19 August 2019

Revolutionary steps in the tourism sector

On August 13, 2019, Shavkat Mirziyoyev signed the Decree “On measures for the further development of the tourism sector in the Republic of Uzbekistan” in order to increase the effectiveness of ongoing reforms in the tourism sector and increase the number of foreign citizens entering the country by solving existing problems in the tourism infrastructure, improving the quality of services and active promoting a national tourism product in world markets.

In accordance with the decree:

-from January 1, 2020, a visa-free regime is introduced for a period of 30 days for citizens of another 20 countries. The total number of countries with a visa-free regime will reach a total of 85

-from  October 1, the Open Skies mode will be introduced at Karshi, Nukus and Termez international airports using the “fifth air freedom” (the right to receive and unload passengers, mail and cargo coming to or from a third state), and at the Bukhara airport – using the “fifth air freedom” when transporting citizens of foreign countries.

-from January 1, 2020, Uzbekistan will compensate for part of the costs of tourism entities or air carriers for organizing charter flights from other countries. Compensation will be paid in the amount of $ 20 for each foreign tourist, and during the winter season (from November 20 to February 20) – $ 50, subject to the duration of his stay in Uzbekistan at least 5 nights.

-also, from January 1, part of the cost (“rebate”) of foreign film companies in creating audiovisual products (films, television and video films, clips, cartoons, anime) in the Republic of Uzbekistan is compensated by the State budget of the Republic of Uzbekistan in the amount of up to 20 percent of costs incurred in the territory of the Republic of Uzbekistan, but not more than 300 thousand US dollars per unit of output;

-creation of the tourist transport corridor “Uzbekistan Tourist Highway” from the city of Khanabad of Andijan region to the city of Muynak of the Republic of Karakalpakstan with a branch to the city of Termez of the Surkhandarya region, providing for the development of roadside infrastructure and the organization of tourist services along highways.

Tax and customs benefits

Until January 1, 2023, several types of tax and customs payments are exempted:

-companies providing travel services for the organization of camping and safari tourism in remote areas (at least 10 kilometers from settlements or 5 kilometers from paved roads);

-companies and their design organizations within the framework of the project to create world-class golf and recreational facilities that meet the necessary cultural and entertainment infrastructure;

-companies engaged in the construction or organization of toilets for standard projects.

In addition, imported equipment for the construction of cable cars and attractions “bungee jumping”, “zipline”, controlled (airship, balloon) and uncontrolled (free flight) balloons, gondolas, equipment for rafting and flyboarding, as well as buggy car, chaise and Frames until 2023 are exempt from customs duties and excise taxes.