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S. Korea mulls raising ceiling on purchases at duty-free stores

All News 14:57 June 04, 2019

SEJONG, June 4 (Yonhap) -- South Korea said Tuesday that it is considering raising the ceiling on purchases at duty-free shops by locals in line with a rise in people's incomes.

Currently, South Koreans can buy goods worth up to $3,600 at duty-free stores in South Korea, including arrival duty-free shops that opened earlier this week.

Last month, South Korea opened its first on-arrival duty-free shops at Incheon International Airport, the country's main gateway, in a move to alleviate travelers' inconvenience and boost domestic consumption.

The government is considering raising the ceiling by taking into account a rise in people's incomes and inflation, the Ministry of Economy and Finance said, adding it will announce its final decision in the coming weeks.

South Korea's per capita gross national income -- a gauge of the population's purchasing power -- reached US$31,349 in 2018. It marked the first time that South Korea's per capita income has surpassed the $30,000 mark.

The ministry said it will also consider raising the tax benefit limit for the purchases at duty free stores, which is currently set at $600, by taking into account the performance of the arrival duty-free shops.

South Korea raised the tax-exemption limit from $400 to $600 in 2014.

This file photo shows the duty-free shop in the Arrivals Hall of Terminal 2 at Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)


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