Parliament Committee has passed a motion today to introduce a Departure Tax instead of the Airport Tax that is charged from travelers leaving Maldivian airports.
The newly passed Departure Tax will go into effect on January 1, 2022. It will charge foreign passengers more than than local ones.
Parliament member and representative of the Fuvahmulaku Uthuru constituency Mohamed Rasheed proposed an amendment to the existing law regarding taxing travelers that leave from a Maldivian airport. The report Parliament's Economic Committee compiled after researching the amendment was passed by the entire Parliament, without making any additional changes, except when it should go into affect.
When the amendment was submitted, it was suggested that it go into affect in from April 2020.
The higher tax for foreigners is applicable only if they are travelling from economy class; a Maldivian will be charged USD 12 while foreign travelers will be charged USD 30.
Maldivians and foreigners alike will be charged the same if they are flying in business class, first class, or via private jets. Departure Tax allocated for each category are USD 60 for business class travelers, USD 90 for first class travelers, and USD 120 for travelers leaving via a private jet.
Only two members that had attended yesterdays session voted against it. While a total of 52 members attended the session, 43 members were against it.
Representative of Maavashu constituency was one of the members that was incredibly vocal against this new amendment. He expressed that this may negatively affect tourist arrival and criticised the decision to move forward with this without discussing with airlines that operate in Maldives.
Even though the committee has approved this report, it can only go into affect after the parliament members approve it.