Cigarette imports decline due to tax increase

Customs statistics have shown that cigarette imports into the Maldives have declined.

Cigarettes are the highest-taxed item in the Maldives. While import duties on cigarettes have increased in recent years, a tax of MVR 3 is currently levied on each cigarette.

According to customs statistics, the number of cigarettes imported into Maldives declined with the increase in import duties.

Change in import duty on cigarettes

December 2011 - MVR 0.90 per cigarette
April 2015 - MVR 1.25 per cigarette
March 2017 - MVR 2 per cigarette and 25 percent of the cigarette price
August 2020 - MVR 3 per cigarette and 25 percent of the price of cigarettes

Customs said the number of cigarette imports is now declining. While 2016 saw the highest import of cigarettes in the past ten years, in 2021, the Maldives' cigarette imports declined by 31 compared to 2016 due to the increase in import duties.

Despite the decline in cigarette imports, customs figures show that e-cigarette imports have increased sevenfold in the past three years.

The government increased the tax levied on energy drink imports in 2017. Statistics show that compared to 2017, energy drinks imports declined by 57 percent in 2021.