MPL to Reintroduce Dollar Based Fees

Maldives Ports Limited (MPL) will soon begin charging fees in US dollars, Managing Director Mohamed Wajeeh Ibrahim has announced. The move aims to align MPL’s pricing with the prevailing practice of vessels charging their clients in dollars and address the perceived disparity in exchange rates.

Wajeeh explained that importers currently face a 20% surcharge when paying ship fees in Maldivian Rufiyaa, presumably due to the higher dollar value in the “unofficial” market. He argued that since ships bill their agents in dollars, MPL believes it is fairer to adopt the same practice.

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“The ships charge customers in dollars. Then why does MPL have to pay the fees in Rufiyaa?” Wajeeh stated. He pointed to the airport’s practice of billing airlines in dollars as further justification for the change.

MPL plans to notify ship agents and owners of the impending change shortly. Wajeeh indicated that some agents have already been informed and expressed their agreement to pay fees in dollars. Prior to 2008, MPL charged fees in dollars, but a shift in government policy led to the adoption of the Maldivian Rufiyaa as the billing currency.

Wajeeh added that the reintroduction of dollar-based fees could help alleviate the ongoing dollar shortage in the Maldives, hoping it will increase the volume of dollars flowing into the banking system.

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