Mauritius, along with Comoros, Madagascar, Seychelles and Zimbabwe, is implementing an interim Economic Partnership Agreement (iEPA) with the EU.
The Agreement was signed by Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles and Zimbabwe in August 2009. They have provisionally applied it since 14 May 2012. In January 2013, the European Parliament gave its consent to the Agreement.
Comoros signed the Agreement in July 2017. It ratified and started applying it in February 2019.
The Agreement contains 3 key components namely trade in goods, fisheries and Economic Development Cooperation.
The Agreement provides duty free and quota free access to all products, including products of interest such as Sugar, Garments and Tuna, to the EU market.
Mauritius on the other hand has liberalised 96% of its tariff lines. Key sensitive products such as live animals and meat, edible products of animal origin, fats, edible preparations and beverages, chemicals, plastics and rubber articles of leather and fur skins, iron & steel and consumer electronic goods are excluded from liberalisation.
The iEPA rules of origin are product-specific and can be one of the following types:
To benefit from preferential access under the Agreement, exporters should obtain a EUR1 Certificate of Origin certifying that the goods meet the Rules of Origin Criteria. The EUR1 Certificate of Origin is both issued and approved by the Customs Department of the Mauritius Revenue Authority (MRA). The electronic application for the EUR1 Certificate of Origin is submitted by authorised TradeNet users to the MRA Customs Department through the TradeNet system. More information on the EUR1 Certificate can be obtained from the Customs Department:
The iEPA provides an automatic derogation of 8000 metric tons of preserved tuna and 2000 metric tons of tuna loins annually. The derogation is shared among the 3 ESA iEPA signatory states namely Mauritius, Seychelles and Madagascar.
The derogation allows Mauritius to use non-originating tuna, process it in Mauritius for exports to the EU.
The Agreement contains a detailed and elaborate chapter on fisheries which aims at optimising the benefits from fisheries through investment, capacity building and improved market access.
The Agreement contains a Development Chapter comprising of areas for assistance from the EU including Infrastructure development, Productive sectors, Regional Integration, Trade Policy and Regulation, Trade development, Agriculture, Private Sector Development.
The iEPA includes a rendez-vous clause for negotiating other trade-related areas such as rules and commitments on services and investment, sustainable development and competition (known as the 'deepening' process).
In 2017, the EU and ESA signatory States agreed to deepen the Agreement. The key areas identified are: (1) Trade in Services and Investment, (2) Review of Rules of Origin, (3) Trade Facilitation and Customs Cooperation, (4) Agriculture, (5) Export Taxes, (6) Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary measures, (7) Technical Barriers to Trade, (8) Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), (9) Competition Policy, (10) Sustainable Development, (11) Transparency in Government Procurement, (12) Dispute Settlement and (13) Institutional arrangements.
Negotiations to deepen the EPA was launched on 2 October 2019 and are still on-going.
The iEPA text can be accessed on: Interim Agreement (Official Journal of the European Union)
The amended Protocol 1 on Rules of Origin (Decision No 1/2020 of the EPA Committee can be read on the following link: