21 companies register as shipping agencies

Workers lean against containers at the Male' Commercial Harbor on April 5, 2020. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

New regulations making registration of shipping agencies mandatory, has seen 21 agencies register at the Transport Authority as shipping agents. 

Transport Authority officials were summoned to the Parliament's Economic Committee regarding complaints towards the activities of freight forwarders in the Maldives.

In the Committee, Transport Authority officials stated that 112 applications to register as shipping agencies had been received so far.

Under the new regulation, Agents are only permitted to operate if they are registered. The period for registration is now extended to September 15.

Companies registered and under the mandate of shipping agencies are to be registered as Shipping Agents. Under the regulation, Direct or indirect payments from pre-agreement for freight services as well as for the release of consignee delivery loads shall not be charged under the regulation by the shipping agent or the freight forwarder. 

However, charges capped at MVR 500, can still be charged for delivery orders as administrative fees if a document for the shipping is to be altered.

The agent is also to assist in any damages faced by a second party as a result of negligence from the agent, in addition to assisting the security services in the prevention of environmental damage as well as dangerous incidents when operating ships in Maldivian waters.

Any violation of the regulations could be faced with a fine of MVR 10,000, with a note reminder against repeated offenses.