The Maldives is a popular cruising destination. Cruise ships from far corners of the world traverse through the beautiful islands annually.
The “Regulation Governing Foreign Tourist Vessels Cruising and Harbouring in Maldivian Waters” sets out the procedure for operating international cruises to the Maldives.
According to the Regulation, the following procedures and conditions should be satisfied:
1. An agent should be appointed prior to entering the country. The agent should be authorised by the Maldives Customs Service to act as agents for foreign tourist vessels. A foreign tourist vessel entering the country in an emergency is exempted from this rule.
2. Permit for entering and harbouring should be obtained from the relevant government authorities, including the Ministry of Tourism by submitting an application form. The fee for granting permits is MVR 5000 (Five Thousand Maldivian Rufiyaa)
3. The duration of a permit is 90 days, from the date the vessel was allowed inward clearance.
4. A vessel that has obtained permits for entering and harbouring has to further apply for a “Charter License” in order to cruise in the Maldives. An application form should be completed to apply for a “Charter License”.
5. The “Charter License” can be extended beyond the acquired duration by obtaining a new “Charter License”.
6. Foreign tourist vessels should enter and exit through an official port of the Maldives.
7. The appointed local agent should submit to the relevant authorities duly completed tax sheets about the tourists on board the vessel, prior to departure. Persistent failure to submit the tax sheet will result in the imposition of a fine, not exceeding MVR 100,000 (One Hundred Thousand Rufiyaa).
8. The vessels granted permission to enter, harbour and cruise in the Maldives should at all times comply with Maldivian Laws and Regulations. Failure to comply may result in the Tourism Ministry imposing of a fine, not exceeding MVR 100,000 (One Hundred Thousand Rufiyaa).