Maldives Transport Authority on Wednesday annulled its new regulations mandating all shipping agents to register with the authority.
It remains unclear as to why the regulations, which the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation had publicised on July 16, were abruptly declared void.
At the time, the Transport Authority stated that the regulations were adopted in order to prevent various agents from charging additional fees on shipments, falsely claiming that such payments were imposed by the government.
According to a circular previously released by the Maldives Port Limited (MPL), certain charges such as 'APCR', 'DCHT', Port Congestion Charges and Equipment Imbalance Charges were among those quoted as false fees.
In addition to requiring all shipping agents in Maldives to submit their certificates of registration to the Transport Authority, the regulations also prohibited shipping agents and freight forwarders from falsely imposing direct or indirect fees to issue delivery orders.
However, an administrative charge of MVR 500 could be levied for delivery orders in addition to the freight cost, under the regulation.
Moreover, violating the regulation could incur a fine of MVR 10,000.
After the regulations were publicised, the transport ministry had extended the registration deadline twice. The ministry later revealed that 112 companies had registered at the Transport Authority during this time.