Drive to promote duty-free shopping

PHUKET: The government is to urge businesspeople to open more duty-free shops in Phuket, the Director of the Thai Customs Department, Sathit Limpongpan, said today.

K. Sathit said it was hoped that having more duty-free shops in the province would encourage more tourists to come here.

At present there are only two duty free shops in the province, one at Phuket International Airport and another, Wang Talang, on Chao Fa West Rd.

At present, customers who buy from Wang Talang collect their goods at the airport as they are leaving Phuket. But the government would like to see duty-free shops where customers could take their goods with them after they have bought them, and show a proof of purchase at the airport as they leave Phuket.

The drive is the latest attempt by the government to boost duty-free shopping in Phuket, after abandoning plans from last year to make the entire province a duty-free zone.

K. Sathit was speaking after the start of the first bilateral meeting between the Thai Customs Department and Royal Malaysian Customs.

The meeting, at the Royal Phuket City Hotel today and tomorrow, is intended to pave the way for simplying import and export procedures between the two countries.

If the new procedures are adopted by the Thai and Malaysian authorities, people importing and exporting goods would have to fill in only one set of forms and have their goods inspected just once.

At present, they must fill in forms for Thai customs and Malaysian customs and have their goods inspected twice – when they leave the country they are being exported from, and when they arrive in the country they are being imported to.

K. Sathit said that if the new procedures were successful, “This could be a pilot for procedures followed by our neighbors, such as the countries around the Mekong river.”

Attending the meeting with K. Sathit was the Deputy Director General of Royal Malaysian Customs, Datuk Abdul Rashid Bin Haji Bolong.

Phuket News

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