Duty-free nose job? Head to South Korea

Ed Jones | AFP | Getty Images

Nip into South Korea for a VAT-free tuck – that's part of the country's latest campaign to revive its struggling tourism sector.

Starting in April 2016, foreigners will receive refunds of value-added taxes (VAT) for getting cosmetic surgery in South Korea, Yonhap News Agency reported, citing the government's 2015 tax code revision unveiled earlier this month.

South Korea, dubbed as Asia's plastic surgery capital, is home to more than 4,000 plastic surgery clinics and has the world's highest rate of cosmetic procedures per head of population - 13 for every 1,000 people in a population of 49 million, according to government data cited by Reuters.

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"If a foreign national submits a receipt for the surgery they received from a local hospital or clinic on departure, that person can get a tax refund," Moon Chang-yong, deputy finance minister of tax and customs was cited as saying by Yonhap – the country's biggest news agency.

"It is designed to help boost the local tourism industry," he said.

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The country's tourism sector has been reeling from the outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) that began in late-May and claimed the lives of 36 people.

Tourist arrivals plunged more than 40 percent in June as the spread of MERS led to mass travel cancellations by foreign tourists, government data showed.

Dünyagöz Hospital Group