Mauritania flag Mauritania: Buying and Selling

International convention and customs procedures of Mauritania

International Conventions
Party to the Kyoto Protocol
Party to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal
Party to the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer
International Economic Cooperation
Since the 1990s, Mauritania has been implementing economic reforms trying to liberalize its economy, increase the competivity of its exports and reinforce its legislative framework. The prices were liberalized, barriers to trading were lifted, fiscal policy and custom duty procedures were reformed.

Mauritania is a member of the WTO (original member). It grants most-favored-nation treatment to the group of its commercial partners and has consolidated 41% of its tariff lines, that is to say the rates applied cannot be increased unless Mauritania compensates the affected partners. On the regional level, Mauritania is a part of the AMU (Arab Maghreb Union), the aim of which, to achieve free movement of persons, services, merchandise and capital, is for the moment only a project. Mauritania has also concluded bilateral trade agreements with Algeria, Egypt, Gambia, Mali, Morocco, Senegal and Tunisia, but the level of preference tariffs is yet to be established. Notably towards the European Union and the United States Mauritania benefits from preferential regime as part of the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP).

Non Tariff Barriers
Mauritania does not apply specific commercial policy to the different sectors. Restrictions are few and aim first of all to maintain security, public order and health. The country has little recourse to quantitative barriers and import licenses. Non-tariff barriers are often limited to payment delays applied by local banks to providers.

Every year, the Direction of Agriculture deploys enormous means to fight against organisms harmful to crops. In order to do this, a phytosanitary control of vegetables and vegetable products has been set up at the point of their importation into Mauritania (see the list of products subject to phytosanitary measures).

Customs Duties and Taxes on Imports
20%, Mauritania remains a country with high custom duty tariffs in comparison with its neighbors.
Customs Classification
Custom procedures have been simplified, custom duty rates rationalized and the majority of non-tariff measures eliminated. The customs nomenclature corresponds to the harmonized system established by the WTO.
All products entering the territory are subject to declaration. These are managed by an informatized system, SYDONIA, and treated on the spot by the Customs offices, except for when they are not informatized, in the case of which they are treated again by the General Customs Direction. Imports in the amount exceeding 5000 USD are controlled by the General Surveillance Society (Société Générale de Surveillance, SGS). The applied custom duty tariffs are ad-valorem taxes.
The evaluation of the value of products is based on transactional value, except for used cars, where the minimal importation value continues to be used. There are three different custom duty rates: normal rate of 20%, minimal rate of 5% applicable to countries benefiting from the Most-favored-nation clause, and a 0% rate applied to certain products, notably those of vital need. Custom duty is progressive according to the level of transformation of the product.       
Together with customs duty, the majority of imported products are subjected to statistical tax of 3%. Some agricultural products are also subjected to seasonal levies.
Exonerations and exemptions of customs duty and importation tax, as well as discounts, are sometimes practiced.
Import Procedures
The following documents required for imports:


-commercial invoice with the name and address of the buyer and the seller, the date and place where it was written, transport means, quantity, description of merchandise and conditions of delivery and payment.
-bill of landing or a certificate of origin
-inspection certificate, delivered by the Société Générale de Surveillance
Importers require an inspection before shipping and a control of quality. An inspection certificate must be provided for all imported goods.

Importing Samples
Samples imported for commercial reasons are exempted from tax. These goods must enter using the ATA carnet which can be obtained at the International Chamber of Commerce Council.

To go further, check out our service Import controls and Export controls.

For Further Information
Customs Code
Business Portal for Africa

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Latest Update: May 2024

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