Visitors from overseas can now have the sum of the value added tax (VAT) that they have paid on goods purchased in Vietnam refunded.

The General Department of Customs officially opened counters to refund VAT to visitors at Noi Bai and Tan Son Nhat International Airports on July 1.

Refunding value added tax is one of the measures in Vietnam ’s tourism development strategy between now and 2020.

It is hoped that the move will encourage overseas visitors to spend more in Vietnam , which will boost the sale of goods, the tourism sector and promote the country’s culture.

Hoang Viet Cuong, Deputy Head of the General Department of Customs, said the move is key to the Party and State’s policy during the international economic integration process. It will not only encourage tourists from across the world to visit Vietnam but also promote the country’s products.

According to the General Department of Customs, goods eligible for a VAT refund must not be amongst those prohibited for export.

A refund form must be issued within 30 days from a visitor’s departure and any valid invoices must be for goods that cost at least 2 million VND.

Before checking in through security at the two airports and being issued with a boarding card, the recipients must submit a VAT refund declaration form along with their receipts for inspection at the customs counter to claim a refund.

Refunds will be paid in the currency of a customers choosing, in line with current bank exchange rates.-VNA