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Hainan duty free shopping just got easier!
THE popular holiday island of Hainan in southern China will relax limits on duty-free shopping from today.

The new policy allows non-locals to buy duty-free products worth up to 16,000 yuan (US$2,442) before they depart the island by air, without any restriction on the number of purchases, said Wang Huiping, deputy head of the provincial finance department.

In the past, non-locals were allowed to purchase duty-free items in Hainan twice a year, with each purchase not exceeding 8,000 yuan.

In addition, the new policy will encourage the island’s two duty-free shops launch online services that will enable travelers to order on the Internet and pick up the products at the airport, Wang said.

One shop is located in the provincial capital of Haikou and the other, the world’s largest, in the resort city of Sanya.

Wang said the new measure, which is more flexible than the previous version, would improve duty-free sales and tourism in Hainan.

The State Council, China’s Cabinet, approved Hainan to run a trial duty-free program in April 2011 as part of a wider effort to make the island a world-class tourist destination by 2020.

Prior to the recent change, Hainan’s offshore shopping policy had been altered twice by the authorities.

In 2012, the spending limit was raised to 8,000 yuan from 5,000 yuan, and three types of products, including cosmetics, were added. In 2014, 17 other product types were added to the list.

By the end of 2015, sales revenue from the program totaled 16.5 billion yuan, with perfume and cosmetics being most popular.

Source: Shanghai Daily February 1, 2016

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