Tax Refund

At present, Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Shenzhen, Qingdao, Jiangsu ProvinceHebei Province, Shaanxi Province, Yunnan Province, Anhui Province, Sichuan Province, Liaoning Province, Fujian Province, Hainan Province as well as Harbin, Heihe, Suifenhe in Heilongjiang Province and Nanning, Guilin, Fangchenggang in Guangxi have adopted a tax refund policy among overseas, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan tourists. Visitors who have bought products at tax free stores in China can withdraw value added tax (VAT) before leaving. It's expected that in the near future the policy will come into effect in more and more China regions.
Tax Rebate Process
Tax Refund Process


Conditions for Using the Policy

 1. Overseas/Hong Kong/Macau/Taiwan visitors should stay in Mainland China for no more than 183 days consecutively to qualify for the tax rebate policy.
 2. The purchased goods should be for personal use and not prohibited to be taken out of Mainland China.
  See detailed Exit Regulations of China.
 3. A minimum of CNY 500 shall be spent in one designated tax free store during any one day by one tourist.
 4. The visitor shall exit from designated ports and ensure that the goods are brand new and unused. At present, the designated ports mainly include airports and cruise ports, like Beijing Capital International Airport, Shanghai Pudong International Airport, and Tianjin Binhai International Airport.
 5. The time span between the purchase date and the departure date shall be less than 90 days.
 6. The purchased goods must leave China along with the visitor.
 Currently, there are over 200 designated tax free stores in Beijing, about 180 in Shanghai, 33 in Chengdu of Sichuan, 69 in Shenzhen, 34 in Tianjin, 33 in Qingdao, 10 in Xiamen of Fujian, 9 in Qinhuangdao of Hebei, 2 in Haikou and 3 in Sanya... They cover the major shopping malls, tourist shopping centers, and residence areas of foreigners. Here is a list of some:

 In Beijing: Gongmei Group, Wangfujing Department Store, Dong'an Department Store, and Wuyutai Tea Shop on Wangfujing Street; Huayuan Shopping Center, Pacific Department Store, and Hanguang Shopping Mall on Xidan Commercial Street
 In Shanghai: Shanghai New World Co., Ltd, Maochang Optical, and Heng Da Li Watch Flagship Store on Nanjing Road; Huabao Pavilion and Tianyu Pavilion around Yuyuan Garden
 In Xi'an: Kaiyuan Shopping Center, Parkson Shopping Center, Century Ginwa Shopping Plaza near the Bell Tower...
 In Tianjin: Yangliuqing Painting Store, Binjiang Shopping Center, Guorenzhang Nuts Store...
 In Chengdu of Sichuan: Renhe Spring Department Store, International Finance Square...
 In Haikou: S&S Department Store, Minsheng Department Store
 In Sanya: Yifang Shopping Center, Sanya International Shopping Center, Summer Mall

Dongan Department Store
Dongan Department Store in Beijing
Tianyu Pavilion in Shanghai
Tianyu Pavilion in Shanghai

Tax Refund Rate

The refund rate is 11% of the invoice value. However, 2% of the rebates are charged by the rebate agency as service fee. Therefore, visitors actually enjoy a rebate rate of 9%.

Refunds = Invoice Value (VAT included) x Rebate Rate (11% - 2%)
For instance, if one spends CNY 1000 in a store, CNY 90 (CNY 1000 x 9%) will be returned.

The rebates will be given in CNY. If the amount is not beyond CNY 10,000, both cash and bank transfer rebates are allowed. Otherwise, if the amount exceeds CNY 10,000, only bank transfer is allowed.

How to Apply for Rebates

 1. Purchase goods in designated stores with the "Tax Free" sign. Ask for the sales invoice and tax refund form from the clerk.
 2. Visit the customs office at the departure port and present the refund form, invoice, passport or ID card as well as the purchased products. If nothing goes wrong, the officer will stamp on the refund form.
 3. After, go through the joint inspection, head to the refund counter, have the materials examined and have the rebates back.

 Note: Under the condition that all necessary materials are prepared, it takes three to five minutes at the customs office and refund desk respectively. On average, it takes a visitor about 15 minutes to go through all the formalities. However, it's strongly recommended to spare additional 40 minutes to an hour for the whole process.

 Location for Custom Verification and Refund at Main Exit Ports
Designated Exit Ports Check Points of Customs Location of Refund Counter
Beijing Capital International Airport 2F, International Departure Zone, T2
Zone C, 2F, T3 (check-in items);
Zone E, 2F, T3 (carry-on items)
T-mouth, 2F, International Departure Zone, T2;
Zone E, 2F, T3
Shanghai Pudong International Airport Gate 10, International Departure Hall, T1;
Gate 25, International Departure Hall, T2
Separate Zone for international departures
Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport Gate 6, International Departure Hall, T1 Separate Zone for international departures
Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport Customs Surveillance Zone, Departure Hall, Terminal T3 Floor 3 See the signpost inside the Isolated Area of Terminal T3
Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport Left of International Entry/Exit Passage, International Departure Zone, T1 Boarding Gate 102, International Departure Zone, T1
Qingdao Liuting International Airport Near the entrance of the Separate Zone for international departures (check-in items);
Boarding Gate 8, Separate Zone for international departures (carry-on items)
Boarding Gate 8, Separate Zone for international departures
Tianjin Binhai International Airport International Departure Hall, T1 Separate Zone for international departures
- Last modified on Apr. 03, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on Tax Refund
Asked by Stefanie from GERMANY | Jul. 07, 2019 23:58Reply
Location of Customs Verification at Pudong Airport
Where can I find the customs verification at Pudong Airport for claiming tax of items I need to check in?
Do I need to leave the price tags on the items I want to claim?
I purchased 2 suitecases, which I will use as my check-in luggage. So before checking in I would need to do the tax refund.
Many thanks!
Answers (2)
Answered by Mia from UNITED KINGDOM | Jul. 09, 2019 19:08

You can find the place easily based on the English signs at Pudong Airport. In addition, you need to leave the price tags on the items you want to claim.
Answered by Stefanie from GERMANY | Jul. 10, 2019 04:19

Thank you Mia for the fast reply, helps a lot! :)
Asked by Sean from MAURITIUS | Jun. 19, 2019 08:24Reply
purchases in Beijing but leaving China from Shanghai

I made my purchase in Beijing and have all the tax forms from the department store but I am leaving China via shanghai airport rather than Beijing airport. Would it be an issue to get the refund at Shanghai airport.
Answers (1)
Answered by Owen from FRANCE | Jun. 19, 2019 18:43

I am afraid that you cannot.
Asked by Chin from MALAYSIA | May. 29, 2019 04:42Reply
Hi, I claim tax refund at Xi'an Airport on 26/5/19.
They can't give me cash due to after operating hour, hence they will refund to my credit card. I spoke to the airport staff and bank officer from Bank of China, he said will refund to me on 28/5/19. Today I checked my credit card, they still didn't refund the money to me. Who should I contact?
Answers (1)
Answered by Shea from CANADA | Jun. 03, 2019 22:53

You need to contact the staff of the airport.
Asked by wasi from PAKISTAN | May. 23, 2019 15:44Reply
am i eligible for refund ?
Hi, i'm living in Guangzhou and holding residence permit ( 2 years visa ) i have been out of the country and back just 30 days ago, now I'm going for travel so can i apply for Apple MacBook tax refund at the airport ( Guangzhou Airport ) ? am i eligible?

also can i take Macbook with me to another country ( indeed i'll be back to Guangzhou after travel with my MacBook ) ?

Please advise thx
Answers (1)
Answered by Grace from SINGAPORE | May. 23, 2019 19:26

Well, according to the situation, I am afraid that you cannot get the refund.
Asked by Alvin from INDONESIA | May. 09, 2019 00:05Reply
Excuse me, Do you know the operational hours of VAT Rebate office in Pudong Airport?
Answers (2)
Answered by Joseph from UKRAINE | May. 09, 2019 19:46

Hi, Alvin, as I know, the service counter opens for 24 hours.
Answered by ALVIN from INDONESIA | May. 10, 2019 03:42

Thanks sir
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