Importers granted concessions, reduction in port fees

Male' Commercial Port. (File Photo/Sun/Mohamed Afrah)

Maldives Ports Limited (MPL) has made the decision to grant allowances to importers, including reductions in fees.

The decision was announced during the National Emergency Operations Center press briefing this Monday afternoon.

Government spokesperson Mabrouq Azeez said MPL has decided on a 20 percent reduction on demurrage fees from the ports in Male’ and Hulhumale’, and a 50 percent reduction on demurrage fees in ports in Kulhudhuffushi and Hithadhoo.

In addition, importers can now store cargo at MPL warehouses free of charge for up to two days, and the lease fee charged from the bonded warehouse at Velana International Airport has been reduced by 50 percent.

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in logistical difficulties in transporting cargo into Maldives following the suspension of commercial flights and various lockdowns.

Neighboring India and Sri Lanka, two of Maldives’ top sources of imports, are currently under lockdown to curb the virus, resulting in logistical challenges in bringing in cargo.

In face of these challenges, the national airline Maldivian made the decision to use its passenger planes to transport cargo into Maldives.

Maldivian has announced it will operate cargo freighters to the Sri Lankan capital Colombo, Indian cities Trivandrum and Chennai, Dubai, and the Thai capital Bangkok.

The first cargo freight arrived in Maldives carrying 10 tonnes of perishables and medical products from Colombo on Sunday evening.