On 23 July 2020, the 17th Amendment to the Maldives Import Export Act was published, introducing important changes to the Maldives import export regime. The key changes introduced by the Amendment are as follows:
- 50% relief from import duty for imported products arriving at any official harbour or official airport in the Maldives other than a harbour or airport located in the Greater Male’ Area;
- 3% of import duty levied on tobacco products to be deposited with Public Health Fund;
- Revenue fee to be levied on duty amount determined by Maldives Customs Service;
- Import of certain single use plastic products prohibited from 1 January 2021 onwards.
Duty Relief for goods arriving in harbours and airports in atolls
- The Amendment provides that imported goods that arrive in official harbours and airports located in the Maldives – except for Harbours and airports located in the Greater Male’ Area – are entitled to 50% from import duty. Businesses seeking relief from import duty must file a request with the Maldives Customs Service.
- The concession applies to all imported goods provided that:
- they are stored in a warehouse on the island that the harbour is located, or the imported goods arrive at, and are subsequently transported from that harbour; and
- they are not tobacco and tobacco products, alcohol and alcohol products, and pork and pork products.
Percentage of Duty levied on Tobacco Products to fund Public Health Initiatives
3% of import duty levied on tobacco and tobacco products will be deposited in the Public Health Fund established pursuant to the Public Health and Safety Act (Law Number 7/2012) to fund anti-smoking awareness campaigns.
Revenue Fee to be levied on import duty amount determined by Customs
Maldives Customs Service will levy a ‘Revenue Fee’ at the rate of MVR 1 per MVR 100 on import duty determined by Maldives Customs Service.
The changes in the Amendment will commence on 1 August 2020.