Purchase quotas drive up Hainan offshore duty-free sales

Offshore duty-free shops on China’s island province of Hainan attracted 3.28 million customers, with total sales volume reaching 12.89 billion yuan ($1.83 billion) from December of 2018 to the end of November this year, an increase of 34 percent year-on-year, according to the local customs department.

It said sales at the Sanya-based duty-free city — Cdfmall, the largest of its kind and covering 72000 square meters — reached 9.8 billion yuan during the period.

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Cosmetics, bags and watches are best-seller commodities at the island’s four duty-free shops located in Haikou, Sanya and Qionghai, with volume accounting for 74 percent of total duty-free sales.

In April 2011, the State Council gave Hainan permission to run a pilot offshore duty-free program in an effort to make the island a world-class tourist destination.

Since December 2018, the per-capita duty-free shopping quota in Hainan was raised to 30,000 yuan per year from the previous 16,000, without limits on the number of purchases.

Local customs reported passengers who traveled to Hainan via ship to buy duty-free goods are increasing, while the amount of single-purchase spending is also growing.

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