The 2018-2019 Budget announced in its paragraph 55 that the FSC will cease to issue Category 2 Global Business licences (hereinafter “GBC2”) as from January 2019, with a grandfathering provision for existing GBC2 companies. In line with the above, the Finance (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2018 amended the Financial Services Act to introduce a new section 71A which is entitled “Authorised Company”. It provides that where the majority of shares or voting rights or the legal or beneficial interest in a company, other than a bank, and incorporated under the Companies Act are held or controlled, by a person who is not a citizen of Mauritius and such company proposes to conduct or conducts business principally outside Mauritius and has its place of effective management outside Mauritius, such a company shall, through a Management Company, apply to the FSC for an authorisation.
The FSC has in a communiqué dated 01 October 2018 entitled “New Application Forms for Authorised Companies” released the new application forms which would need to be submitted by a company seeking an authorization under section 71A. Two different forms have been released; one for normal applications and the other one, which is a simplified one page form for companies already holding a GBC2 issued by the FSC after the 16 October 2017. It is apposite to note that those GBC2 companies which were issued their licence on or before the 16 October 2017 are grandfathered up to 30 June 2021 and shall thereafter lapse.
The FSC has waived the processing and annual fees for applications made on behalf of companies already holding a GBC2 if their applications are submitted before 31 December 2018.
As at date, it is however unclear as to the applicable fees that would apply to a company (not already the holder of a GBC2) making an application to be authorized. The FSC would also need to make consequential amendments to the Financial Services (Consolidated Licensing and Fees) Rules 2008 made pursuant to section 93 of the Financial Services Act, to cater for this new type of licence.
The FSC will start accepting applications for authorized companies as from 8 October 2018. When submitting the application to be authorized, the applicant has to confirm that:
- the company is controlled by a majority of shareholders with beneficial interest who are not citizens of Mauritius;
- the activities of the Company are being conducted principally outside Mauritius; and
- the company has its place of effective management outside Mauritius.