|IRS procedures & conditions|
An IRS, Integrated Resort Scheme, provides for the development of luxury villas of international standing as well as extensive and high-class leisure and recreational facilities. These may include golf course, marina, individual swimming pool, catering, nautical and other sport facilities and health centre, but will not be limited to them nor necessarily combine them all. Day-to-day management services such as security, maintenance, gardening, solid waste disposal and household services are provided to the residents.
These villas can be sold to both foreigners and local residents so that through the IRS, international buyers will be granted a Residence permit that is attached to ownership of the residential IRS unit. Other types of buyers of IRS villas include Foreign companies under the Companies Act 2001 and Companies incorporated under the Companies Act 2001.
The specificities of an IRS project include:
Types of residential property
An IRS company may provide the following types of residential properties:
(a) Luxury villa with attending services and amenities
(b) Luxury apartment with attending services and amenities
(c) Penthouse with attending services and amenities
(d) Other similar properties used, or available for use, as residence with attending services or amenities
Extent of Property
Each villa has to be developed on land not exceeding 0.5276 hectare (1.25 arpent).
Cost of residential property
The minimum sales value of an IRS villa is USD 500,000 out of which USD 70,000 shall be extracted as payment of a fixed duty (Land Registration Duty) to the Government of Mauritius.
The different steps required for the implementation of an IRS project are as follows:
Step 1 - Incorporation of a local company
The promoter/investor must incorporate a local company to undertake an economic activity in the tourist sector. It is a rapid and simple procedure that consists of two main steps:
The Companies Division , is the sole government agency whereby the formalities for incorporation of the company have to be completed. A Guide to the Companies Act 2001 has been prepared to assist investors in this procedure.
Step 2 – Land clearances
Prior to embarking on a project, promoters shall ensure that the proposed development is compatible with the zoning of the site and that relevant clearances such as land conversion permit (if applicable) and land ownership or authorisation or lease agreement have been obtained.
Step 3 – Planning Clearance
The Planning Clearance is a clearance letter on plans of developments on State Lands as the Lessee of the State Land is required by the conditions of the lease agreement to submit buildings plans of his development for approval.
Step 4 – Application for an IRS Certificate
The company must be issued with an IRS Certificate by the Board of Investment (BOI) in order to implement any IRS project. The main stages in obtaining an IRS Certificate are as follows:
A detailed guideline is available for download.
Step 5 – Environment Impact Assessment
While planning for a project, promoters must ensure that all socio-economical and environmental parameters are addressed and their impacts are identified and taken into account in the project design. Developers will have to gather substantive and indicative information on any adverse environmental effects and consult the Environment Protection Act. The Act aims at the protection of the environmental assets of Mauritius and a sustainable development of the Island.
An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Licence is required for IRS projects with over 50 villas and/or if it is located along the coastal region (within one kilometre of the high water mark). An application for an EIA licence must be made to the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Developmentas per the guidelines issued by the Ministry.
The promoter will have to check with the Road Development Authority if a Traffic Impact Assessment will be required. This Assessment, if required, can be undertaken during the EIA process.
Step 6 - Utilities clearances
Step 7 - Building and Land Use Permit
A Building and Land Use Permit (BLP) is required to start the construction of a building or effect extensive alterations, additions or repairs to an existing building or carry out development of land or change the use of a building from one cluster to another. The permit is delivered by the relevant municipal or district council. Failure to obtain a Building and Land Use Permit can result in significant fines and penalties, and even demolition of unauthorized construction if it cannot be made to meet the planning requirements.
An application for a building and land use permit must thus be submitted to the relevant local authority prior the development of the hotel. The application must be in conformity to the guidelines issued by the local authority, the Ministry of Health, the Fire Services and the Police Department.
The various steps for the obtention of the BLP are as follows:
c. Upon approval, the Building and Land Use permit is issued within 15 days as from the effective date of the application and is valid for 24 months.
Step 8 – Project is implemented
Upon receipt of the Building and Land Use Permit, the promoter can start the construction of the hotel in line with the approved plans.
In case, the IRS project includes a hotel component, a Tourist Enterprise License will be required from the Tourist Authority before the hotel can operate.
Step 9 – Sales of IRS villas
IRS villas can be sold either on the basis of a plan, during the construction phase or when the construction is completed. Where the acquisition is made on the basis of a plan or during the construction phase, the contract shall be governed by the provisions of a “vente à terme” or “vente en l’état futur d’achèvement”, as the case may be, in accordance with the provisions of the Code Civil Mauricien and is payable in instalments as the work progresses, as follows:
a. Upon signing of the deed: 25%
b. Upon completion of the foundation works: 10%
c. Upon completion of roofed-in phase: 35%
d. Upon completion: 25%
e. Upon availability of premises: 5%
Prior to the sale of any immovable property under the IRS, final specimen copies of the four documents as specified in the IRS guidelines .
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