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Foreign tourists leaving Sabah via KKIA can claim for refund of GST

Juanis (second right) handing over a mock key to Janathan (third right) as Madrim (left), Abas (second left), Idris (third left) and Matar (centre) look on

28th October, 2016


KOTA KINABALU: Foreign tourists leaving Sabah via the Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) will now be able to claim for a refund of the Goods & Services Tax (GST) on purchased items that are hand-carried.

State Customs director Datuk Dr Janathan Kandok said that refund is an international norm for countries that implement the GST or Value-Added Tax (VAT) system.

“The claims are processed and delivered within two to four minutes. This is an example of good service needed by tourists,” he said.

He was speaking to reporters after the handing over of the second Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS) GST Refund Verification Counter to the Sabah Royal Malaysian Customs Department at the International Departure Hall of KKIA on Thursday.

Janathan said that when making a TRS claim at the GST Refund Verification Counter, they must bring the items that they have purchased, present their passports and boarding passes, purchase receipts as well as the GST refund form which needs to be filled in.

The tourists must be 18 years old and above to make claims and the GST can only be claimed for purchases of RM300 and above.

“They must be foreigners and the TRS refund can only be claimed by non-Malaysians,” he added. He also said that there are times when the refund process takes a longer time but it is not due to any fault on the Customs Department’s part.

“Sometimes, the tourists do not fill out the forms, they do not bring their receipts or they fail to bring the items which they have purchased,” he said.

Janathan said 2,839 tourists made refund claims in 2015 and so far this year 20,843 tourists have done so.

“Majority of them who make the claims come from China, Korea, Japan and Brunei and among the items are cosmetic products, perfumes, jewellery and clothes,” he said.

He also said that currently, 226 companies State-wide have been registered under the TRS and he urged them to continue informing tourists about how they can claim the GST after making purchases so that the visitors will be satisfied with services in Malaysia and are willing to return.

Meanwhile, the counter, which cost RM203,443.60 to build is made of a stainless steel frame and is equipped with a counter table as well as a closed circuit television (CCTV) camera.

Also present during the handing over ceremony were State Customs deputy director (GST) Madrim Tasan, Malaysia Airports Berhad senior executive Abas Tuah, State Customs deputy director (customs) Idris Shaharom, Customs Department deputy director (procurement) Matar Musa and a representative from the Public Works Department Sabah Project Team Juanis Kamin.

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