Business have started charging MVR two per plastic bag sold or given to a customer at the point of sale, effective from Tuesday.
This change comes with the Waste Management Act, which was ratified by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on 18 December 2022. The act requires businesses to charge MVR two per plastic bag sold or given to a customer at the point of sale, effective from18 April 2023.
The Act also requires GST registered persons to pay the fee levied on plastic bags to MIRA.
Additionally, the Act stipulates that MIRA should prepare the guidelines for collecting fees under the Act by GST registered persons within three months of the Act's enactment.
MIRA states that the guidelines cover how to calculate the plastic bag fee, include the fee information in the tax return, and pay the money.
As such, the guidelines states that business activities will be required to charge MVR two as plastic bag fee for each plastic bag sold or supplied at the point of sale from, 18 April 2023 onwards.
The guidelines also say that the plastic bag charge must be paid to MIRA before the GST payment deadline. Furthermore, this should include the information of the plastic bag fee.
MIRA states that the plastic bag fee should be paid in Maldivian Rufiya.
MIRA states that the plastic bag fee is exempt from some types of plastic bags. As such, plastic bags sold or supplied by duty-free shops, plastic bags for all types of unsealed fresh meat and "binliners" sold or issued exclusively for waste by waste management service providers or other competent authority are exempt from this fee.
Furthermore, MIRA stated that GST registered entities should maintain documentation to ensure that the amount of plastic bag fee charged from the customer for the plastic bags sold or supplied is calculated in accordance with the laws and regulations. The authority notes that the details of the documents to be maintained is included in the guideline.
MIRA states that actions will be taken if GST registered persons do not submit information on plastic bag fees or do not pay this fee. As such, the authority has includes details of this in the "Rules for Charge of Plastic Bags by GST Registered Persons" as well.