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  4. Customs in the Maldives: what you can and cannot bring

Maldivian laws provide for a number of strict rules and restrictions regarding visiting the country. Local customs requirements for any guest, especially from European countries or the United States, may seem overwhelming. Many of the rules for entering the islands are related to Islam, which is practiced in the archipelago. Like any other country, the Republic of Maldives has the right to demand respect for its laws and customs. Violation of them can lead to serious liability, even imprisonment.

Of course, it is better to familiarize yourself with all the intricacies of customs inspection on the islands in advance. This will help avoid spoiled moods and bad impressions of the Maldives. And so, what you can and cannot take with you to the Maldives and why. Let's figure it out further.

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Asad Photo Maldives
Asad Photo Maldives

What is strictly forbidden to import into the Maldives


The use of alcoholic beverages on vacation is not excluded by many. In the Maldives, this is somewhat different. Islam prohibits alcohol, and it cannot be found on the local islands of the Maldives. But the private island resorts made an exception for guests. True, the cost of this or that drink will be significantly inflated.

For this reason, some tourists are looking for ways to get around the law. For example, they even try to bring alcohol to the Maldives in medicine jars or underwear heating pads. Customs officers already know all such trickery by heart. Therefore, you should not create unpleasant situations for yourself. The withdrawn alcohol can be returned, but only on your way back. The will most likely be storage fees that apply for the duration of your stay in the Maldives.

Travelers often wonder what the minimum amount of alcohol can still be brought with you to the Maldives. The answer is none at all. This is an absolute taboo without exception. Even alcohol purchased in duty-free is confiscated from you. It would be more rational to choose an all-inclusive resort and enjoy your favorite drinks in the bars and restaurants of the hotel.

Andy Lee
Andy Lee

Anti-Islamic literature

In the Maldives, it is forbidden to promote any religion other than Muslim. For this reason, during customs control, you will be asked to leave your Bible behind, even if it is in your luggage.

Pork and pork products

A pig, as you know, is considered an unclean animal in the Muslim religion. Therefore, the Maldives will not be allowed with pork, bacon and other products that include pork. The only exceptions are cases where there is a special prior authorization.

What else is prohibited from importing into the Maldives

  • narcotic and psychotropic substances;
  • firearms and explosive items;
  • equipment for underwater hunting;
  • pornographic materials (including sex toys, books and what is considered light erotica in European countries).

Shamia Casiano
Shamia Casiano

What you can take with you to the Maldives

  • Professional video equipment (with special permission).
  • For persons over 16 years old - no more than 200 cigarettes (1 block), or 25 cigars, or 250 grams of tobacco.
  • A reasonable amount of clothing, jewelry, toiletries, reading materials and electronics for personal use.
  • Any animal other than dogs and dangerous animals. In this case, a certificate of the health of your pet is required, confirming that it is not infected with infections.
More details on the terms of import and export to the Maldives can be found on the website of the Maldivian customs customs.gov.mv.

Lenin Estrada
Lenin Estrada

What cannot be taken from the Maldives

The Maldivians are very scrupulous about preserving the ecosystem of the islands. Therefore, tourists are forbidden to take with them as a souvenir what they want most - corals. This list also includes turtle shells and pearl oyster shells.

The only exceptions are souvenirs made for sale. They can be purchased at special shops. Be sure to ask for receipts and keep them in case you have any questions at customs.

For information

  • If at customs you find the coral fragments that you collected so diligently, they will have to be returned in full. Moreover, you can pay a fine.
  • Even if you find something interesting for yourself at the bottom of the ocean while snorkeling or diving in the Maldives - this also belongs to the government of the islands.
  • Local currency bills are also among the items prohibited for export.
  • Carry-on baggage must not contain fruit. At the same time, they can be packed in luggage as much as necessary.
  • There is no Tax free in the Maldives. Therefore, when leaving the country, VAT on purchases made is not compensated.

Francesco Ungaro
Francesco Ungaro


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