Companies are considered as Mauritanian residents if they have a registered fixed establishment. However, foreign companies can be deemed to have a permanent establishment (PE) in Mauritania when they meet certain conditions (see below).
Permanent establishment (PE)
The 2020 GTC in force states that:
- A PE means a fixed business through which the non-resident enterprise carries out all or part of its activity.
- A PE includes or may include a business management, a branch, an office, a factory, a workshop, a mine, an oil or gas well, a quarry, or any other place of natural resources extraction.
- A PE may also include:
- A construction site, an assembly, or an installation project, but only if this construction site or this project lasts more than 12 months for subcontractors and other petroleum operators, or 6 months for others.
- The provision, by a non-resident company, of services, including advisory services, through employees or other workers engaged by the company for this matter, but only if these activities continue (for the same project or a related project) in Mauritania for a period exceeding 12 months for subcontractors and other petroleum operators, or 6 months for others.
- Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraphs 1 to 3 of this article, the following does not constitute a PE in Mauritania:
- The use of facilities for the storage or display of goods or merchandise belonging to the company.
- The exploitation of a stock of goods or merchandise belonging to the company for the sole purpose of storage or display.
- The exploitation of a stock of goods or merchandise belonging to the company for the sole purpose of transformation by another company.
- The operation of a fixed place of business solely for the purpose of purchasing goods or gathering information for the business.
- The operation of a fixed business solely for the purpose of carrying on, for the company, any other activity of a preparatory or auxiliary character.
- The operation of a fixed business solely for the purpose of the cumulative exercise of the activities mentioned in paragraphs (a) to (e), provided that the overall activity of the fixed business resulting from this accumulation retains a preparatory or auxiliary character.
- Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraphs 1 and 2 of this article, when a person, other than an agent enjoying an independent status to which paragraph 7 of this article applies, acts on behalf of non-resident company, this company is considered to have a PE in Mauritania for all the activities that this person undertakes for the company if this person:
- has powers in Mauritania that it usually exercises there, enabling it to conclude contracts on behalf of the non-resident company, unless the activities of that person are limited to those mentioned in paragraph 4 of this article and which, if they were exercised through the intermediary of a fixed business, would not make it possible to consider this business as a PE according to the provisions of this paragraph, or
- does not have such powers but usually operates in Mauritania a stock of goods or merchandise on behalf of the non-resident company.
- Notwithstanding the preceding provisions of this article, a non-resident insurance company is, except in the case of reinsurance, considered as having a PE in Mauritania if it collects premiums there or if it insures there against risks by the intermediary of a person other than an agent enjoying with an independent status to which paragraph 7 of this article applies.
- A non-resident company is not considered to have a PE in Mauritania simply because it carries on business there through a broker, a general commission agent, or any other agent enjoying independent status, provided that these persons act in the ordinary course of their business. However, when one acts wholly or almost wholly on behalf of that enterprise and between that enterprise and the agent are established or imposed, in their commercial and financial relations, conditions that differ from those that would have been established between independent companies, this agent is not considered to be an agent enjoying an independent status within the meaning of this paragraph.
- The fact that a Mauritania resident company controls or is controlled by a non-resident company is not in itself sufficient to make any of these companies a PE of the other.