Permit fee for foreign cruise ships raised to $1,000
The Ministry of Tourism has announced an increase in the cruise permit fee for large foreign tourist vessels, which has been raised to USD 1,000 from the previous charge of USD 324.
According to the latest amendment to the Regulation Governing Foreign Tourist Vessels Cruising and Harbouring in Maldivian Waters, foreign tourist vessels are now required to appoint an agent from their home country to oversee the vessel upon its arrival in the Maldives. Only parties authorised by the Maldives Customs Service are eligible to act as agents for foreign tourist vessels.
The appointed agent is also responsible for settling any outstanding payments or taxes owed to the government before the vessel departs from the Maldives. All foreign tourist vessels must obtain permission from the Ministry of Tourism before they can operate and dock in Maldivian waters, as per the regulations.
Additionally, foreign tourist vessels exceeding 20 meters in length, which stay in the Maldives for more than seven days beyond the inward clearance date from the customs service, must pay a USD 1,000 fee to the Maldives Inland Revenue Authority (MIRA) to obtain a cruising permit.
Vessels under 20 meters can operate and dock in Maldivian waters for up to 90 days at no charge. They also have the option to extend this period to 275 days by paying USD 50 per day. During the extended period, the vessel’s crew must obtain a charter license if they intend to carry passengers other than the vessel owner and their family.
The tourism ministry is now authorised to impose fines on agents found in violation of these regulations. A first violation carries a penalty of USD 2,000, with subsequent violations incurring fines of USD 6,000 for each violation.