Maldives Market Entry

By | July 23, 2022


  • Market entry
  • Forms and conditions of operation on the market
  • Marketing and Communications
  • Issues of intellectual property protection
  • Public procurement market
  • Payment terms, payment ethics and resolution of commercial disputes
  • Visas, fees, specific conditions of travel to the territory
  • Employment of citizens from the Czech Republic
  • Fairs and events

Market entry

The business community in the Maldives is closely interconnected and mainly concentrated in the capital Malé, therefore it is necessary to establish cooperation with an influential local representative (representative company) from the very beginning, who knows the local conditions well and will help to obtain quality information about individual projects. Basically, this is the only reliable way to establish yourself in the local market. The payment of consulting fees to local representatives must also be clearly taken into account in the financial calculations. Check smber for agriculture and fishing facts of Maldives.

Information can be obtained on the website of the Ministry of Economic Development – Invest Maldives,, or at the EU representation for the Maldives based in Sri Lanka, lanka_en

Forms and conditions of operation on the market

The necessary information on access to the local market can be provided by the Honorary Consulate of the Czech Republic in Male. Further information can be requested from the association of local business chambers, Maldives National Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Marketing and communication

The Maldives is as challenging a market to promote as any other developed country. Among the most frequently used media is television, and internet marketing is expanding rapidly. All promotional materials must be written in English. It pays to participate in a trade fair or specialized exhibition if a company wants to present its product, which is not yet established in the area.

Issues of intellectual property protection

Currently, the Maldives lacks legislative regulation for the protection of intellectual property. Although the country is a member of the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization), it has not yet been able to pass its own law based on the WIPO model for developing countries. The law on the protection of intellectual property is still awaiting approval in the Chamber of Deputies.

Intellectual property protection issues are partly covered by a newly created department at the Ministry for Economic Development. To this day, the Maldives still relies on the WTO decision to extend the transition period for developing countries to ratify the TRIPS Agreement for the Protection of Intellectual Property. Copyright issues are handled by the Ministry of Informatics and Media. Link to Ministry of Economic Development:

Public procurement market

Notices about public contracts are published on the individual websites of the ministries. As Maldives is a member of SAARC, sector-wise public tenders are also advertised on the SAARC website,

Visas, fees, specific conditions for traveling to the territory

Visas, customs regulations:

The country is open for tourists. Over 30 airlines operate flights to the Maldives. Upon arrival in the Maldives, a tourist visa for a 30-day stay is granted free of charge. The condition is the presentation of a passport with a machine-readable zone, the validity period of which is at least 1 month from the date of arrival in the Maldives, as well as confirmation of the provision of hotel services and a ticket for a flight from the Maldives within a maximum of 30 days from the date of arrival in the Maldives. However, most airlines state that the passport should be valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry into the Maldives.

From January 1, 2022, all passengers departing from the country must pay the so-called departure tax. The tax applies to local residents and foreign visitors and to all airports in the country. There is a fee of USD 30 for economy class departure, USD 60 for business class and USD 90 for first class. For departures by private aircraft, a fee of USD 120 applies. We recommend checking the current conditions of entry into the country and any changes in the visa regime on the website

The Maldives applies four levels of import tariffs. Goods imported in large quantities for commercial purposes must be provided with a license granted by the Ministry of Industry and Trade. All import items must go through the customs process, which consists of evaluation, documentation, payment of duty, examination and subsequent clearance for shipment.

The only direct protection of the Maldives’ domestic market is customs duties on imported goods. There are no other import surcharges. Non-tariff barriers to market access occur sporadically.

Overview of customs fees for various types of imported commodities in % of the price:

  • Necessary and daily necessities 5 – 20%
  • Items necessary for the development of domestic industry 10 – 25%
  • Items necessary for the development of the country’s prosperity 25-35%
  • Luxury goods 35 – 200%

The Companies Act of the Republic of Maldives Law, No: 10/96 applies to the establishment of a company in the Maldives, which precisely determines the procedure for establishing a new company on the local market. This law describes in detail all the necessary steps, from registration with the Ministry of Industry and Trade to the legal framework or dissolution of the company.

Maldives Market Entry