cnscCHINA. China National Service Corporation for Chinese Personnel Working Abroad (CNSC) has been awarded the duty free arrivals shop contract at Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport, a major breakthrough for the state-owned enterprise.

CSNC beat off opposition from the other two short-listed candidates, Zhuhai Duty Free and Shenzhen Duty Free, for the contract.

“This is a historic moment for us as it is the first time we will have entered into airport duty free,” a CNSC spokesman told The Moodie Davitt Report.

CSNC will open a 572sq m store, selling a broad range of traditional duty free categories. No firm opening date has been set but the airport company wants arrivals shopping to be introduced by mid-year.

The award follows the landmark news in February 2016, first revealed by The Moodie Davitt Report and its close Chinese associate Duty Free Expert, that central government had authorised bids for licences at 19 nominated inbound locations, including airports and seaports (see list below; note: the international airports in Beijing and Shanghai already offer Arrivals duty free).

All contract awards are expected by the end of April. We’ll bring you news on other contract awards soon.

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State-owned media ChinaNews.com first telegraphed the State Council’s intentions for an expanded Arrivals duty free shop network in November 2015, part of a determined government plan to maximise domestic consumption

Existing duty free retailers (CNSC, CDFG, Shenzhen Duty Free and Zhuhai Duty Free) which hold licences from the Chinese government are authorised to bid for the contracts. Returning Chinese travellers can currently bring in CNY5,000 (US$765) worth of duty free articles from outside China for personal use. However, the extended Arrivals shopping concept will increase the allowance and encourage shoppers to buy upon their return home.

While the value limit of CNY5,000 for goods bought abroad remains unchanged, the total allowance for tax and duty free products purchased abroad and at the nominated duty free shops in China is increased to CNY8,000 ($US1,225). Alternatively, as the government hopes, returning travellers can spend their entire CNY8,000 allowance at Chinese Arrivals shops.

The locations are as follows:

AIRPORTS

– Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport
– Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport
– Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport
– Qingdao Liuting International Airport
– Nanjing Lukou International Airport
– Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport
– Kunming Changshui International Airport
– Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport – awarded to CNSC
– Tianjin Binhai International Airport
– Dalian Zhoushuizi International Airport
– Shenyang Taoxian International Airport
– Xi’an Xianyang International Airport
– Ürümqi Diwopu International Airport

PORTS

– Futian, Huanggang, Shatoujiao and Wenjindu (all Shenzhen)
– Zhuhai Zhakou
– Heihe

The Chonqging contract is CNSC’s second cause for celebration in quick succession. As reported, the retailer opened its expansive Shanghai downtown duty free store on 8 August, 2016. The corporation aims to invest heavily in the burgeoning downtown duty free sector in China. Year-one sales should hit around CNY400 million (US$60 million).

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(Above and below) The Chongqing contract follows CNSC’s successful opening of a big new downtown duty free store in Shanghai last August

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