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It will take a long time to eliminate the tariffs on fish export: Shiyam

Fisheries Minister has revealed that the elimination of the tariff on fishes exported to EU and UK is nowhere near close to conclusion.

Aishath Shuba Solih
12 February 2024, MVT 16:28
Fisheries Minister, Ahmed Shiyam answering questions at today's parliament session
Aishath Shuba Solih
12 February 2024, MVT 16:28

Minister of Fisheries and Ocean Reasources Ahmed Shiyam has stated today that the efforts to implement the elimination of the tariff on fish exported to UK and EU is nowhere near conclusion.

The previous administration had announced that deliberations were made on eliminating the duty of the fish exported to UK and EU while assuring that the process will be concluded very soon.

Shiyam, who had served as the parliamentarian of Naifaru Constituency prior to his appointment as Fisheries Minister, had attended parliament today and answered questions by the members.

In response to a question, he had shared that the former government had said that the price of a single fish was increased from MVR 17 to MVR 25 following the green light ensuring the tariff reduction.

He added that, however, with the analysis on the state of this procedure conducted once this government had assumed office, it was found that the process was nowhere even close to conclusion.

“Once this government assumed office, we went through the books, and, Dear God, this was not anywhere near a doable state. These records indicated that this process will take ages yet to reach a resolution,” Shiyam said.

UK House of Lords (the second chamber in the UK parliament) has also stated that Maldives is presently ineligible to reduce the duty charged for Maldivian fish exports.

Nevertheless, some members who had deliberated on the matter had stressed that good business ties must be upheld with countries such as Maldives that practice sustainable fishing, and called on their government to expedite the tariff reduction.

At present, 22 percent is charged as tariff on the export of fish from Maldives to Europe. Subsequently, the price of the fish sold to the European market has also significantly increased.

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