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By No owner — last modified Jul 02, 2014 11:19 AM

 Maldives - Formalities

Clearance

Yachts usually clear in and out at Malé, although now Uligamu in Haa Alifu Atoll and Gan in Addu Atoll are also Ports of Entry. Uligamu is proving to be a popular port at which to clear in and the officials there are friendly and helpful, plus latest reports are thatit is $100 cheaper to enter via Uligamu than Male.

Stays of less than 48 hours:
Yachts can stay up-to 48 hours at the arrival Port of Entry without appointing an agent. But the vessel must get clearance within 24 hours of arrival and clear out within 48 hours.

Customs fees are payable for inward and outward clearance and a small entry fee to the Port Authority, however a Clearance Permit fee is not charged. See Fees for further details.

Stays of more than 48 hours:
If staying longer in the Maldives, all vessels must appoint an agent within 48 hours of arrival.

Stays of less than 7 days:
If is now no longer necessary to purchase a Cruising Permit if staying less than 7 days.

Staying 7 days or longer:
It is important that if you plan to stay 7 days or more, then your application for a Cruising Permit must reach the Ministry of Tourism within 84 hours of your Inward Clearance (this excludes Public holidays). If this is not done, then your agent can be fined.

Dealing with your Agent
The agent's fee can be anything upward of US$75, although it varies depending on the agent and it is definitely worth shopping around and negotiating the fees to be paid in advance of arrival. There are a number of legitimate agents in the Maldives, see here for a list. Check that any agent used is registered with the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture and it is definitely worth asking around first as to which agents other cruisers recommend.

When an agent has been prearranged, he should be notified 48 hours before arrival of the ETA. An ETA letter will then be sent by the agent to the Ministry of Defence and National Security, Customs, Port Authority, Immigration and Quarantine. The details of the ETA letter include the following particulars:

  1. Name of vessel
  2. Name of master and nationality
  3. Name of owner
  4. Port of registration and official number
  5. Gross tonnage
  6. Callsign
  7. HF working frequency
  8. Last port of call
  9. Estimated date and time of arrival
  10. Number of crew

Cruising Permit (Tourism Fee) - Updated 5th February 2014
The requirement for this fee, introduced 1st June 2010, refers to a Foreign Tourist Vessel 'cruising' and harbouring' in the Maldives. If staying less than 7 days, then a permit is not required. If staying longer, then the permit must be applied for within 84 hours of clearing in.
It costs US$325 (MVR 5,000) and is valid for the length of the stay (maximum 180 days).

Payment must be made to the Ministry of Tourism Arts & Culture in Male. If clearing in at another port the Agent can help with this payment for an extra charge.

The cruising permit will list the atolls for which permission has been granted for a visit. An agent can arrange this. Yachts not obtaining permission are liable to be fined a substantial amount. Without this permit, a yacht must remain in the arrival anchorage.

See the original Ministry of Tourism text and the Feb 2014 amendment.

If wishing to have guests on board, then a charter licence must be purchased as well as payment of the Tourism fee.
See Fees for the costs involved.

Be prepared to pay all fees in cash.

Last updated March 2014.

Immigration

All visitors must have a passport valid for 6 months.

Visas can now be given for up to 90 days on arrival. This is the maximum stay allowed, after which you must leave the country for 3 months.

If the original visa is for less than 90 days, then extensions may be purchased and can be done in one day if the application is submitted before 10am. A passport type photo with a white background is required. Two extensions are permitted up to the maximum of 90 days.

Proof of sufficient funds may be required.

Last updated March 2014.

Customs

Firearms must be declared on arrival and will be confiscated until departure. Ensure you are given a receipt. All firearm must have a permit, otherwise on departure one has to go to the Ministry of Defence with the receipt to get approval for the return of the firearms. Any firearms and ammunition not declared will be seized. Firearms without a licence or official documents could be confiscated; this includes spear guns.

Customs requires nine crew lists on arrival as well as a deratting certficate.

Prohibited imports are:- pornographic material; materials deemed contrary to Islam, including "idols for worship" and bibles; pork and pork products; and alcohol. Alcoholic beverages are only available on resort islands and should not be taken off a resort. .

The export of tortoiseshell, turtleshell and whole black coral is forbidden.

As Malé is a free port, no duties are levied, but goods must be declared.

From 5th February 2014 a yacht is now allowed to stay (with a cruising licence) for 180 days.

Last updated March 2014.

Health

Dengue fever is endemic.

Vaccinations for Hepatitis A and B, Tetanus, Typhoid and a booster for polio are recommended.

Yellow fever certificates are required if arriving from an infected area.

Medical facilities are limited. There are only two hospitals and these are on the capital island, Malé. Neither has a trauma unit. Although most resort islands are within easy reach of a general physician, many are several hours' travel away from the hospital facilities on Malé. Many resort islands are more than an hour away from the nearest decompression chamber.

Documents

Documents required for clearance; passports, clearance certificate from last port of call, crew list (9 copies), copy of boat registration (2 copies), deratting certificate and a list of alcohol on board.

Fees

Agents Fee: US$75 upwards.

Inward Clearance: US$64.85 (MVR 1000.00) 
Outward clearance: US$64.85 (MVR 1000.00)
Payable to Maldives Customs Service.

Entry Fee: US$3.24 (MVR 50.00) 
Payable to Port Authority.

Cruising Permit Fee: US$325 (MVR 5000.00) 
Payable for stays of more than 7 days (new rule from 5th March 2014). Payable to Ministry of Tourism Arts & Culture in Male.

Tourist Visa extension: US$75 per person. Not now normally required as a 90 day visa issued on arrival.

Changes to crew list: US$35

There will be a transport charge if you are unable to ferry the 6 officials out to your boat for clearance.

There may also be a fee for de-rating exemption (if you do not have a Health certificate).

Charter Fees are as follows (November 2011):-
Vessels less than 25 meters USD 15.00 per day
Vessels from 26 to 35 meters USD 200.00 per day
Vessels from 36 to 45 meters USD 350.00 per day
Vessels from 46 to 75 meters USD 450.00 per day
Vessels from 75 meters and above USD 600.00 per day

In addition to the charter license fee there is a bed tax of USD 8.00 per guest per night payable to Maldives Inland Revenue.

Last updated March 2014.

Restrictions

Permission from the owner should be obtained before visiting uninhabited islands.

Most resort islands do not permit anchoring in their waters.

Local Customs

The Maldives are an Islamic country, which means certain customs must be respected. Pork and alcohol are only available on the tourist islands. A certain modesty in dress is expected.

Nudism and topless sunbathing are prohibited throughout Maldives including on resort islands.

Clearance Agents

The majority of agents operate from Male. Those that handle clearance elsewhere are noted. There is a great deal of rivalry amongst agents here, all fighting for work and all rather suspicious. If enquiring with an agency about fees and terms, it is recommended you attach a copy of your yacht registration to avoid any confusion over your identity.

Last updated May 2014.

Agomar Maldives Pvt. Ltd
Ma.Daylight Villa, 5th Floor, , Male
Tel:+960 777 1923 Fax:+960 331 2464
Contact Capt. Mohamed Saleem. Clearance agent and other services.
Ahmed Rasheed
Gan, Addu Atoll
Tel:+960 771 4976
Agent in Gan.
Albatross International Pvt Ltd
M.Suhura, Dhambu Goalhi , Male' 20190
Tel:+960 3313012 Fax:+960 3325970
Ship handling agent.
Antrac Maldives Pvt Ltd
Level 3, Antrac Tower , Fareedhee Magu , Male', Maldives
Tel:+960-3310096 /3329240/Mobiles + 960-7775644 Fax:+960-3310129 ,VHF Channel 16
Agency for clearance and other services, also with offices in Uligamu and Gan.
Contact for Male is Mohamed Hameed.
Contact for Uligamu is Asad.
Expedite Maldives Pvt Ltd
M.Assida, Izzudeenu Magu
Tel:(960) 777 2159 Fax:(960) 3340 672
FIFO International Pvt Ltd
Tel:(+960) 753834
Agents for clearance.
Freight Line International (Maldives) Pvt. Ltd.
Mr Mohamed Badiu , Freight Line International (Maldives) Pvt. Ltd. , 2nd Floor, H. Lhoheege, Majeedhee Magu, Male' 20-05
Tel:(960) 331 7940/ Cell (960) 777 6432 Fax:(960) 331 7939
A Male agent who covers Uligan for stays of 3-15 days.
Hazash Enterprises
Tel:(+960) 332 6442 Fax:(+960) 332 4913
Agents for clearance.
Island Sailors Pvt, Ltd.
H. Shady Villa , Janavary Higun , Male' Maldives
Tel:+(960) 333 7539 ,VHF Channel 16/77
Yacht agent, providing services at Kulhudhufushi port (Haa Dhaal Atoll), Male port (Male’ Atoll) and Hithadhoo port (Addu Atoll).
Lets go Maldives Pvt Ltd
Tel:+960 3347755 Mobile: +960 773111
Coordination of cruising permits and security clearances.
MNS Maldives Pvt Ltd
Contact: Masood Saeed , Addu City
Tel:+960 689 3433 / Mob: +960 7906609 Fax:+960 689 3432. ,VHF Channel 16
Clearance agent based in Gan, Addu Atoll.
P-Ten Pvt.Ltd
M.Shuaau,Janbumagu' , Maafannu, Male' , Rep.Of Maldives
Tel:(+960)7775086 / 7999849
Vessel Handling (Clearing), Other Services.
Realseahawks Maldives PVT Ltd.
Nooraaneevilla Ha , Uligan
Tel:+960 3300794 / Mob. +960 7934946 Fax:+ 960 3300794
Asadhulla Mohamed (Assad)Agent for Realseahawks Maldives PVT Ltd. Based in Uligan. He charges $20 for arrangement for stays of up to 8 days. For 1 month stays the agency fees are $75 for inward clearance and the same for outward. Phone or email for help with paperwork and/or fees payable.
Sailing Tours PVT Ltd.
H Meerbahuruge 4th floor , Ameer Ahmed Magu , Agu, Male
Tel:+960 332 5468 Fax:+960 331 8997
Contact Mr. Abdulla Ibrahim (+960 7793898) / Mr. Mohamed Ibrahim (+960 7975624). Can arrange inward & outward clearance, any necessary permits, freight forwarding, diving trips, hotel bookings, local transportation etc.
Seline Pvt Ltd
G.Reynis, Rahdhebaimagu , Male , 20026 - Maldives
Tel:+(960) 7555515 Fax:+960 3300794 ,VHF Channel 6
Yacht and ship agency services (fueling, marine supplies, water, provisions, permits). Contact person: Silm hussain.

Pets

Being a Muslim society, dogs are considered unclean and are required to be kept on board. Yachts can enter the Maldives with dogs onboard as long as the animal remains onboard at all times.

Furthermore, yachts must ensure that their agent obtains permission for them to enter the Maldives with a dog onboard at least 24 hrs before arrival. Yachts failing to do this will be subject to a fine.

On arrival the captain must declare that the yacht carries a dog, to the security officers who will then make a statement which the captain must sign undertaking not to take the dog ashore. The animal must also have the necessary vaccination certificates.

Any yachts with a dog on board should contact an agent before coming to Male to check the current situation. Other pets do not seem to be a problem.

Last updated January 2011

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sailingmum
sailingmum says:
Jul 02, 2014 06:24 AM

Our routine enquiry to Island Sailors resulted in a bizarre and rude response. We recommend that you choose a different agent.

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