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China doubles Hainan duty free allowance

The Chinese Ministry of Finance has relaxed duty free allowances for shoppers visiting Hainan Island in Southern China.

Hainan Haitang Bay store. Source: VisitHainan
Hainan Haitang Bay store. Source: VisitHainan

The new policy, in place from 1 February, allows non-locals to buy up to RMB16,000 (about US$2,442) in duty free products before departing by air. There is no limit to the number of purchases, according to Wang Huiping, deputy head of the provincial finance department.

Previously, visitors could only purchase duty free items in Hainan twice a year, with a limit of RMB8,000 (about US$1,221).

The world’s largest duty free shop, Haitang Bay, is operated by China Duty Free Group and situated in Sanya. Another duty free store is situated in Haikou, the provincial capital. Both are expected to benefit considerably from the policy change.

Hainan Island’s special duty free programme began in 2011, following strategic decision from the Chinese government to grow tourism in the region. According to Visit Hainan, by the end of 2015 revenue from the initiative had reached RMB16.5 billion (about US$2.5 billion).

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