As of May 2013, 11 months after a VAT refund progamme was launched, just 3,700 foreign tourists had availed themselves of VAT refunds worth VND12 billion (US$571,000) on their purchases as they left the country via Ha Noi's Noi Bai and HCM City's Tan Son Nhat international airports.
Under a pilot programme approved by the Prime Minister, foreign visitors and overseas Vietnamese are entitled to VAT refunds on purchases made in the country when they leave via the two major international airports.
In order to get the refund, receipts worth at least VND2 million ($100) apiece should be presented at the VAT refund counter at the airports. The pilot programme will end on June 30, 2014. —VNS