Following updated advice from the Manila authorities, ISS GMT confirmed the tax of 550 Philippine pesos (US$12) for passengers departing the Philippines does not apply to ‘locally recognised’ marine and offshore workers. This means that for tickets purchased outside of the Philippines from Feb. 1, where the tax must be included, it can be reclaimed on presentation of a certificate at the airport on departure. However, if the ticket is issued within the Philippines, the charge is automatically not included.
The tax is in line with that of many other countries seeking to increase revenues through passenger duties, according to Tim Davey, president of ISS GMT.
'The exemption for marine and offshore crew is welcome, but the process for reclaiming tax on departure, where tickets are bought overseas, is cumbersome. This brings the threat of refunds going unclaimed,' Davey said. He added companies that issue their airline tickets outside of the Philippines will need their travelers to queue up to reclaim the departure tax on their behalf, and this could create further administration procedures.
ISS GMT is a full-service marine travel management company whose Manila office employs more than 50 reservations staff. Its clients are located in countries including Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, the US, Dubai and India.
'In order to avoid having to add the tax in the first place, overseas shipping companies and offshore companies and contractors who employ crew from the Philippines can partner with local providers such as ISS GMT,' Davey said. 'Where this is done, tickets for outgoing marine and offshore workers do not have to have the tax automatically added, removing the need for refunds and potential losses through individual travelers not reclaiming the money on behalf of their company.'