HAIKOU, China, Dec. 4, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The policies on offshore duty free shopping for visitors to Hainan Island have been adjusted, according to a joint statement made by the Ministry of Finance, the General Administration of Customs and the State Administration of Taxation of the PRC. The adjusted policies are more open and convenient, aiming to transform Hainan into an international tourism consumption center. The new policies came into force on December 1, 2018.
The adjustments are mainly about three aspects. First, the offshore duty-free shopping allowance for visitors is increased from RMB 16,000 to RMB 30,000. Second, multiple rehabilitation medical devices are now covered by the tax-free list, including vision training equipment, hearing aids, orthotic aids, and respiratory aids for home health care. Two such medical devices are covered by the duty-free policies for each visitor each time they leave Hainan. Third, for Chinese citizens who live in or outside of Hainan, the duty-free policies are equally effective.
In addition, according to Hainan Provincial Department of Finance, the preliminary work on the duty-free shopping for passengers by sea and for two more duty-free shops has been finished, and the two policies will be officially implemented after onsite inspection. One of the two new duty-free shops will be in Haikou, and the other in Qionghai.
The offshore duty-free policy is one of the most powerful and influential policies, and has been revised for four times since its implementation on April 20, 2011. The offshore duty-free shopping allowance was increased from RMB 5,000 to RMB 8,000, and later to RMB 16,000, and the types of commodities covered was increased from 21 to 38. Now, train passengers, other than airline passengers, and people who shop online in addition to shopping in-store, can also benefit from this set of policies.
The fifth adjustment of offshore duty-free policy opens a wider channel for international luxury brands to enter the market of Hainan and other places in China and offers greater convenience for the majority of visitors to Hainan. The adjustment helps the transformation to shopping in Hainan from shopping overseas, drives the development of service industries, including Hainan's tourism, transportation, hotels and catering, and warehouse logistics. It also helps build Hainan into an international tourism consumption center, and turn Hainan into a pilot free trade zone and a free trade port with Chinese characteristics.
Hainan's offshore duty-free shops achieved a turnover of RMB 8.016 billion in 2017, a 32% year-on-year growth. From January to October this year, the shops achieved a turnover of RMB 7.949 billion, up by 23% over the same period last year. From April 20, 2011 to the end of October this year, the shops realized an accumulative sale of RMB 38.5 billion, receiving over 12 million tourists.