Tourists can now col­lect VAT re­fund from West­pac at Air­port

Fiji Sun - - Sunbiz - CHRIS­TINE NIKOLA SUVA

Tourists can now col­lect their VAT re­fund at West­pac’s branch at the Nadi In­ter­na­tional Air­port’s de­par­ture lounge af­ter clear­ance from Fiji Rev­enue and Cus­toms Au­thor­ity. This fol­lows the sign­ing of a mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing be­tween West­pac Bank­ing Cor­po­ra­tion and the Fiji Rev­enue and Cus­toms Au­thor­ity yes­ter­day. FRCA act­ing chief ex­ec­u­tive, Vis­vanath Das, said given the con­tin­u­ous in­crease in vis­i­tor num­bers to Fiji, it was a chal­lenge to be there in terms of staffing num­bers to give re­funds.

“A lot of ini­tia­tives are put in place by the govern­ment to grow tourism by mak­ing tourist’s ex­pe­ri­ences bet­ter and ac­ces­si­bil­ity to our of­fer­ings eas­ier,” he said. “This scheme and the re­turn shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence will com­pli­ment Fi­jian tourism in­dus­try and at the same time cre­ate more eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity, em­ploy­ment, in­crease for­eign ex­change earn­ings and the mul­ti­plier ef­fect of the tourism dol­lar.” West­pac gen­eral man­ager, Brett Hooker, said this part­ner­ship was an ex­cel­lent ex­am­ple of what can be achieved when the pri­vate sec­tor works to­gether with govern­ment. “This means draw­ing on each other’s best skills to pro­vide ex­cel­lent ser­vice de­liv­ery,” he said.

“FRCA re­tains the re­spon­si­bil­ity for the ver­i­fi­ca­tion func­tions – a skill that they are ex­perts in and West­pac will pro­vide cash re­funds, some­thing we are well equipped to de­liver.”

Mr Hooker said Fiji has lot to of­fer in terms of re­tail shop­ping and the Tourist VAT Re­fund scheme pro­vides an ex­cel­lent in­cen­tive to trav­ellers which in­creases their spend and travel ex­pe­ri­ence.

About the scheme

The Tourist VAT Re­fund Scheme (TVRS) was in­tro­duced on Fe­bru­ary 1, 2010. The pur­pose of the scheme is to pro­vide re­tail­ers and tourists with cer­tainty in mak­ing Fiji an at­trac­tive shop­ping des­ti­na­tion for tourists. The scheme al­lows a tourist to claim a re­fund (sub­ject to cer­tain con­di­tions) of VAT paid on goods pur­chased, in Fiji, from an ap­proved li­censed re­tailer and taken out of Fiji. It can be taken out via Nadi and Nau­sori In­ter­na­tional air­ports or Port of Suva as the fi­nal port of de­par­ture to a for­eign des­ti­na­tion.

Photo:: VILIMONI VAGANALAU

Fiji Rev­enue and Cus­toms Au­thor­ity act­ing chief ex­ec­u­tive, Vis­vanath Das (left) with West­pac gen­eral man­ager, Brett Hooker, fol­low­ing the sign­ing of a mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing yes­ter­day. The agree­ment will al­low tourists to col­lect their VAT re­fund at West­pac’s branch at the Nadi In­ter­na­tional Air­port’s de­par­ture lounge af­ter FRCA clear­ance.

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