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Japan will no longer allow foreign students to buy duty-free goods

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It believes they may be buying large quantities of duty-free goods to resell at higher prices...

"Believes" but doesnt know for sure? Did the intrepid Kyodo reporter who wrote this story ask to see evidence of this alleged activity?

"... the government and the ruling coalition ...plan to narrow the eligibility of duty-free purchases to tourists..."

"Yokoso"!... (but less so than before).

1 ( +18 / -17 )

I would've figured the reason they can't buy tax-free good is because they aren't being allowed into the country.

12 ( +21 / -9 )

Like as if that’s a big big problem in Japan right now and should be on national news.

20 ( +27 / -7 )

What a Joke! not to mention very discriminatory.

-17 ( +12 / -29 )

Is pretty obvious they would buy large bulks and send them back to their homeland for a increase price. This practice isn't new. It been around for decades. Took them long enough to finally do something about it.

14 ( +24 / -10 )

Since when has duty free shopping ever been cheap? Students shop there for the convenience, not the prices.

9 ( +19 / -10 )

The National Tax Agency also discovered many suspicious "binge buying" cases by foreign students after introducing a system to digitize purchaser information in April last year.

With the aging large pension-collecting populations' needs and pandemic subsidies for businesses (GoTo) look forward to more tax squeezing of the working population.

4 ( +12 / -8 )

Well, they’ll be buying sod all if you don’t let them into the country.

17 ( +21 / -4 )

Why would you care if they are re-selling the products that they bought? This is good business. Buy cheap sell high. WTF?

-7 ( +12 / -19 )

Well done for closing this scam.... Except they will easily find a way around it.

0 ( +11 / -11 )

Like as if that’s a big big problem in Japan right now and should be on national news.

Yeah, this does reek of the LNP thinking: 'Just in case Japanese citizens were getting wind that our current practice of locking out students is inhumane, here, look at the kind of shady stuff they've been up to. Don't feel bad for them.'

2 ( +12 / -10 )

other long-term residents to make duty-free purchases in response to suspected cases of reselling and complaints of cumbersome eligibility checks, 

Right, I'll bet it's all about the former here rather than the latter! Cumbersome "checks" are the mainstay of the bureaucracy of Japan and anyone who has lived here for any amount of time is used to it!

They just added that as an excuse because they dont want people thinking that anyone in their right mind would even try to evade any taxes here!

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

The Japanese government and ruling parties have decided to abolish the system 

why?

because they don’t get a cut?

7 ( +15 / -8 )

Like as if that’s a big big problem in Japan right now and should be on national news.

Yeah, this does reek of the LNP thinking: 'Just in case Japanese citizens were getting wind that our current practice of locking out students is inhumane, here, look at the kind of shady stuff they've been up to. Don't feel bad for them.'

Exactly! that was what I was thinking!

-4 ( +9 / -13 )

Anyone with a foreign passport could purchase.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Man! How discriminatory is that! Okay. We will remember that, Japan! Yokoso, my foot! Talk about a fake welcome.

-11 ( +7 / -18 )

Chico3

Well stated!

-11 ( +5 / -16 )

Another secret is that most foreign students are not actually here to study. Psst, don't tell anybody...

12 ( +19 / -7 )

Like as if that’s a big big problem in Japan right now and should be on national news.

Precisely my thoughts...a laughable "issue"...look govt, a few duty free stores were selling more goods so lets just see what we can do to reduce their sales, they will surely be grateful....not like the duty free shops were overflowing with customers the last 2 years due to the pandemicoranything.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

never really understood duty free....anytime I'd check in airports and the like, it really wasn't any cheaper than I could get in country......the only people I'd see getting duty free goods were the swathes of Chinese tourists over for the snow festival in Sapporo.

18 ( +19 / -1 )

Well done, it is a scam that foreing advantageous people do to scam others, it is not discrimination, it is common sense..

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

That's good to hear.

Stop the scamming.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

The Japanese government and ruling parties have decided to abolish the system allowing foreign students and other long-term residents to make duty-free purchases in response to suspected cases of reselling and complaints of cumbersome eligibility checks, sources familiar with the plan said.

And how big a problem are these ‘suspected cases of reselling’ compared to say, politicians and the well off making use of tax loopholes and off shore tax havens?

…and questionable bidding for government contracts.

…and insider trading.

…and huge financial ‘gifts’ to politicians.

… and all the other blatant political corruption we read about.

But yeah, let’s stop some students maybe making 10% from selling a bit of duty free.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

"While it remains to be seen when Japan will reopen its borders to short-term visitors due to the emergence of the Omicron coronavirus variant, the government intends to ensure proper operation of the system as tourism demand recovers."

Well, hope the shops that complained understand this basically means their end. If there are no short-term visitors, and no one who is not can buy anything... ummm...

"It believes they may be buying large quantities of duty-free goods to resell at higher prices, including a 10 percent consumption tax, to make a profit."

Yeah, wouldn't want them to be like every Japanese mom-and-pop shop around, or most people on Merkari.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

I believe they have not given any thought to all the implications that this move will bring. Just to ask the basic question - what Duty Free actually means for the economy and what the presence of Duty Free means for customers.

Here, a few old heads have simply 'thought it through' and said that this move will stop those who buy large quantities of duty free items and then sell them at higher prices. But as always, the context is not looked at, the context is not thought about here. And that this was a big problem? Well, that's like having a blister on your foot and instead of treating the blister you cut off your whole foot and the other one too, just in case. Yes, the blister is gone...

They could have taken a page from other countries instead. But that would have been too big a problem.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

A 10% profit is not going to make these students rich, plus it's a pain to buy and resell in Japan if you do not have a store or a online business, I think this move is just to eliminate the TAX FREE goods so taxes can be collected.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

As far as I recall, reselling is not illegal.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

I guess these poor guys can't make the living from working part time in the FamilyMarts or rice paddies.

Go make them even poorer please!

5 ( +8 / -3 )

It's not a scam to buy and on-sell (unless doing it domestically, in which case the govt may feel they are being scammed out of consumption tax...

Many international students in Aus buy up on certain products at supermarkets (not duty free tho) and send over to buyers in China. It hits the news occasionally when they keep clearing out the shelves of baby formula.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Pretty obvious. Looters Don't Pay… you don't say?

As in pay their share if they can ever help it because… that's just the game.

Games and Governmint of old men who don't twitch a nose hair at ol paydirt mask looting, and paydirt warehouse storage fee looting and GOTO corona looting and COOl japan loot and Limpics.. lol

Too many "voters" on the "take" getting off on reading about students and 10% fees...

Only reason this is in the good ol newspaper..

Is pretty obvious they would buy large bulks and send them back to their homeland for a increase price. This practice isn't new. It been around for decades.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

More fake scandals to distract from the LDP and its failures. When reality is hard to deny even for J-citizens, the J-gov pulls out the foreigners are ruining the country from the "Old Men in Japan" playbook.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

Zoroto...

Another secret is that most foreign students are not actually here to study. Psst, don't tell anybody...

Ain't that the truth!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The ban will be useless because Chinese and primarily Vietnamese crime syndicates are going to smuggle those goods from Japanese stores without paying. They will continue selling these goods across China and ASEAN as usual, while they will cut some profits for Japanese bureaucrats.

Implementing this law will benefit the foreign criminal syndicates in Japan.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

Duty free is mostly tax avoidance by the wealthy. Abolish it.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

The Japanese government does not care that people are marking up 10% or not. Japanese business do the same or more. They do not like that foreigners are making money that they can not get. This will only hurt duty free shops and tourism. Chinese tourists come to Japan because they can save money by traveling and purchasing the items for resale than through a Japanese intermediary. This means no tickets, no hotels, no travel agencies, no restaurants, no day trips and no gift shops.

The gangs already set-up will either hire people to purchase or steal the items. Only the black market wins in this decision.

It also shows the government's ponzi scheme is failing because lots of old people and few people have full-time jobs to pay into the system. They need this extra revenue for the services.

People living pay check to paycheck because of low wages or part-time are skipping either pension or healthcare payments each month.

Let's not even talk about Japan's shrinkflation!

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Why would you care if they are re-selling the products that they bought? This is good business. Buy cheap sell high. WTF?

people not understanding the point of duty free, is that you purchase good that your taking with you when you leave the country, meaning exporting, if your buying them tax free only to resell them in Japan for a profit then thats unfair to local companies that have to buy their stock with tax included. tourists that are only here for 3 months are nearly all going to leave Japan with the goods they purchased. meaning the end buyer is likely to not be in Japan aka duty free. all countries/companies that export dont charge any sales tax as you cant expect a foreigner to pay J sales tax when they dont even live in the country, same goes for any other country. theyll pay the their country tax when it arrives in their country

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

people not understanding the point of duty free, is that you purchase good that your taking with you when you leave the country, meaning exporting, if your buying them tax free only to resell them in Japan for a profit then thats unfair to local companies that have to buy their stock with tax included. tourists that are only here for 3 months are nearly all going to leave Japan with the goods they purchased. meaning the end buyer is likely to not be in Japan aka duty free. all countries/companies that export dont charge any sales tax as you cant expect a foreigner to pay J sales tax when they dont even live in the country, same goes for any other country. theyll pay the their country tax when it arrives in their country

@wtfjapan..........You do not get the article or what people are saying. The people buying in bulk are not reselling in Japan. They are selling in their home country. They are paying taxes in their home country, but Japan is not getting any of that money! Japan does not like that!

You seem to be confused!

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Took them that long to figure out.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

While they're at it, make the diplomats pay normal prices as well.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

@Open-minded, the article does NOT say that they are selling at home at all, it just says "resell at higher prices".

The activity that they are trying to curtail is exactly as wtfjapan says: people buying here, tax-free, on the pretence that they will not be consuming the goods in Japan, then selling them to people in Japan.

I don't see what most posters are complaining about. There is no particular reason why someone is living here - and I think if you're a student here for 6 months plus then you ARE living here - should be exempt from the taxes the rest of us are paying.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@ADK99

The activity that they are trying to curtail is exactly as wtfjapan says: people buying here, tax-free, on the pretence that they will not be consuming the goods in Japan, then selling them to people in Japan.

Where in the article or any poster stating that the goods are being resold in Japan. I only see OpenMinded and the other posters discussing selling the products back in their home country!!! They shipping the products from Japan!

It believes they may be buying large quantities of duty-free goods to resell at higher prices, including a 10 percent consumption tax, to make a profit.

The article never specifically say that they are being resold in Japan. That would make no sense. Why would someone buy a 10% markup in Japan when they can purchase the same product themselves? The savings would not be worth anyones time .

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Companies in Japan can’t achieve their bulk sales now that the (mostly) Chinese are not allowed into Japan.

Who is losing out here?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

How about stopping the parallel import made by many borderline local companies?

It is the parallel import that is actually damaging properly tax paying decent companies not few foreigners buying few duty free products.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

.You do not get the article or what people are saying. The people buying in bulk are not reselling in Japan. They are selling in their home country. They are paying taxes in their home country, but Japan is not getting any of that money! Japan does not like that!

been exporting for 25yrs from Japan, my exports and every other exporters consumption tax on the goods they buy in Japan is refunded at the end of each financial year, provided theyre a purely export company, that is 95% of you turnover is exports, only 5% maximum is allowed for domestic sales

1 ( +4 / -3 )

@wtfJapan

been exporting for 25yrs from Japan, my exports and every other exporters consumption tax on the goods they buy in Japan is refunded at the end of each financial year, provided theyre a purely export company, that is 95% of you turnover is exports, only 5% maximum is allowed for domestic sales

Your experience does not change the fact that the foreigners are selling these purchases overseas like you. The Japanese government is not getting their cut. They do not like it. Foreign students and other types foreigners can' tor do not want to set-up a business in Japan. That is more taxes they have to pay. They do not all have the funds to pay accountants to reduce their taxes or get a refund.

It is easy for them to buy and sell back home without fewer cost and more profit.

You have been in this game for 25 years, and for some reason you do not understand. Really?

Seems like a thread conversation tactic!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

You can blame the Chinese who had been abusing their host country's kindness for a decade or longer

5 ( +5 / -0 )

This is all a bit silly, and lots of people here don't seem to understand how tax works.

Here's a simple example: Tanaka-san (or indeed Smith-san who is a resident here) wants to buy a computer. It costs 100,000 plus 10,000 consumption tax.

Student-san buys a computer. He pays 100,000. No tax. He can sell the computer to Tanaka-san for 105,000.

Another example: Akachan-honpo sells diapers, charging 10% tax. Student-san buys the same diapers in bulk. They're a non-perishable product, somewhat commodified, that Student-san can buy cheaper than anyone who is resident here, and sell locally.

Tourists don't do this because they aren't here for long enough (though they do take things home with them, hence the long lined at places like Akachan-honpo's duty free desk pre-covid). Students sometimes do, because they have a 6-month window to buy, and the whole of their visa to sell.

Can't blame them it is enterprising, but it is not in the spirit of the duty-free rules which are "no tax because we expect you will consume this overseas".

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

@Numan & @Silvafan you have literally invented the part about the sales being overseas. There is nothing in the story to support the "overseas" part - the whole point of not charging the CONSUMPTION TAX on good that will be CONSUMED OVERSEAS is that the government is OK with that.

They are not OK with good being CONSUMED IN JAPAN without JAPANESE CONSUMPTION TAX being levied.

If a foreign tourist loads up on a mountain of stuff - and we've all seen them do it - and leaves with the stuff, that's fine. Economy stimulated and no harm done to Japanese businesses.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

@ADK99

This is all a bit silly, and lots of people here don't seem to understand how tax works.

You fail to understand how delivery services and online marketplace websites work. Unless these foreigners have a brick and mortar store, that 5000 yen profit will be eaten up by transaction costs. Transaction costs apply to the seller as well as the customer. Once again, it makes no sense from a business standpoint. It is also what most foreigners are not doing!

They are shipping overseas and selling at a premium back home! Diapers are a prime example mention earlier in the thread about a product a big demanded and shipped overseas. It only benefits people to sell it domestically in Japan if the merchandise is stolen because it is all profit and can be easily gotten rid of for fast cash.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@AKD99

Septim Dynasty wrote:

The ban will be useless because Chinese and primarily Vietnamese crime syndicates are going to smuggle those goods from Japanese stores without paying. They will continue selling these goods across China and ASEAN as usual, while they will cut some profits for Japanese bureaucrats.

Hiro wrote:

Is pretty obvious they would buy large bulks and send them back to their homeland for a increase price. This practice isn't new. It been around for decades. Took them long enough to finally do something about it.

Sheihk Yorboby wrote:

never really understood duty free....anytime I'd check in airports and the like, it really wasn't any cheaper than I could get in country......the only people I'd see getting duty free goods were the swathes of Chinese tourists over for the snow festival in Sapporo.

Mark wrote:

A 10% profit is not going to make these students rich, plus it's a pain to buy and resell in Japan if you do not have a store or a online business, I think this move is just to eliminate the TAX FREE goods so taxes can be collected.

afewtoomany wrote:

It's not a scam to buy and on-sell (unless doing it domestically, in which case the govt may feel they are being scammed out of consumption tax...

Many international students in Aus buy up on certain products at supermarkets (not duty free tho) and send over to buyers in China. It hits the news occasionally when they keep clearing out the shelves of baby formula.

then AKD99 wrote:

@Numan & @Silvafan you have literally invented the part about the sales being overseas. There is nothing in the story to support the "overseas" part - the whole point of not charging the CONSUMPTION TAX on good that will be CONSUMED OVERSEAS is that the government is OK with that.

@AKD 99.....Come again?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@ADK99

They are not OK with good being CONSUMED IN JAPAN without JAPANESE CONSUMPTION TAX being levied.

If a foreign tourist loads up on a mountain of stuff - and we've all seen them do it - and leaves with the stuff, that's fine. Economy stimulated and no harm done to Japanese businesses.

Here, is what you and @wtfJapan do not understand.

They are targeting people who are not here for vacation buying in bulk taking back home with them, but long term residences and students who live in Japan and ship overseas. They are not paying taxes for their profits! As a resident they have to declare all of their income including overseas sales. It is just like bitcoin!

No consumption tax and no income tax from the overseas sales means no money for the J-gov!!! You are welcome!

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Does anyone still buys anything from these so called duty free shops?? i thought they'll be out of business by now, over priced well wrapped fake goods.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

@Mark, all sorts of shops participate in the duty-free scheme. 711, Uniqlo and so on.

I can't be the only person who has a little shopping spree when a foreign visitor is in town.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

@Numan

The anecodotes of people on this thread are NOT what is written in the story. There is no mention of the sales being overseas.

It literally says in the article "It believes they may be buying large quantities of duty-free goods to resell at higher prices, including a 10 percent consumption tax, to make a profit."

It's right there: they are charging 10% consumption tax to people because they are selling the goods in Japan. Why would they be adding 10% consumption tax to sell them in China, when Chinese consumption tax isn't 10%?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Why???.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

No consumption tax and no income tax from the overseas sales means no money for the J-gov!!! You are welcome!

overseas sales arent taxed , end buyers arent J residents, now all those J goods have to be manufactured by J workers meaning income taxes and company taxes, world economies were built on exports why do you think countries push so hard on their export businesses. Or you can just import everyting from China helping Chiese workers and see where that leads you.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

@AKD99

It literally says in the article "It believes they may be buying large quantities of duty-free goods to resell at higher prices, including a 10 percent consumption tax, to make a profit."

It's right there: they are charging 10% consumption tax to people because they are selling the goods in Japan. Why would they be adding 10% consumption tax to sell them in China, when Chinese consumption tax isn't 10%?

LOL! You are using the same post that @Silvafan used to explain to you that it does not mention that products were being sold domestically only or at all.

Silvanfan wrote:

"It believes they may be buying large quantities of duty-free goods to resell at higher prices, including a 10 percent consumption tax, to make a profit."

> The article never specifically say that they are being resold in Japan. That would make no sense. Why would someone buy a 10% markup in Japan when they can purchase the same product themselves? The savings would not be worth anyones time.

LOL! Nice try, though!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@wtfJapan

overseas sales arent taxed , end buyers arent J residents, now all those J goods have to be manufactured by J workers meaning income taxes and company taxes, world economies were built on exports why do you think countries push so hard on their export businesses. Or you can just import everyting from China helping Chiese workers and see where that leads you.

However, all people staying in Japan longer than 90 days have to declare all sources of income for tax purposes. Including income made overseas. Your local taxes will be based on your total income. If you are not declaring your overseas income then you are breaking the Japanese law!

Is that you, WTFJapan?

It is harder to hide profits made in Japan than it is when you ship the products home and sell products in your home country. Also, it is easier and cheaper than transferring money back home which is also being monitored by the J-government. And the profit margins are higher because they are sold as a premium product.

Neither you nor AKD99 has shown what logic or benefit would a person buy the same product from some guy or gal charging online or on the street with a 10% consumption tax fee added when you can buy the same product at the same rate themself at a reputable store with a return policy.

No matter which way to you look at it, it makes no sense to sell these products in Japan.

And the article did not say that it is in Japan!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

No not to sell at higher per se but to to under cut the inflated price the greedy J company has set for the official overseas distributor just look at camera companies. So does that mean I cannot buy a Sony camera duty free in English now since I am a resident and will have to an exorbitant premium. On another note why do I see products on Amazon being brought from O/S by greedy J and sold for 5 times the price. Japanese abuse of capitalism is worse than any I have seen not to mention abuse of their own labour... precious perfect people U. Anyways the problem regards Chinese students being asked to by container loads at the duty free and take back there to the seller. These practices are why J camera companies stripped the menu languages

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Perhaps they purchase some items such as cameras duty free so that they can get menus and manuals in a language other than Japanese.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

MarkDec. 7  10:42 am JST

A 10% profit is not going to make these students rich, plus it's a pain to buy and resell in Japan if you do not have a store or a online business, I think this move is just to eliminate the TAX FREE goods so taxes can be collected.

Exactly, the screw is being turned and we will soon all be getting screwed more.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@TARA TAN KITAOKA

Why???.

It's explained in the article:

Criticism has arisen over the labor-intensive checks duty-free stores have to perform at the time of sale to confirm a student is not working, while others have complained it is unfair that stores with lax screening procedures end up attracting more customers.

The National Tax Agency also discovered many suspicious "binge buying" cases by foreign students after introducing a system to digitize purchaser information in April last year.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Finally a real solution to 20 years of economic malaise. Good work Japan!

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Japan makes it harder to do business-it’s the Japanese way!

2 ( +6 / -4 )

@Numan - what situation are you imagining where someone is buying a product in Japan, shipping it overseas, and then selling it as Price X plus 10% Japanese consumption tax?

I don't doubt that some good bought in Japan get shipped overseas and sold. That is NOT what this article is about. It's about people buying stuff WITHOUT paying consumption tax, then selling it to other people and CHARGING THEM CONSUMPTION TAX. That is what is written in the article - everything else is simply speculation on the part of other posters. Some of their speculation MIGHT be happening, but once again, that misses the whole point of consumption tax - it's levied in goods that are bought and consumed in the country.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Good to see that the Govt. is prepared to tackle significant national issues with gusto.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

that misses the whole point of consumption tax - it's levied in goods that are bought and consumed in the country.

finally somebody that understands J consumption tax, J consumption tax isnt levied on exports, that is a fact anybody who says otherwise doesnt know WTF they talking about.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Is that you, WTFJapan?

nope all my income is in Japan, been exporting for almost 25yrs, have been paying tax and even been audited by the Japan tax office , so no im not doing anything illegal . everything legit and my accountant who use to actually work for the Japan tax office says im legit

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I would like to note that Japnaese college students are suffering from high tuitions and no effective education for their future career.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

thepersoniamnowDec. 7  06:41 am JST

Like as if that’s a big big problem in Japan right now and should be on national news.

Exactly. Classic random foreigner related news.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Ridiculous !

This means less products will be purchased and i makes Japan look unfriendly to foreign students and foreigners.

The great Japan.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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