Along with other members of the West African Economic Community (CEAO), Mauritania imposes a revenue duty ( droit fiscal ) and a customs duty ( droit de douane d'entrée ) on most imported goods. The average tax rate for imports was 43% in 1999. Customs duty ranged from a minimum of 9% to a maximum of 18% for essential goods; to a maximum of 43% for cigarettes and vehicles. A value-added tax on imports was implemented in 1995, ranging from 5% for essential goods to 14% for nonessential goods. Exports were not restricted, although both imports and exports require a license. The government planned to reduce taxes on imports to an average of 25%, and was considering the creation of free trade zones.
Since 1970, Mauritania has had a trade agreement with Senegal, allowing primary products to be traded between the two countries duty-free. Mauritania is also a member of ECOWAS.