The Mauritius-China FTA
The Mauritius-China Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was signed in October 2019 after only 4 rounds of negotiations. The FTA, which came into force on 1 January 2021, is the first agreement which Mauritius has signed comprising a text on Trade in Services. It is also the first FTA which China has signed with an African country.
The Mauritius-China FTA has 4 components:
- Trade in Goods
- Trade in Services
- Economic Cooperation
The Free Trade Agreement between the Republic of Mauritius and the People’s Republic of China can be accessed by clicking on:
Under the Chapter on Trade in Goods, Mauritius has benefited from immediate duty-free access on the Chinese market on more than 7,000 tariff lines, these include products of export interest to Mauritius such as fish, fruits, rum, animal feed, soaps and detergents, garments, medical devices and sunglasses amongst others. Tariffs on an additional 700 products will be phased out over a 5 to 8-year period starting 1st January 2021.
China has also granted an exceptional deal to Mauritius for the export of special sugars, where a Tariff Rate Quota of 50,000 tons has been obtained at an in-quota rate of 15% instead of 50%. The quota has started with 15,000 tons since 1st January 2021 to gradually increase to 50,000 tons over a period of 8 years.
It is to be noted that a list of products considered as ‘sensitive’ to the local industry in China has been excluded from tariff liberalization such as wheat flour, edible oil and tobacco products.
The market access obtained on the Chinese market for goods manufactured in Mauritius can be downloaded by clicking on: Annex 1 Section B – Market Access Schedule of China
As regards to imports from China under the FTA, Mauritius has granted duty free access on a list of products comprising spices, statuettes made of plastics and wood, busses, amongst others. Other products have been either excluded from tariff liberalisation or on which tariffs will be phased down over a period of years.
The market access granted by Mauritius to China for goods can be downloaded by clicking on: Annex 1 Section B – Market Access Schedule of Mauritius
The Rules of Origin negotiated under the Mauritius-China FTA comprise of a general rule of 40% Value Addition on FOB (Free-on-Board price). Product Specific Rules (PSR) also apply to some categories of products, most of which are subject to the ‘Change in Tariff Heading’ (CTH) rule. The details on the Rules of Origin and the PSR under the Mauritius-China FTA can be accessed on: Annex II – Product Specific Rules of Origin
As regards to trade in services, Mauritius service providers have been granted access to more than 40 service sectors, including amongst others financial services, telecommunications, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), professional services, construction and health services. Since 1st January 2021, Mauritius can establish businesses in China as wholly owned entities or in joint partnership with Chinese operators.
The FTA will create new investment opportunities in Mauritius targeting the Chinese market. The FTA also provides for the protection of investors and their investments against discriminatory and unfair treatment. Moreover, investors will be compensated if expropriation of their investments is inevitable. The commitments taken by each country with respect to trade in services can be accessed by clicking on:
Annex III: Mauritius Schedule of Specific Commitments in Services
Annex III: China Schedule of Specific Commitments in Services
Regarding the Economic Cooperation chapter of the Agreement, Mauritius and China have agreed to collaborate in 10 areas, including industrial development to increase competitiveness; to develop manufacturing based on innovation and research; to conduct exchange of specialists; to have an exchange of researchers for disseminating know how and for support in technology and innovation and to cooperate in the financial sector.
In order to be eligible for duty-free treatment in China, consignments shipped from Mauritius must be accompanied by a Mauritius-China FTA Certificate of Origin which is issued and approved electronically by the MRA Customs. A guide for application of the Mauritius-China Certificate of Origin can be downloaded by clicking here.
In view of assisting our economic operators to take advantage of the market access opportunities available under the Mauritius-China FTA, the Economic Development Board has prepared a business guide for operators entitled “Mauritius-China FTA: Shaping Future Economic Perspectives” which gives an indication of the main products having export potential on the Chinese market and those which can attract investment for manufacturing in Mauritius for export under duty-free to China.
The Mauritius Revenue Authority (Customs)
Mauritius Trade Easy
Association Professionnelle des Transitaires de l’Ile Maurice
Freeport Operators Association
Mauritius Cargo Community Services Ltd
All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce
General Administration of custom PRC
Certificate and Accreditation of PRC
General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the People’s Republic of China (AQSIQ Association)
National Bureau of Statistics of China
Market Access Map