Regulatory Sandbox License
The Regulatory Sandbox License (RSL) offers the possibility for an investor to conduct a business activity for which there exists no legal framework, or adequate provisions under existing legislation in Mauritius
The Regulatory Sandbox Licence (RSL) was introduced to the Mauritian business landscape by the National Budget 2018/2019 which provided for the setting up of a National Regulatory Sandbox Licence Committee under the purview of the Financial Services Commission of Mauritius (FSC), regulator of non-financial and global business services.
Objective of the National Regulatory Sandbox Licence Committee (NRSL Committee)
The NSRL Committee has been attributed with the following functions:
coordinate the processing of RSL applications submitted to the Economic Development Board (EDB) in relation to FinTech activities;
- act as the central point to evaluate Fintech applications which require RSL and that are lodged with EDB as well as all newly announced applications under the National Budget 2018/2019; and
- allocate the supervisory function of the RSL Licensee either to the Bank of Mauritius or the FSC, subject to the nature of the Fintech activity.
In order to be eligible, applicants should meet the following criteria:
- invest in an innovative project;
- promote a project in respect of which there is either no legal framework or a lack of adequate legislative framework
- establish the innovative nature of the proposed activity at the local, regional and international levels.
Documents to be submitted:
- duly completed application form;
- Business Plan or feasibility study outlining proposed business activity;
- Particulars of promoters, beneficial owners and directors;
- Certificate of character of beneficial owners and directors;
- Financial forecast and financial capacities of applicant;
- Details regarding the lack of regulatory framework in the country in relation to the conduct of the proposed activity;
- Details regarding the known risks associated with the proposed activity;
- Information on whether the applicant is licensed in any other jurisdiction for the proposed activity; and
- An exit strategy to be implemented by the applicant in the event that the proposed activity is not implemented.
An applicant is entitled to to commence his RSL activity and develop the project within a controlled environment as soon as it is notified of the EDB’s acceptance of the application. The development of the RSL activity remains of course subject to licensing conditions that may be imposed.
Furthermore, a licensee will be requested to submit what are known as interim and final reports.
The NRSL Committee has discretion to recommend that the EDB should turn down an application on the grounds that the proposed activity is not suitable for the Mauritian jurisdiction or because it may cause prejudice to the country’s good reputation. In the event that the EDB effectively turns down an application the applicant is notified in writing with reasons for the rejection.
Revocation/Suspension of License
The NRSL Committee and the EDB may, revoke or suspend a RSL in the following circumstances:
- a licensee has failed to start operations of the proposed activity within 3 months;
- the licensee has breached its RSL;
- a licensee is conducting business in an unsound manner;
- a licensee is failing to ensure risk control.
The introduction of the Regulatory Sandbox Licence to the Mauritian business landscape undoubtedly marks the ambition of Mauritius to position itself as a serious and innovative nation in the pursuit of establishing itself as a reputable financial centre as well as an international hub for blockchain start-ups.