The Mauritanian judicial system combines French and Islamic (Malikite rite) legal traditions. The constitution guarantees the independence of the judiciary in theory, and an organic law also protects judges from undue influence.

Country overviewMauritania flag


4.9m (4,965,292)


Mohamed Ould Ghazouani

Capital city

Nouakchott (1,5m)

Other major cities

Nouadhibou (Mauritania’s major commercial center)



Mauritanian ouguiya

Major industries

Mining (iron, gold, copper); Agriculture; and fishing


Official languages: Arabic

National languages: Pulaar, Soninke and Wolof

Major religions

Sunnite Islam, Roman Catholic and Judaism

Legal information

Capital Markets
Current number of listed companies

About forty companies are listed in Mauritania.

Regulatory body or bodies

Central Bank of Mauritania

Principal legislation
  • Ordinance no. 89-126 dated 14 September 1989 relating to obligation and contract code;
  • Law no. 2018-034 dated 8 August 2018 relating to status of Central Bank of Mauritania;
  • Law no. 2018-038 bis dated 16 August 2018 relating to control of lending institutions;
  • Law no. 2000-05 dated 18 January 2000 relating to commerce code (updated version);
  • Law no. 2019-017/P.R/ dated 20 February 2019 relating to AML and terrorism financing;
  • Law no. 2004-042 dated 25 July 2004 relating to applicable regime on external financial relations and their statistical recording;
  • Law no. 2021-014 dated 05 July 2021 relating to electronic services and means of payment.
  • Law no.  2018-037 bis/PR/ dated 20 August 2028 relating to national payment system.
Corporate governance code

Law no. 2000-05 dated 18 January 2000 relating to commerce code (updated version)

Takeover / Merger regulations

Law no 2000-05 dated 18 January 2000 relating to commerce code (updated version)

Public offers / Disclosure regulations


Competition regulation

Mauritania has recently adopted Law no. 2023-025/P. R/ dated 2 August 2023 relating to free pricing and competition.

Impact of regulatory regime on business
  • The encouragement of free and open markets;
  • The provision of fair and equal competitive conditions to all market participants;
  • The maximisation of consumer welfare;
  • The establishment of transparency and fairness in regulatory processes and
  • The control of anticompetitive practice to guarantee overall balance of market.

The law no. 2023-025/P.R/ dated 2 August 2023 applies on:

  • natural person or legal entity when the activity affects competition in Mauritanian market;
  • legal entities of public law when they act like economic operators; and
  • agreement on exportation when it affects competition in Mauritanian market.
Corruption / transparency
Corruption Perception Index rank worldwide for 2023


Corruption Perception Index score for 2023










Effectiveness of the court system

Structure of Court system exists only in Nouakchott and Nouadhibou


Ordinance no. 2007 – 012 dated 8 February 2007 relating to judicial organisation.   

Structure of the court system
  • First instance jurisdiction:  
    • Wilaya court (regional court)
    • Labor court
    • Trade tribunal
    • Criminal court
    • Court of Moughataa (departmental)
  • Court of appeal: two civil and social chambers, one administrative chamber, one commercial chamber, one criminal chamber
  • Supreme court: two civil and social chambers, one administrative chamber, one commercial chamber, one criminal chamber
Enforcement of foreign judgments
  • Foreign judgments enforceable in Mauritania are enforced in accordance with Mauritanian law, according to the aw No. 99 - 0-35 dated 24 July 1999 relating to the Code of Civil, Commercial and Administrative Procedure.
  • Judgments issued by foreign courts and deeds received by foreign public officers are enforceable in Mauritania only insofar as they are declared enforceable there by a Mauritanian court,
  • Exequatur is granted if only: foreign judgments are not against public order and good moral standards in Mauritania; the foreign judgement is given by legal judicial authority.
Perception of the local courts

The Mauritanian Court is mainly faced with problems of corruption and lack of financial and material resources.

Mauritanian justice is not independent owing to the encroachment of president as president of Superior Council of the Magistracy in every powers. It is not impartial because national components are not or are badly represented within national institutions.

Enforcement of arbitral awards

The recognition and enforcement of local or foreign arbitral awards in Mauritania is governed by Law no. 2000-06 dated 18 January 2000relating to the Arbitration Code.

Arbitral awards may be subject to spontaneous or forced execution by ordinance of president of Wilaya court.

Foreign Investments
Foreign investment incentives

The Government of Mauritania encourages foreign investment.

Law no.2012-052 dated 31 July 2012 relating to Investment Code and Decree no. 2012-282 dated 18 December 2012 implementing the investment code aims to encourage direct national and foreign investment, as well as to secure and facilitate the various administrative procedures involved.

A dedicated agency has been set up to promote investment in Mauritania: APIM (Agence de Promotion des Investissements en Mauritanie), a public administrative body.


Law no. 2018-020 dated 6 June 2018 relating to production, importation, distribution, marketing, advertising, promotion consumption of tobacco and its product. 

  • Law no. 2011-125 dated 8 March 2011 relating to press freedom. 
  • Law no. 2012-018 dated 28 March 2012 relating to Haute Autorité de la Presse et de l'Audiovisuel (High Authority for the Press and Broadcasting)
  • Law no. 2011-054 dated 24 November 2011 relating to decriminalization of press offence 
Audio-Visual Communication
  • Law no. 2012-018 dated 28 March 2012 relating to the Haute Autorité de la Presse et de l'Audiovisuel (High Authority for the Press and Broadcasting)
  • Law no. 2010-045 dated 26 July 2010 relating to liberalization of audio-visual space
  • Law no. 2022-014 /P. R/ dated 20 July 2022  relating to Electronic Communications
Specific legislation
  • Law no.2010-33 dated 20 July 2010 relating to Crude hydrocarbon code (updated version)
  • Law no. 2008-011 dated 27 April 2008 relating to Mining code (updated version)
  • Law no. 2005-030 dated 02 February 2005 relating to Water code
  • Law no. 2022-027 dated 12 December 2022 relating to Electricity code
  • Law no. 2000-045 dated 26 July 2000 relating to Environmental code

Personal income tax

Personal income tax rates of Mauritania are progressively between 15% to 40%

Tax Rate

Taxable Income


6 000 to 9000


9000 to 21 000


Exceeding 21 000

An individual, whether Mauritanian or foreign, whose tax domicile is in Mauritania, is generally subject to personal income tax on worldwide income.

Exchange control

Law no. 2004-042 dated 25 July 2004 relating to applicable regime on external financial relations and their statistical recording;

Circular no.12/GR/2023 dated 12 December 2023 relating to enforcement of exchange rate regime.

Stamp duty

The stamp duty rates for the papers that taxpayers are required to stamp depends on the size of the paper, i.e:

  • sheet size up to A4 (21 x 29.7 cm): 50 Ouguiya
  • sheet size up to A3 (29.7 x 42 cm): 150 Ouguiya
  • sheet size up to A2 (42 x 59.4 cm): 200 Ouguiya

Blank pages are not counted.

Onerous transfer: Transfer of immovable property: 2% 313

Legal acts

Rates of registration fee


1% for tenant and 2% for landlord

Cession, subrogation and lease cancellation

50 Ouguiya

Transfer of business capital, customer…


Transfer of shares for companies registered in Mauritania


Public market ≤ 5000 Ouguiya

≥ 5000 Ouguiya



Ownership certificate, mortgage...

50 Ouguiya

Payroll tax and social security

The social security contribution rate is 14%, of which 1% is paid by the employee and 13% by the employer.

Transfer pricing

Profits indirectly transferred to enterprises which are dependent on, or which control enterprises situated in or out of Mauritania are included in the results as shown in the accounts.


  • Territorial collectivities perceive royalties on occupation of public domain. The amount is fixed every year up to a limit of 150 000 ouguiya.
  • Mining title, quarrying, artisanal quarrying licensing holder are subject to annual superficiary royalties.

Operating license: 50.000 UM/Km².
Industrial quarrying: 30.000 UM/Km²;
Small scale mining.: 20.000 UM/Km².


Tax administration can reject expenses or losses which are not related to regular management action of enterprises.

Real property tax

Built property tax is fixed according to the rate voted by Municipal Council between 3 and 10%.
Agricultural land tax can’t exceed 10 Ouguiya per hectare of exploited land.

Technical service fees


Value added tax

The standard VAT rate is 16%.
Exportation of goods and services is subject to VAT at a 0% rate.


Interest between individuals is null and makes the contract null.

Capital deductions N/A
Capital gains tax
  • Corporation tax: 25%
    Capital gain of fixed asset cession
    Capital gain of merger, demerger, partial transfer of assets
  • Property income tax: 10%
    Capital gain of real property cession
    Capital gain of mining license cession
Corporation tax
  • 25% of taxable net income
Export processing zone

Law no.2013-001 dated 2 January 2013 relating to creation of Nouadhibou free zone.


Dividends are taxed at 10%.

Not taxable: dividends distributed by corporate whose exclusive purpose is securities portfolio management up to the limit of net amount.

Thin cap regulations

There are no specific thin capitalization rules.