Hainan's offshore duty-free sales with new pick-up methods exceed 4 bln yuan

(People's Daily Online) 13:20, April 19, 2024

South China's Hainan Province recorded offshore duty-free sales of more than 4 billion yuan ($552.8 million) using two new methods to pick up duty-free goods, which were implemented a year ago, according to data from Haikou Customs in Haikou, capital of the island province.

The two options, namely, "buy and pick-up" and "guaranteed pick-up," saw shoppers purchasing over 4.3 million items of duty-free goods on the island during that period. Total sales of duty-free goods under the former pick-up method and the latter one exceeded 3.9 billion yuan and 87 million yuan, respectively.

Customers shop at Haikou International Duty-Free Shopping Complex in Haikou, south China's Hainan Province, Feb. 11, 2024. (Xinhua/Guo Cheng)

Starting April 1, 2023, tourists can choose the "buy and pick-up" method when purchasing duty-free goods in 15 categories, which includes milk powder, toys, perfume, and cosmetics, before each departure from the island, as long as the unit price is less than 20,000 yuan.

Tourists who purchase duty-free products with a unit price of 50,000 yuan or above before each departure from the island can choose the "guaranteed pick-up" method. That means in addition to paying for the goods, customers can pick up the goods on site after submitting a guaranteed equivalent to the import tax on imported goods to customs authorities.

On the first day of the three-day Qingming Festival holiday, which started on April 4, customers lined up to pay for their purchases at the checkout counters of some duty-free shops at the Sanya International Duty Free City in Sanya, Hainan.

After a customer chose the "buy and pick-up" method, the verification, payment and instant pick-up processes took no more than 30 seconds.

"Look, I already put on the sunglasses I just bought," said a tourist from outside Hainan surnamed Li.

"I rushed here to buy sunglasses as soon as I landed. I saved a lot of money thanks to discounts and consumption coupons. I could open the package and wear the sunglasses right away for the 'buy and pick-up' method," Li added.

"Tourists who come to Hainan during the holidays and festivals mainly travel with their families. The 15 categories cover a wide range of convenient and practical duty-free products for their travel needs," said Liao Junye, deputy sales manager of CDFG Sanya Downtown Duty Free Store Co., Ltd.

The "buy and pick-up" option meets the consumption needs of tourists during their stay in Hainan, and provides them with more flexibility in their shopping time.

The combination of multiple pick-up methods has helped better meet the needs of consumers, said Wu Hao, deputy head of the duty-free goods supervision department of Sanya Customs.

Hainan recorded total offshore duty-free sales of 271 million yuan during this year's Qingming Festival holiday, with 47,000 shoppers purchasing 278,000 items of duty-free products on the island, according to Haikou Customs.

First introduced in April 2011, Hainan's offshore duty-free policy has not only unleashed consumption vitality, but also injected momentum into the development of the offshore duty-free industry in the province, industry insiders said.

The business area of offshore duty-free shops across Hainan exceeds 500,000 square meters, and the number of brands there surpasses 1,500. The province has recorded total offshore duty-free sales of more than 222 billion yuan.

While leveraging the offshore duty-free policy, Hainan needs to create more consumption scenarios and increase the offshore duty-free market supply, said Liu Feng, director of the Research Center for Free Trade Port with Chinese Characteristics of Hainan Normal University, adding that the province's offshore duty-free industry still has great potential.

(Web editor: Hongyu, Liang Jun)


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