Over the past decade, Mauritius has made the blue economy one of its major pillars. This sector indeed holds a wide range of benefits for various industries, especially the fishing industry. Mauritius, being part of the African region, holds a lot of opportunities for neighbouring countries through its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Find out how African fishing vessels can benefit from it.

An overview of the Mauritian EEZ

Stretching over 2.3 million km², the Mauritius Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) is one of the largest in the world (although around 400 000 km² is jointly managed with Seychelles). The EEZ provides Mauritius with exclusive rights over fish stocks, environmental protection, the exploitation of mineral resources, and much more.

Thanks to this EEZ, Mauritius enjoys an extensive maritime zone that holds a massive potential for investment and development. This is great news for foreign investors from around the world, and more specifically, those from Africa. Moreover, the development of the Ocean Economy makes it easier for sectors like fishing, seafood processing and seaport activities to grow further. Along with coastal tourism, these sectors account for no less than 10% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Why Mauritius?

According to the Economic Development Board of Mauritius (EDB), some 30,000 vessels cross the Mauritian EEZ every year, making it a leading maritime hub for the region. In fact, the island is a signatory of international Maritime Conventions and a member of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). Meanwhile, the Mauritius Open Registry guarantees secured and reliable registration for shipping vessels at attractive costs — which makes it profitable for African shipping vessels looking to get the most out of the resources of the Mauritian EEZ.

What are the benefits of the Mauritian EEZ for African fishing vessels?

As mentioned above, the opportunities are diverse and include fishing, aquaculture and seafood processing. Regarding fishing, it’s worth noting that Mauritius holds the world’s second-most significant source of tuna in diverse fishing territories, which is why it has been a key player in the exportation of canned tuna for many years. Among its leading partners are the European Union and the USA.

The Mauritian government guarantees a range of benefits for fishing vessels in a safe, legal framework. For instance, African fishing vessels can obtain fishing licenses through the Ministry of Blue Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping. Fishing vessels are eligible for provisional permits of a duration of 3 months maximum) and permanent permits whereby vessels are permanently registered in the Mauritius Registry. What’s more, vessels registered in African countries and chartered by a Mauritian company can also be registered for the period of the charter.

Another benefit of using the Mauritian EEZ is that African fishing vessels are allowed to register remotely. Besides, they have no obligation to use the Mauritius port as long as they are flying the Mauritius flag. On the other hand, regardless of their nationality, crew members of fishing vessels do not need a work permit. It’s also worth noting that an African fishing vessel can be registered by a Global Business Company (GBC) for a period of less than 12 months. For more information on how to proceed for registration, feel free to contact our team.

What about tax benefits for African shipping vessels in the Mauritius EEZ?

The good news is that foreign fishing vessels registered in Mauritius do not have to pay taxes on freight revenue. They are also exempt from tax on dividends received from a shipping company and from capital gains tax upon the transfer or sale of shares of a vessel. When deep sea international trade becomes the primary source of income for the fishing vessel, income tax does not apply. Crew members do not have to pay income tax either. Finally, customs and excise duties do not apply to the vessel’s different parts, such as stores, consumables, spare parts, bunkers, etc.

Blue Azurite can provide all the necessary support and help you register your foreign vessel in Mauritius so that you enjoy the many benefits of the Mauritius EEZ. For more information, please contact our dedicated team and get a quote.

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