• Global Maritime Jurisdictions: Unveiling Excellence - Mauritius Edition

Global Maritime Jurisdictions: Unveiling Excellence - Mauritius Edition

The 1,800 square kilometre island of Mauritius is surrounded by an extensive Exclusive Economic Zone of 2.3 million square kilometres, including a joint management area with the Seychelles under the UN Commission Limits of the Continental Shelf. A growth economy with a GNI per capita of USD 10,000, Mauritius boasts political stability, a strong institutional framework, solid international relations, and a well-developed business and investment regulatory environment.

With untapped access to significant living and non-living marine resources, a robust maritime legal framework and well-developed port infrastructure, including a modern Cruise and Container Terminal, Mauritius is positioned as a key player in Africa's growth. The maritime sector is becoming a significant economic pillar, offering shipowners numerous facilities and benefits, including a favourable tax system, for registering their ships on the island.

The Mauritius Ship Registry 

The various types of ship registration in Mauritius are governed by The Merchant Shipping Act 2007, based on the United Kingdom’s Merchant Shipping Act 1995. This includes provisions for ship registration, ship mortgages, and bareboat charter registration, among others.

In Mauritius, ships can be owned and managed through Global Business Companies, Authorised Companies, and Trusts. Ship owners and operators using the Mauritius jurisdiction may benefit from the country’s extensive network of Double Taxation Treaties (54 globally, 24 within Africa), as well as 46 Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements.

Mauritius is a signatory to various trade agreements that provide preferential access to key markets, including Southern African countries, the U.S., Europe, India, and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Bareboat charter registration as well as registration of vessels under construction are permitted under The Merchant Shipping Act.

Mortgage inscriptions on vessels, including vessels under construction, follow the British model, thereby facilitating ship financing.

Key Features and Benefits of Vessel Registration in Mauritius: 

  • Strategic geographic location and time zone for conducting business, particularly with Africa and Asia.
  • Connectivity to over 35 ports, ensuring widespread maritime accessibility.
  • Dry dock facilities to provide ship maintenance.
  • Foreign Maritime entities are permitted to own Mauritian registered vessels.
  • There is no restriction on crew nationality to be employed on board Mauritius vessels.
  • Banking facilities and financing are provided by both local and international banks in Mauritius.
  • Favourable tax system:
    • Free Trade with African countries (member of AfCFTA, SADC, COMESA, IOC).
    • Income tax rates as low as 3% (with an 80% redeemed tax credit on foreign source income).
    • Income tax exemption extended to all personnel on board.
    • Free currency exchange (available in USD, EUR, ZAR, YEN).
    • No withholding tax on dividends.
    • Capital gains tax exemption (applicable to the sale or transfer of ships or shares in shipping companies).
    • No estate duty on inheritance of shares in shipping companies.
    • Tax exemption on freight earnings.
    • Exemption from Customs and Excise duties, which applies to ship’s stores, consumables, spare parts, and bunkers.
    • Competitive tax structuring, which facilitates vessel financing. 

How We Can Assist 

Founded in 2000, our 100-strong Mauritius team serves a global clientele and is also the hub of our African corporate and fund administration operations, serving clients operating in 45 of the 55 countries in Africa. Our Mauritius office currently administers more than 40 Africa-focused funds and a growing portfolio of clients focused on Asia. The assets under management in the funds administered by the office are in excess of $6 billion.

Operating in cooperation with our global marine hubs, our Mauritius office offers a comprehensive range of services for both the luxury yacht and commercial shipping sectors, including vessel registration, local representation, crew and technical ship management and the establishment and administration of ownership structures (GBCs, Trusts, Foundations, and Domestic Companies).

In cooperation with our global marine team, we offer cost-effective crew employment and payroll services, ensuring compliance with the Maritime Labour Convention for yacht and commercial vessel owners, representatives, managers, and captains. Our service encompasses full responsibility for the registration process, inclusive of all registry fees and disbursements for furnishing the internationally recognised Mauritius Ship Registry Certificate.

If you have any questions, please contact:

Nawshin Mahadooa

Sales and Business Development Manager – Mauritius