A GST Visitor Refund Scheme is being introduced for a twelve-month trial period, with the aim of stimulating sales in the retail and travel industries.
Refunds will be available for visitors to Jersey who buy items costing more than £300 from a participating retailer. They will also need to meet certain conditions, like being non-Jersey resident, and there will be time limits for removal of goods from the island.
During the trial, which is due to start this month, the scheme will only apply to visitors leaving on scheduled flights operated by commercial airlines.
To use the scheme, retailers will need advance approval from the Taxes Office and will need to contract with G4S, who will be verifying the goods and paperwork in the airside departure area. Participating retailers will be able to make refunds to visitors after receiving a certified claim form and they may choose to impose a handling charge.
The Taxes Office will also be providing support during the trial, managing post claim verification, business education and liaison with Customs and Immigration.
The economic impact of the refund scheme is difficult to estimate due to the unknown take up, but it provides an opportunity to increase retail sales and will be monitored throughout the trial.
This targeted support for the retail and travel industries could lead to a successful, tax-free retail export scheme.
A Memorandum between Jersey and the United Kingdom is also being finalised, which will allow for the exchange of real-time information on high-value tax-free goods carried by passengers between Gatwick Airport and Jersey.
Detailed guidance for visitors, retailers and the travel industry will be published shortly.