President Abdulla Yameen has issued a new regulation for businesses seeking to waive import duties on a variety of capital goods and has waived duties on some goods imported to address “special circumstances.”
The revised Maldives Import Export Act gives the president the authority to waive import duties for “items imported to commence, undertake and operate activities that are beneficial to the Maldivian economy.”
According to the new regulation, businesses seeking the duty waiver should fit on the following criteria:
- Businesses seeking to increase Maldives’ exports and reduce imports.
- Businesses introducing a new technology
- Economic activities which will increase living standards and employment opportunities.
- Increase foreign currency revenues
- Diversify the Maldivian economy.
- Encourage small and medium sized enterprises.
The decree states that such imports can only be expensive machinery, capital equipment, infrastructure material, aircrafts and aircraft spares. The total value of items imported must be above US$2million. Duty can be waived for a period between 3 to 15 years depending on the investment of the business.
Depending on the business sector, companies seeking duty exemption should request the waiver from either the economic development ministry, the tourism ministry or the fisheries ministry. The waiver must be requested 14 days before the goods arrive in the country.
President Yameen also waived import duties for goods used in special circumstances.
- Goods imported treat people during an epidemic.
- Goods imported to address a decline in living standards or food supplies because of a failure to provide education, healthcare, electricity, water, sewerage and other such basic services.
- Goods imported to address the impact of a natural disaster.
- Goods imported on free aid to provide basic services, infrastructure development and environmental conservation projects.
- Goods given as gifts or free aid to the people of the Maldives or to a specific island.
Goods brought under special circumstances do not need to provide the 14 day notice.