Foreign students in Japan will no longer be permitted access to duty-free purchases in response to suspected cases of reselling and complaints of cumbersome eligibility checks.
The Japanese government has decided to put an end to the system permitting foreign students and other long-term residents to make duty-free purchases, reported Kyodo News.
The government and the ruling coalition led by the Liberal Democratic Party, Japan is planning to streamline the eligibility of duty-free purchases to tourists and to people with a short-term visa of a maximum of 90 days, as a part of tax reform measures.
According to Kyodo News, the decision comes in response to suspected cases of reselling and complaints of burdensome eligibility checks, sources familiar with the plan said on Sunday.
“Under the current system, which will be revised as part of tax reforms for fiscal 2022, foreign students staying long-term in Japan and not working part-time can make tax-free purchases within six months of entering the country,” reported Kyodo News.
There has been some criticism over the time-taking security checks at duty-free stores to check whether the student is working. While, others have complained that stores with lenient security checks end up attracting more customers, reported Kyodo News.
As per Kyodo News, several doubts on “binge buying” by foreign students were surfaced after the introduction of a system to digitize purchaser information in April 2021, discovered by the National Tax Agency. The agency is under the view that such foreign students might be purchasing goods in large quantities and reselling them at higher prices, with a 10 per cent consumption tax.
The duty-free purchases were earlier open to “non-residents” under the country’s foreign exchange and foreign trade law, reported Kyodo news citing sources.
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