If you’ve recently traveled out of Cancun International Airport and tried to claim your VAT refund, it’s likely that you encountered some issues getting your refund. Due to some technical issues with the Cancun Airport’s digital pass initiative, international travelers have been having problems getting their VAT refunds at the airport. We’ve got all you need to know in the post below.
What’s Happening At The Cancun Airport With Tourists’ VAT Refunds?
Local reports have noted that it’s an “operational problem” with the Cancun International Airport’s digital pass pilot program. Because the current system in place no longer gives international arrivals the sealed Multiple Migration Form at the airport, they are not able to get any of the VAT refunds that they try to submit when they leave the country.
the issue needs to be fixed if tourists want to start properly claiming their VAT refunds for products purchased while on vacation in Mexico.
Airport Authorities Are Aware Of The Issue, Noting This Hurts International Tourism
It was also mentioned in the report a partner of MPI Caribe Mexico, Darío Flora Ocampo, has notified Quintana Roo state authorities of the problem, which needs to be resolved quickly so that this doesn’t hurt international tourism. Incentives like VAT refunds can help local tourist industries, as it means that travelers from the United States and Canada can claim some deductions on certain consumer products bought during their travels in Mexico.
So the problem, Ocampo noted, is that because tourists from Canada and the U.S. can’t show some form of physical proof of their arrival in Mexico, which was possible under the previous manual system with the FMM form, they cannot claim their VAT refunds when they are leaving the airport.
What Is VAT, Anyway?
VAT stands for “Value Added Tax.” It basically means a refund on any sales tax paid by the traveler on certain products purchased on their trip. To get some cash back from your shopping spree abroad, you have to keep the receipts from the items you bought on your vacation that fall under the VAT refund category. You can then claim the sales tax return at the VAT counter on your way out of the airport.
Lots of countries issue VAT refunds for tourists, including Mexico, Canada, the U.K., all nations in the E.U., Turkey, South Korea, Japan, Australia, and more.
Cancun Launched New Electronic Arrival System At End Of Last Year
In an effort to speed up the arrival process for international tourists coming into Cancun Airport, a new electronic system was launched at the end of 2022. The updated arrival process initially sped up what was becoming some longer wait times for international tourists to Cancun for the busy winter travel season.
As Cancun continues to break records with flight arrivals and tourists visiting during pretty much any time of the year at this point, Quintana Roo authorities work on the best ways to accommodate the thousands of travelers that visit every week to explore and enjoy the Mexican Caribbean.
Under the previous immigration system at the Cancun Airport, tourists had to manually fill out the green FMM card upon arrival. Following a successful trial period for a few months prior to the launch in December, new digital immigration machines were installed at various kiosks at the airport, and this new arrival system was quickly adopted for travelers coming in from the U.S. as well as Canada.
The system means that incoming international tourists from those two countries can be processed in about 30 seconds after their passports are scanned and the biometric data submitted.
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