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Hainan to expand its duty-free shopping

(Shanghai Daily)

08:13, October 25, 2012

THE southernmost Hainan Province will increase travelers' duty-free shopping quota, lower their age limit and expand its duty-free goods catalog next month, China's Ministry of Finance said yesterday.

Duty-free shopping quota will be raised from 5,000 yuan (US$800) to 8,000 yuan, and travelers are allowed to make duty-free purchases if they are over 16 years old, instead of 18 now.

"Relaxing duty-free quota restriction will significantly expand tourists' choices of products, thus release their shopping desire effectively and boost the sales of tax-free goods with high prices, which are slack at present," Liu Pingzhi, director of the provincial department of finance, said yesterday.

More than 60 percent of single duty-free products priced above 5,000 yuan that tourists buy at present fall between 5,000 and 8,000 yuan, and the increase on purchase limit will allow the majority of goods with high prices sold at designated shops to be covered, Liu said.

The province will also add beauty gadgets such as electric shavers and health care equipment, tableware, kitchenware, and toys (including baby carriages) to the duty-free catalog, bringing the number of goods categories to 21 from the current 18.

Those who use fake identity cards or passports will be banned from making duty-free purchases on the island for three years, while duty-free shops found to have broken rules, such as selling products to Hainan residents or extra pieces to tourists, will get warnings, according to customs regulations.

The initiative is aimed at boosting tourism in the island province.
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