30 years but it is great and I now love it :)

Hi Jason,

For all returning resdident  the age of tthe car is not an issue, ithink you have been wrongly advised, we are in this biz for years, and the matter you raised up have never been an issue.

hope have reply to your query and we are are at your disposal for any further information



I confirmed. I was a returning resident. And the car`s age was 9 years. There was no problem.

Mate don't waist your time bringing your car to Mauritius its not worth the hassle to much trouble with the authorities you would rather sell your car in the UK and buy one in Mauritius as a returnee resident you will be entitled to a percentage on a returnee resident and bare in mind that once you have been given this privilege you can not leave Mauritius and stay away for more than 6 month if you do you will be fined and pay all duty back to the MRA

Hi all, does someone know where the customs get the retail market price from ? is it a local retail market price (including tax, which would seem a bit unfair) or something else ?

I'm trying to find the retail market price of a 2005 Cayenne 4.5, so I suppose its value would be 56% of whatever the retail market price is, right  ?

So, after eight months already spent in Mauritius, and over three months since my car arrived in Mauritius from the UK, I finally have my Porsche on the road.  It's been a long and tedious process involving lots of form-filling and running around.  But, to help anyone else who might have to go through the same process avoid the many surprises along the way and know what to expect, I've written a complete guide on importing a car into Mauritius.  Please find it here.  Hopefully, others who stumble across this page who are looking to import their car will find it helpful.

Did it go smoothly and welcome.

Nope.  The Mauritian Diaspora Scheme was repeatedly delayed due to issues between the BOI and MOF, resulting in me having to use the Returning Resident Scheme instead which cost me over Rs 120,000.  And then my Diaspora membership was approved very soon after.  Highly annoying.

Then I found out that I had to pay CO2 tax which wasn't made clear to me by my import agent upfront.  So this came as a big financial surprise.

And then it was difficult finding an insurer for my car as many were not keen to insure a 9-year-old Porsche.  And I had to meet about five different surveyors before I found one that knew how to value such a car properly (factoring in non-exempted excise duty and CO2 tax, etc.).

Then having to go to the NTA Examination Centre three times and the NTA Head Office three times and the Emmanuel Anquetil Building twice, each time having to wait in long queues, was just overly time-consuming and tedious.  Being from the UK, I just see so much pointless administration having to produce the same documents over and over again to different departments.  The process could be much more streamlined and even moved online.  In the UK, pretty much the entire process can be done online and by post.  The only time you need to go somewhere is to have your vehicle physically assessed, and everything that needs to be done is done in a single visit.

Mauritius could learn a lot from the UK.

Dear Neo,
Sorry to hear about the hassles you went through.
You mentioned that your agent did not tell you abt CO2 levy.

Refer to my post of May 2015.
I highlighted the issue of CO2 levy. I guess you missed that ;-(


Hi all. I just like to say that I had managed to bring my car from UK to Mauritius. I would advise to buy new from UK as you will get the car VAT exempt as it will be an export car so you will not have to pay VAT twice. Also no need to buy road tax etc in UK as it gets ship to Mauritius.

Most dealers in UK offer VAT exemption for export car do ask them before they show you any car as its important and paper work you get will be invaluable

Hand car receipt of car to mra so they can get value of car without issues

Get bureau veritas

Get passport memo arranged so they will know for how long you been out of country and where you have travelled. Big brother watching you lol

There are a few procedures to do in between

Value of car in Mauritius is not same as UK. Beware.


Interesting post sevenCrystal. So, in your experience of the whole process, is it more cost-effective to buy a new car in the UK and export it direct to Mauritius? It still sounds like a lot of hassle.

Hi personally I would prefer to get a European car in a European country. You get a Euro spec car. As I explained you will save money on VAT.  You can even drive the car for 6 months before shipping if you wish.

Also part exchanging is easier with the dealer and reduce the cost

The formalities as to passport memo. Bureau veritas etc you need to do anyway

I done all nta registration. Fitness. Insurance. Mra import duty paid via bankers Draft in one day and drove legally

Hope it helps

Something to consider when bringing a European car over to Mauritius is the availability and cost of spare parts.   

I don't see that many Ford Fiestas, VW Golfs etc. on the roads here.

Hi Richemond Bigaignon

I am planning on coming to Mauritius from South Africa as a returning citizen. I have my citizenship, but no passport as yet. Is your company able to assist with paperwork and transport of my goods etc?

Dean Pitot

Hi I can help you.

Hi there. Please email me on ***


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Very useful posts. Hope this applies to non UK expats too?

Does your advice apply to non UK expats too eg importing a new car from SA?

Can anybody help me please, I wish to return to Mauritius after 27 years  and bring a car with me , could anybody help me with information about how they charge on VAT and any other charges if the car is valued at 3 million roupies in Mauritius as an example, plus do you have to own it for at least 6 months prior to shipping , any information on that please as their website isn’t complete , ????


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