Mauritius has introduced trust law for the benefit of both residents and offshore settlors.
Prior to 2001, the Trust Act 1989 allowed the creation of domestic trusts based on the traditional English model, and the Offshore Trusts Act 1992 allowed the creation of offshore trusts. The Trust Act 1989 and the Offshore Trusts Act 1992 have been been repealed by the Trusts Act 2001 which was introduced to fuse the domestic trust and offshore trust legislation in a bid to avoid ring-fencing.
Under the Trusts Act 2001, a settlor may set up any of the following types of trust: protective trust or spendthrift trust, maintenance and accumulation trust, interest in possession trust, discretionary trust, charitable trust, purpose trust and commercial and trading trust.
The settlor of an offshore trust may not be a resident of Mauritius, and the trust must have at least one qualified trustee who is a person residing in Mauritius or a Mauritian management company or a bank authorised by the Financial Services Commission to provide trusteeship services.
The Investment Promotion Act has been amended to allow non-resident settlors or non-resident beneficiaries of a trust to own immovable property in Mauritius solely under the Integrated Residential Schemes (‘IRS’) and the Real Estate Scheme (‘RES’) without the approval of the Prime Ministers’ Office under the Non-Citizens (Property Restrictions) Act 1973, as amended. Non-citizens of Mauritius wishing to avail themselves of immovable property in Mauritius under the IRS and RES may use trust or domestic company to do so subject to registration duty applicable to IRS and RES.