The government of the United Kingdom has said the Maldives does not meet the requirements to request for tariff exemptions for fish products.
Last Monday, UK government officials were questioned at the Parliament's Upper House, the House of Lords, regarding the tariffs applied on Maldivian fish products.
Answering the inquiries, the UK's Minister of State Department for Business, Lord Grimstone, said Maldives is an important source market to the UK. However, the minister said the island nation does not meet the requirements to qualify for tariff reductions or exemptions, as the Maldives is no longer listed under the Least Developed Countries (LDC). As the Maldives has graduated to a developing country's rank, it has lost the GSP benefits.
A 22 percent tariff is imposed on Maldivian fish products exported to EU countries. As a result, there are challenges in offering competitive prices for fish products in the global market. Several governments past and present have attempted to negotiate with the EU to arrange tariff exemptions, with no success. However, on Fishermen's Day this year, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih had said fish prices would see positive changes early next year.