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By No owner — last modified Oct 24, 2017 10:54 AM

 Maldives - Formalities


Except if arriving in an emergency, it is necessary to appoint an agent in advance of arrival.

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 the last report we received by a boat clearing in here is that it is $100 cheaper to enter via Uligamu than Male.

Update April 2018: If planning to clear in at Malé, see the new clearance regulation.

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.

Update March 5th, 2018
Due to a state of emergency agents cannot apply for cruising permits in advance. Application can only be made after the security check clearance/ vessel arrives. Estimated time to get the permit from Ministry of Tourism: 4-5 working days.

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) - Amendment 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 April 2018.


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.

It is routine for Immigration officials to impound passports.

Crew joining the boat in the Maldives
Any additions to crew must be arranged in advance by an agent otherwise any crew member arriving by plane to join the boat in the Maldives will be forced to depart the Maldives by plane (not on the boat).

Last updated April 2018.


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. Note: the new requirement to clear with Customs EVERY time anchoring in the lagoon at Hulhumale.

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

Last updated April 2018.


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.

ZIKA VIRUS ALERT: (March 2018) The Maldives is still an area of interest due to mosquito transmission risk. There is growing concern about the rapid spread of the ZIKA Virus and the impact of the virus on pregnant women and babies. ZIKA is transmitted by mosquitos in tropical and sub-tropical climates, and there is currently no cure or vaccine. This situation is evolving rapidly, so please refer to the CDC’s dedicated website if you are intending to cruise in one of the effected areas.

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


Fees reported April 2018:

It is reported that the fees are irrespective of the size of the boat.

For yachts cruising Maldives for one month, including cruising permit and all government fees and agent fees total approx US$996

There is no anchoring fee for the 1st 7 days. After that it is US&100 for the next 3 weeks.

Agents Fee: US$250 upwards.

Inward Clearance and Outward clearance: US$130
Payable to Maldives Customs Service.

Entry Fee: US$4.24 
Payable to Port Authority.

Cruising Permit Fee or 1 month: 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.

Cruising Permit extension fee:  US$25

See this example of fees paid by a cruiser for a stay of 60 days in February 2018:

Additional Fees

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) of US$68

Note that charges for water or fuel will likely be surcharged if you order through an agent (although in some ports this is the only way to get water and fuel).

Charter Fees (as of 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 April 2018.


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 1, Antrac Tower , Fareedhee Magu , Male', Maldives
Tel:+960-3310096 /3329240/Mobile: + 960-7775644 Fax:+960-3310129 ,VHF Channel 16
Agency for clearance and other services, also with offices in Uligamu and Gan. Mr. Mohamed Sameer/Mohamed Hameed - Operations.
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) 3332536. Duty Mobile: + (960) 7782395 Fax:+ (960) 3337539 ,VHF Channel 16/77
Yacht agent for individual cruising boats, charter boats for clearance, permits and other formalities. Providing services at Kulhudhufushi port (Haa Dhaal Atoll), Male port (Male’ Atoll) and Hithadhoo port (Addu Atoll). Provisions, Fuel, Laundry, Garbage Collection, Information, Weather Reports, Local Knowledge and Guidance, Local Phone and Internet.
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.
Real Seahawks Maldives Pvt Ltd.
G.Reynis / Rah dhebai magu 20145 , Male' , Rep. of Maldives
Tel:(960) 3305922 / -(960) 7934946 Fax:+ 960 3300794
Contact Asadhulla Mohamed (Assad). Operate out of Uligan, Male and Addu. Charge $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.
Ship Care Maldives
Tel:+960 9885511
Contact Mr Afrah.
A ship agent also able to help with a range of technical problems.


Being a Muslim society, dogs are considered unclean and are not permitted to be brought into the county.

Other pets require a health certificate from an authorized veterinarian, stating that the animal is free from infections and contagious diseases.

Last updated May 2015.

kdchu4041 says:
Oct 09, 2017 02:31 AM

We used Ship Care as agent in Male for entry and exit. one of the owner Afrah is a good man and even elected as some official but still spent time to meet us. The operation is by his colleague. The agency fee and the charges had been raised a bit comparing to the charges posted by the previous sailor. We are a 58ft Tanya monohull and with the final charge of USD1000 including the agency fee, mooring, cruising permits (for 1 month while we only stayed 1 week). The service from Ship Care is acceptable. However, in getting the water, it had been charged a bit high comparing high with add on. We paid for the first time of 1 ton through the agent at USD110 while we directly ordered the water for the 2nd time at USD50.

Franco feelsogood
Franco feelsogood says:
Jan 09, 2017 10:51 AM

We sailed Maldives for one month now, found the places lovely in this period with mostly sun and light Wind, perfect for our guests Christmas holiday, most of time in felidhee atoll where you can easily find desert Islands with good shallow sandy anchorages.
we suggest mainly 2 island: bodumohoraa(southern felidhe atoll) with a nice lagoon on its west side where anchor in 6/8mt depth, and Vashugiri(north west of felhide atoll)all the area here is mainly sand WNW of the island a good anchorage just 40nm from Malè.
All the paperworks been manage by shipcaremaldives agents, Afrah and Hanoon have been very nice helping us sorting out everything we needed, included provisioning and refueling from our arrive until our departure.
They managed everything in a great familiar as professional way to makes you forget about all burocratics and organizing nightmares you can find traveling around the world.
You can contact them at: [email protected]
We are now sailing back to Seychelles where you can really experience what a burocracy nightmare is.
[email protected] says:
Dec 17, 2016 01:39 AM

In March 2017 we will have been in Maldives 2 years. We have paid many "school fees" by dealing with the wrong people, simply because its impossible to tell real experts from the wannabe experts. With hindsight the key to cruising Maldives is to select the right agent in the first place. That in itself is no easy task, because whilst they are trying to get your business, all agents promise the world. Once you have the right agent then life gets easier, because he will put you onto the right suppliers and give you the short cuts. Unfortunately once we signed up with our selected agent the reality was a nightmare. The main issue was that one cannot terminate or change agents without a letter of no objection FROM THE AGENT HIMSELF. This left us in a catch 22 situation, and we paid dearly for that letter, allowing us to change agents. After 2 false starts with the wrong agents, we found SHIP CARE MALDIVES, a fairly new agency run by Afrah and Hanoon. ([email protected]) After 3 months I was confident enough in their service levels to post a reference on noonsite. It has now been 6 months and I have been impressed that they have maintained, if not improved their service levels. Afrah and Hanoon are fluent in English and have a very good idea of what servicing a client really means. No task is too much trouble and they have gone the extra mile for me numerous times. Please feel free to mail me if you need any info.
[email protected] says:
Sep 19, 2016 04:38 PM

We have been in Maldives for over a year and have had some bad experiences with unscrupulous agents. Thankfully we found a new agency SHIP CARE MALDIVES, owned and run by Afrah who has been exceptional. He is honest and his prices are reasonable, and there are no surprises when the invoice arrives. I'd recommend his services without hesitation.

lepapillon says:
May 07, 2015 10:09 AM

When we entered the Maldives we experienced a lot of Technical problems. All which have been resolved thanks to a contact who was given to us by some friends. This guy is not an agent he is someone who helps the sailing community with their problems.
We really can recommend this person. If you need a spare part or an engineer, electrician whatsoever he will organise it for you. (Most of the spare parts are available in Male) He send you a copy of the selling price and he put a small service charge on top of it. We paid him a very moderate and acceptable fee for all his efforts and stayed in communication during our whole trip. Just before leaving to chagos we experienced another technical problem which required our immediate attention. The spare part was delivered to us just in a day. Thanks Badeeu for all what you have done for us. For anyone who is interested in contacting him here is his phone number. 7527312.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Apr 07, 2015 11:59 AM

Posted on behalf of SV Totem, 31 March 2015:
Official fees for permits and clearance make the Maldives among the most expensive countries we’ve visited, and certainly the most costly in terms of unavoidable-fees-per-day. One month is nearly $900. But most of these fees are fixed whether you stay one month or three months, so by staying longer we bring down our daily cost- we’ll average around $17/day over two months. Agent fees are just a small fraction, and similar to Sri Lanka and French Polynesia - the other countries we’ve been required to have an agent. The biggest charge in the Maldives is from the tourism ministry. It feels high, and in planning our route this year, there were times we questioned coming. But one week in, we’re glad we did, and excited about the weeks ahead here.

svEquanimity says:
Mar 31, 2015 07:25 AM

Our experience was that Assad was great in Uligan, but Rasheed was the worst of the worst. He represents Advandfort security contractor, so as long as you use them, he'll help you, but we had a different contractor and he made our life's very difficult, lied to us about the storage costs until the day before we were meant to embark the weapons, where he upped our quote $11,000. In the end, we luckily found another weapons owner and agent that was much more reliable and trustworthy. I'd recommend Abdul Hannan from Antrac ([email protected]) who has agents in Uligan as well. He's well connected and been in the business many more years than Rasheed.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Jan 22, 2015 02:59 PM

Posted on behalf of SY Tamarisk:
We had a very favorable experience with Assad and Rasheed at Real Seahawks Maldives as agents there, and they can assist in finding security for the GOA crossing.

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