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IATA statement on Tourist Card fee collection in the Dominican Republic
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IATA statement on Tourist Card fee collection in the Dominican Republic

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has requested that the Government of the Dominican Republic reviews Resolution 217-2022 which was issued by the Civil Aviation Board (JAC) on 23 September 2022. This instructs national and international airlines that provide international passenger transportation to and from the Dominican Republic, to reconfigure their reservation systems within 45 days to exempt Dominican citizens and resident foreigners from the payment of the so called “Tourist Card Fee”.

IATA and its members do not question the principle or the collection of such a charge. However, the airlines’ reservation and ticketing systems are unable to differentiate by nationality and residency status, hence preventing airlines to comply with this resolution. In addition to Dominican citizens and resident aliens, the law also bilaterally exempts citizens of Argentina, Chile, South Korea, Ecuador, Israel, Japan, Peru and Uruguay, visa holders and other diplomats on official business for paying the “Tourist Card Fee”.

As an alternative, IATA has proposed to the government that the relevant authorities implement a web portal which would allow passengers to pay for the tourist card prior to travel. This way the government could directly collect the money (rather than having the airlines collect on its behalf) and exempt all those who do not have to pay the fee. Such solutions have been successfully implemented for example in Aruba, Bonaire, Canada and Suriname.

The current process – where the charge is included in the ticket issuance – was implemented in 2017 in compliance with the corresponding directive from the Directorate General of Internal Taxes (DGII). Airlines already made their systems’ limitations known at that time, which led the responsible authorities to implement a refund process for those exempted from the “Tourist Card Fee”.

IATA advocates for the establishment of global standards and best practices to achieve operational efficiency and thus facilitate the automation of industry processes. The international nature of the travel industry relies heavily on the harmonization of parameters to address standards imposed by governments and authorities around the world. This reduces the administrative burden and compliance complexities for airlines, ensuring the accurate and prompt settlement of relevant taxes, fees and charges, and enhancing the customer experience.

IATA and its members reiterate their commitment and willingness to comply with all regulations and to work in collaboration with the Government of the Dominican Republic to facilitate the strengthening of tourism and its socio-economic contribution to the country.

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Fuente: IATA
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