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China's island province considers higher duty-free limit

Source:   Time:

HAIKOU, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) -- China's southernmost province of Hainan is considering raising the duty-free allowance for tourists as it attempts to build itself as an international resort, a local official said Thursday.

Hainan may raise its current 5,000 yuan (790 U.S. dollars) duty-free purchase limit in the near future, Tan Li, the province's deputy governor said at a meeting with local netizens.

Tan said Hainan may also add extra product items into the duty-free category, which currently has 18 types of imported products, including jewelry and watches.

According to the deputy governor, Hainan's current limit is only slightly lower than the allowance given by other tourist destinations, including the Republic of Korea's Jeju Island and Japan's Okinawa.

"Some tourists feel that the limit of 5,000 yuan is still not enough," Tan said, adding that there is room for it to increase.

But he did not say what the new limit will be, only that things are to be explored.

In 2011, Hainan piloted a duty-free policy, allowing non-Hainan residents leaving the island to make duty-free purchases of up to 5,000 yuan twice a year.

Statistics show that for the first eight months of the year, the two duty-free shops in Hainan have seen total sales hit nearly 5 billion yuan.

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