A Bill seeking to amend the Airport Taxes and Fees Act has been presented to the parliament.
The bill was sponsored by MP for North Fuvahmulah, Mohamed Rasheed.
According to the bill, economy class passengers will be levied departure tax at a rate of USD 30 per foreign passenger and USD 12 per Maldivian passenger, whereas both foreign and Maldivian passengers in business-class and first-class will be charged at a rate of USD 60 and USD 90, respectively. Furthermore, both Maldivians and foreigners traveling on private jets will have to pay USD120 as tax.
In addition to the departure tax, an Airport Development Fee (ADF) will also be levied at a similar rate.
Likewise, economy class passengers will be levied an Airport Development Fee (ADF) of USD 60 per foreign passenger and USD 24 per Maldivian passenger. Both foreign and Maldivian passengers in business-class and first-class will be charged at a rate of USD 120 and USD 180, respectively, whereas, both Maldivians and foreigners traveling on private jets will have to pay USD240 as an ADF.
The bill seeks to halt the current Airport Service Charge (ASC) by March 31, 2020, to introduce and enforce the three levels of departure taxes and Airport Development Fees (ADF) by April 1, 2020.
While the bill had its first reading during Saturday's session, the parliament went into recess on the same day. The next term of the parliament is set to begin in the first week of February.
Currently, the Airport Service Charge (ASC) and Airport Development Fee (ADF) collects USD 25 from foreign passengers and USD 12 from Maldivian passengers. This charge was first imposed during former President Yameen's administration, however, his administration levied a fee of USD 24 per Maldivian passenger and USD 50 per foreign passenger in order to increase state revenue.
The proposed state budget by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih's administration for the upcoming year describes exchanging the current Airport Service Charge with three levels of Departure Taxes as one of the methods to generate state revenue.
According to the budget book, this revision was made to make air travel more accessible whilst taxing the passengers that can afford to pay as they are unlikely to be affected by the price change.