Maldives gears up to charge new airport fee

Maldives Inland Revenue Authority (MIRA) has drafted the required regulation as the archipelago prepares to introduce a new airport fee which would see every departing foreign passenger from the country's main airport pay an Airport Development Fee (ADF) of USD25.

The 'Bill on Taxation and Levying of Fees for Passengers Departing from International Airports in Maldives' was signed into law by president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom last month.

Despite including locals for the ADC, the parliament compromised to slash the fee to USD12 from every departing local passenger.

The new fee would add to the current airport service charge -- USD25 from foreign passengers and USD12 from locals.

Under the new law, every airline operating in the Maldives must pay the fee to MIRA under a regulation.

MIRA spokesperson Mohamed Shahid told Avas on Monday that the regulation had been drafted and forwarded to the attorney general for comment.

Once the AG provides his comments, the regulation would be gazetted, Shahid said.

In his budget speech, Finance Minister Ahmed Munawar had said the ADC – an estimated MVR565.8 million next year – will be used to set up a “sovereign development fund” as a long-term fiscal reserve to repay debt.