Malé, Maldives – India and Maldives on Thursday, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for cooperation in exchange of pre-arrival information for the facilitation of trade and customs control on goods.
Representing India, Chairman of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) , M. Ajit Kumar signed the MoU while Commissioner General of Maldives Customs Service Mr Abdulla Shareef signed the MoU on behalf of Maldives.
The purpose of the MoU is to provide a framework for the exchange of pre-arrival information contained in customs documents submitted at the time of export, which in turn will reduce the time taken in Customs procedures and optimize forms and methods of customs control on goods.
Along with this, cooperation in data exchange will also improve the overall efficiency of customs administrations on both sides and deliver significant benefits in terms of better facilitation of trade, security of the supply chain as well as revenue collection.
The press release from customs in relation to the MoU signing, states that the excellent health of the India-Maldives bilateral ties under the leadership of President Ibu Solih and Prime Minister Modi has provided a thrust to trade and commercial ties.
They added that a series of measures have been implemented in recent months to improve bilateral trade between India and Maldives and that the commencement of the India-Maldives Direct Cargo Vessel Service in September 2020 has significantly elevated the bilateral trade partnership between the two sides. Along with this, it enabled India to become the second-largest trade partner of the Maldives in 2020, a significant improvement over its 5th position in the year 2019.
Maldives has also greatly benefited from the upswing in trade ties, with Maldivian exports to India for the period Jan-June 2021, showing a steep rise over previous years. At the request of Government of Maldives, India recently renewed and increased quotas to provide 09 essential commodities to the Maldives.
This system is an ongoing mechanism set up between the two countries in 1981 to strengthen food security and ensure the supply of construction materials, in the Maldives. The approved quantities are the highest since this arrangement came into effect in 1981 with an increase of 15% in the quotas of essential commodities.