(Yicai Global) Feb. 28 -- Instant departure tax refund services have been introduced in Shanghai on a trial basis.
International and interregional travelers who shop in the eastern Chinese megacity will receive a cash payback to greatly enhance their tax refund experience.
The city's first three pilot stores have issued 12 instant tax refund applications to visitors from Japan, Australia and Taiwan in the first month, involving CNY71,000 (USD10,620) worth of goods and returning around CNY6,500 to them, Yicai Global has learned.
Those eligible will be paid in Chinese yuan currency equal to the value-added tax refund they are entitled to for products they buy in pilot stores, per the scheme Shanghai's tax authority has introduced.
Those who get a tax refund under the plan still need to have their eligible goods checked at customs and then submit the required documents to the agent in the quarantine area of the departure port to fill in the necessary paperwork, which is simple and convenient.
The New World Daimaru and Reel Mall stores in the city's upscale Nanjing Road and the Bailian Outlets Plaza next to the its Hongqiao commercial business district are the pilot stores. Shanghai's taxman has joined hands with these to create small pamphlets to enable travelers to understand the service.
The municipality has applied the refund policy for three years and formed a solid foundation for overseas travelers' consumption, brand clustering and service management as the departure tax refund business rises, city tax officials told Yicai Global.
It has remained the national champion for sales and refunds for the third straight year as a result, they added.
"Shanghai will encourage more qualified and willing merchants to join the pilot as the departure tax refund business grows and the instant refund service becomes ever more influential," the head of the city's export tax refund service and administration said.
"Shanghai hopes to present more products with Chinese characteristics and time-honored stores to the world to lure more buyers from abroad," he added.
Editor: Ben Armour