Logistics


Air Transport

Mauritania has one airline company, the recently privatized Air Mauritanie, which provides regular flights between Nouakchott and Nouadibou, Casablanca, Paris, Las Palmas, Bamako, Dakar, and down the west coast of Africa as far as Cotonou. Nouakchott receives six weekly flights by Air France, five by Royal Air Maroc, three by Tunis Air, two by Air Senegal, and one by Air Algérie.

Nominally, Mauritania has four international airports, but only Nouakchott serves a wide spectrum of destinations. The Nouadibou airport is linked only to Las Palmas, while the airport in Atar receives only seasonal tourist charter flights from Europe. The airport in Nema, also a potential tourist destination, is not currently open to international flights. Secondary airports were upgraded in 2005 and there is a plan to build a new international airport in Nouakchott, where the existing terminal poses safety and security concerns.

Sea Transport

Mauritania has two major seaports. In Nouakchott, Known as the "Port of Friendship” is the country's main commercial port has a capacity of about 1.5 million metric tons a year and receives about 90 percent of the country's imported goods.

Mauritania's second major seaport, located in the north in the country’s "economic capital" of Nouadibou, contains a number of specialized wharfs, two of which are dedicated to traditional and industrial fishing, one to regular commerce, and another to the massive iron exports. In 2003, Mauritania received 45 million euros from the European Development Fund to upgrade and extend the minerals wharf, which is vital to the Mauritanian economy. There is also another port, which includes major storage facilities, devoted to offloading petroleum products destined for the iron and fishing industries. The Government plans to build a fourth deepwater quay at the main commercial port that would accommodate ships with up to 12-meter drafts.

Road Transport

The quantity and quality of roads leaves much to be desired, particularly in the interior of the country. The country's size and climatic conditions make maintenance and travel particularly difficult. In 2006, the total road network was estimated at 11,000 km, of which only 4,500 km were paved. There is also a 670 km railway for the transport of iron ore from Zouérate to the port of Nouadibou. All other goods are distributed in country by trucks or planes. The "Entreprise Nationale de l'Entretien Routier" (ENER), which is the government agency in charge of road maintenance and repair, is doing its best to protect roads from sand invasion.

Warehousing Facilities

Goods exported to Mauritania may be entered either for internal consumption, warehousing, or transhipment.

These goods could remain warehoused without customs entry for about 10 days. Goods entered as for transhipment are not subject to customs duty if moved within the allocated time. However, they are liable for accrued fees for storage and handling services.