President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on Sunday ratified the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons Act, allowing heavy fines to be levied for stockpiling, or use of chemical weapons.
It specifies fines ranging from MVR 500,000 to MVR 1 million, as well as prison sentences of five to 20-years for the actions criminalised in the Act.
The law outlines the prohibition of chemical weapons, in line with the United Nations Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction, to which Maldives is party.
The law also requires a “Chemical Weapons Unit” to be established by the relevant ministry to oversee the implementation of the legislation. It further details the powers and responsibilities of the body. The Act mandates the unit to draw up guidelines and policies outlined in the law within six months.
With the ratification of the law, only the parties licenced by the “Chemical Weapons Unit” will have the authority to import and export any chemicals that fall under the purview of the law. It further defines the proper procedures for disposing of chemical weapons in the Maldives.
The parliament passed the bill on the final sitting of the parliament for this year. It was proposed by Mathiveri MP Hassan Zahir, on behalf of the government. A special subcommittee was convened by the parliament’s National Security Committee to review the bill.