The government has implemented a new regulation affecting the fees imposed on passenger liners, as detailed in the Government Gazette published yesterday.
According to the updated regulation, passenger liners staying in the Maldives for less than seven days are now required to obtain a permit from the Tourism Ministry. A noteworthy change is the reduction in the fee charged to passenger liners, now set at USD 850 for each day spent in the Maldives.
It is worth noting that passenger liners holding a prior permit from the Tourism Ministry will no longer be subjected to the USD 100 fee that was previously levied on tourist vessels. Additionally, these vessels are now exempt from the mandatory charter license, a requirement under the previous regulation.
The new regulation introduces revised penalties for agents found in violation. Agents who breach the law on more than two occasions will face a fine of USD 6,000, coupled with the revocation of their license. This marks a significant departure from the previous regulation, released in September 2022, which did not include provisions for license revocation.
It is pertinent to mention that the initial regulation, unveiled in September 2022, faced criticism from the Maldives Association for Yacht Agents (MAYA). The association had expressed concerns that the stringent measures outlined in the previous regulation could potentially bring the entire industry to a standstill.