Foreign tourists may get tax refund in Phu Quoc

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Foreign tourists get aboard a Vietnam Airlines flight in Phu Quoc. Photo: Mai Vong Foreign tourists get aboard a Vietnam Airlines flight in Phu Quoc. Photo: Mai Vong

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The government plans to make Phu Quoc Airport one of the places where tourists can get their value-added tax refund before leaving the country.
The Kien Giang provincial administration, which manages the airport on the resort island, made the proposal, and the Ministry of Finance has sought the Prime Minister’s approval, Thoi bao Kinh te Saigon (Saigon Times) Online reported.
The province said it wants to boost tourism on the island, Vietnam’s largest, which has not been well connected to many international air routes.
Phu Quoc Airport got its first international service a year ago as a Vietnamese tourism company brought in charter flights from Russia. 
As of September last year 5,642 passengers and 919 crew members came to the island by these flights, which has however been suspended this year since the number of Russian tourists dropped along with the ruble.
Vietnam Airlines launched direct flights from the island to Singapore last November and to Cambodia's Siem Reap in December.
Other than that, travelers have to fly in from either Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. 
Value-added tax refunds are now paid to foreign tourists at four international airports in HCMC, Hanoi Da Nang, and Cam Ranh near Nha Trang, and seaports in HCMC, Da Nang, and Nha Trang.
The finance ministry also picks refund-eligible retailers based on consumption data provided by the ministries of trade, tourism, and foreign affairs. It also chooses banks to broker the transactions after meeting with the central bank.
Retailers must register with local authorities to participate in the scheme.
Visitors have to submit a tax refund application and have their listed products checked to get the refund.
The refunds apply to new goods worth a minimum of VND2 million ($94).

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