HAINAN, CHINA (20.10pm). In major breaking news announced just minutes ago, the Chinese authorities have introduced a range of measures designed to boost the island province’s already burgeoning duty free business, effective 1 July. [For the latest updates to this breaking story, examining the change in full detail, click here].
The measures, unveiled by the Chinese Ministry of Finance, the General Administration of Customs and the State Administration of Taxation, and provided to The Moodie Davitt Report by the Hainan Provincial Bureau of International Economic Development, will transform China’s and Asia’s travel retail landscape.
From 1 July, the annual offshore duty free allowance for shoppers visiting Hainan will be raised from RMB30,000 (US$4,215 at current exchange rate) to RMB100,000 (US$14,050) as part of sweeping government plans to stimulate consumption, tourism and pave the way for the creation of Hainan Free Trade Port.
The range of duty free categories is being expanded from 38 to 45, as part of a hugely ambitious Hainan Free Trade Port Overall Plan released by Hainan Provincial Bureau of International Economic Development. Critically, new categories include liquor (subject to a 1.5 litre allowance restriction per visit, as long as the RMB 100,000 allowance is not exceeded in a year), as well as watches, phones (four pieces per person a year), computers and fashion. The liquor category includes beer, sake, imported wines and spirits.
“It’s really huge news… for most of the products there is no limitation,” the spokesman told The Moodie Davitt Report. “It also includes alcohol, wine, whisky, beer etc, though with a restriction of 1.5 litres. For phones the limitation is four pieces per year. That means people can come to Hainan and buy, say, four iPhones, and return home. For the duty free industry it really is a huge development.”
Additionally, the previous CNY8,000 limit for a single tax free purchase is removed.
More details on this global exclusive story to follow soon.
The latest moves follow another major boost to the offshore business. In April China Duty Free Group (CDFG) introduced a new scheme allowing Mainland visitors to Hainan to spend any of their unspent RMB30,000 (US$4,240) annual allowance online for up to 180 days once they arrive back – and have the goods couriered to their home.