Offshore shipping and off port limited services will be offered to foreign vessels anchoring in Maldivian waters, in accordance with a new Maldives Transport Authority (MTA) regulation, reports local media.
The regulation, published April 24, will allow ships to anchored in designated off port areas to access services including bunkering, transferring goods between vessels, anchorage to conduct maintenance and repairs, as well as the exchange of crew, surveyors, and seamen.
The regulation aims to generate new revenue for the country, according to MTA.
To access the designated off port areas, ships must notify Maldivian authorities – via their local agents – 48 hours in advance, and provide notification of dangerous cargo and weapons. The regulation also mandates vessels use local agent services to seek off port and offshore services.
Large vessels can anchor outside the port limit in the following designated areas to receive services: Haa Alif Atoll near Uligamu Island and Haa Dhaalu Atoll near Kulhudhuffushi Island in the north, near the capital Male’ in the central atoll of Kaafu, as well as near Gan in Seenu Atoll in the south.
The Civil Court ruled last week that only vehicles used at construction sites and for public transport could be banned from use by the Maldives Transport Authority for expired or uncertified roadworthiness.
The judgment was delivered in a case filed by lawyer Idhuham Muiz contesting the legality of the Maldives Transport Authority – under the remit of the Transport Ministry – banning privately-owned vehicles for not being certified for roadworthiness within a set period after registration or expiration.
Muiz argued that the transport authority’s actions violated the Land Vehicles Act of 2009, which specified that banning vehicles for failing to meet driving safety standards applied only to those used at construction sites and for public transport.
“As these purposes are expressed in the law, use of registered or newly registered vehicles with roadworthiness either expired or uncertified within the period set by the [transport authority] could only be banned for these two purposes,” the Civil Court judgment reads.
Judge Mariyam Nihiyath ruled that owners of vehicles banned by the authority should be compensated.
Former Attorney General Husnu Suood meanwhile told Sun Online that police could no longer fine owners for driving vehicles with uncertified roadworthiness.
Moreover, individuals on whom the now-illegal fines were imposed could sue for compensation.
Owners found to be driving vehicles with either expired or no roadworthiness certificates are fined and have their licenses withheld by police.