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Department of Commerce: Requests a change of position of the Ministry of Finance for VAT for tourists from third countries

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The Committee discussed the issue ex officio following a proposal by AKEL MPs Kostas Kostas, Andreas Pasiourtidis and Giannakis Gavriil

Επ. Εμπορiου: Ζηταλ&lambda ;αγor θεσης ΥΠΟΙΚ για ΦΠΑ για τουρ λστες τρλτων χωρoν

The Parliamentary Committee on Energy, Trade, Industry and of Tourism, during its session on Monday.

The Committee ex officio discussed the issue of “the Government's intention to significantly increase the minimum expenditure from €50 to €175 for tourists from third countries who are entitled to a VAT refund” , following a proposal by AKEL MPs Kostas Kostas, Andreas Pasiourtidis and Giannaki Gavriil.

In statements after the session, Mr. Costas said that travelers who reside permanently in countries that are not European Union member states are entitled to a refund of VAT on consumer goods they buy when they visit European Union member states.

“This amount in Cyprus was 50 euros and the Ministry of Finance, without any consultation with those involved and without informing anyone, from June 2, with a specific circular, has increased this amount to 100 euros”, he said and added that this decision “hurts the tourism product of Cyprus and creates a bad image abroad, because Cyprus is currently the third most expensive country among all European countries”.

He mentioned that at the moment in Spain this amount is only 1 cent, in Turkey 4.5 euros, in Greece, Germany, Portugal and Malta 50 euros and “we came, while we have gone through this whole crisis, with the pandemic, that we lost a lot of tourists, while the war in Ukraine is still going on and we lost hundreds of thousands of Russian and Ukrainian tourists, to create a problem for tourists coming from countries that are not member states of the European Union, but at the same time to create a very serious problem for the very small businesses that live off the tourists who buy from their store, that up to 50 euros the VAT could be refunded to them, while now we will go up to 100 euros”.

Mr. Costas said that the cancellation was immediate and the two companies that manage these matters at the airports and ports were not informed, with “the result of creating a mess during the three days of the flood” and added that “the untimely decision of the Government clearly affects small businesses”.

Also, he stated that during the session “it appeared that OEB, KEBE, POVEK and STEK, the two companies dealing with this issue were against this decision, while the Ministry of Trade and the Deputy Ministry of Tourism, essentially , we were told that this decision was taken by the Ministry of Finance without knowing anything”.

Source: www.kathimerini.com.cy

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