On 2 January 2023, the Ministry of Tourism published a new Regulation on Governing Foreign Tourist Vessels Cruising and Harbouring in Maldivian Waters.1
Passenger Liner Permit
Prior to the implementation of the new Regulation, within the duration of the permitted 90-day period (extendable as per rules prescribed in the Regulation), if any foreign tourist vessel intended to board new passengers or cruise with extra passengers beyond the crew, owner or family members of the owner, a Charter License had to be obtained from the Ministry of Tourism as a permission for the vessel to cruise and harbour as a chartered vessel.
Under the new Regulation, an exemption from the Charter License requirement is now extended to foreign tourist vessels carrying over 50 passengers entering Maldivian waters for a duration not exceeding 7 days. Such vessels are required to obtain a Passenger Liner Permit.
A fee of USD 850 per day is applicable for vessels entering Maldives under Passenger Liner Permit.
From a GST perspective, this implies that agents of foreign tourist vessels will not be required to register such foreign tourist vessels as a taxable activity, and account for GST if the vessel enters Maldives under a Passenger Liner Permit.
The new Regulation also prescribes that it is the responsibility of the agents of the foreign tourist vessels to ensure settlement of any fees or taxes owed by the vessel to the State before its departure.
The new Regulation became effective on 2 January 2024. It repeals the previous Regulation on Governing Foreign Tourist Vessels Cruising and Harbouring in Maldivian Waters. 2