MPL Switches Stevedoring Fees to US Dollars

The Maldives Ports Limited (MPL) has implemented a change in its stevedoring fee structure, now charging ships in US dollars. This policy shift went into effect on April 1st, 2024 and applies to the loading and unloading of containers. The fees stand at USD 195 for a 20-foot container and USD 211 for a 40-foot container.

Until 2011, MPL charged fees in US dollars. However, a government policy change led to fees being transacted in Maldivian Rufiyaa (MVR) from that year onwards.

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MPL’s Chief Financial Officer, Mohamed Muizzu, explained the decision stems from substantial investments planned by the company alongside challenges in securing US dollars. Previously reliant on the government to obtain dollars, the process proved difficult. Muizzu believes the new dollar-based fee structure will enable MPL to supply much-needed dollars to the government, as well as meet its own company requirements.

He estimates the fee collection to generate roughly USD 25 million for MPL.

Muizzu further noted that shipping agents continue to charge traders in US dollars for container transport. Therefore, he believes the change eliminates the need for agents to seek dollars on the black market.

In the Maldives, the two primary container shipping agents are MSS and Total Transport Solution (TTS).

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