Tax-free Items

Food, alcohol, medicines and cosmetics are now duty-free for foreign visitors!

Tax-free items in Japan have increased from October 1, 2014. Foreign visitors to Japan can now purchase consumable items such as food, drinks, alcohol, cosmetics and medicines beside the general items such as electronics, clothes and bags, without paying the 8% consumption tax.

Tax free shopping is only available at stores that have the government-issued license for tax-free shopping. You will see a sign that says "Tax Free" on the door or cashier of those shops. To be eligible for tax-free shopping, the total amount of your purchase have to be over 5000 yen and under 500,000 yen for consumable goods such as food and cosmetics, and over 10,000 yen (besides the consumable goods) for general goods such as electronics and clothes, in one store, in one calendar day.

Keep in mind that consumable goods and general goods will be calculated separately. Also, for the consumable goods, the package must kept unbroken until you leave Japan. Don't forget to bring your passport with you when you go for shopping as you will need to show your passport and sign the purchase proof document at the store to get a tax exemption.

By expanding the tax free items, Japanese government is encouraging more shops to offer tax-free shopping to foreign visitors. Since food and alcohol are now listed as tax-free items, the government is hoping that the shops outside big cities will be able to sell more regional items like sake (Japanese rice wine) and other local products to foreign visitors.

                               Seven Eleven Asakusa

"Tax-free Shopping Guide" by Japan Tourism Agency.
http://tax-freeshop.jnto.go.jp/eng/index.php

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