South Korea to Refund Plastic Surgery Taxes

South Korea to Refund Plastic Surgery Taxes


South Korea will reportedly introduce a policy to refund 10 percent of value added taxes to those who come to the country for plastic surgeries.

The move is aimed at rebuilding the country’s tourism sector after the negative impacts brought by the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS, outbreak.

Starting from April 2016, the new policy will allow foreign tourists who receive plastic surgeries over their eyes, noses, teeth, among others, to be refunded part of their related taxes. The tourists will receive the refund at the airport’s tax-refund center, after presenting treatment certificates issued by medical agents.

The new policy will last for one year.

Since June, the outbreak of MERS has given a hard blow to South Korea’s tourism sector, with visitor figures to the country dipping about 40 percent in that month.

After South Korea announced the end of the MERS outbreak in July, many government departments have been trying to attract foreign tourists through various measures.

The industry of cosmetics surgery is one of South Korea’s major business sectors, attracting a significant number of foreign tourists.

About 5 percent of the 4 million cosmetic surgeries worldwide in 2014 were conducted in South Korea.

Since 2012, Chinese tourists have surpassed US tourists, becoming the largest consumer group in South Korea’s medical tourism market.

A South Korean research institute found that Chinese tourists seeking medical services made over 32,000 trips to the country in 2012, accounting for 20 percent of all the foreign medical tourists.

Moreover, another incentive to streamline procedures of shopping tax refund is also included in those new measures to attract foreign tourists back to the country.


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