July 14 2022  |  Industry News

UK TRF calls for positive reform and extension of duty free shopping

By GTR Magazine Staff

As British citizens get back to traveling and international tourists return to the UK, a new poll shows that people want duty free shopping to be extended to arrival stores across British international airports, ports and train stations.

Since January 1, all Brits traveling home from Europe, and the rest of the world, have been able to purchase 42 litres of beer, 18 litres of still wine, or 4 litres of spirits or sparkling wine. This is thanks to the UK Government quadrupling duty free allowances post-Brexit. However, at this time, these sales can’t take place on British soil – leaving airports, airport retailers and British business disadvantaged as the economic benefits are off-shored.

New polling commissioned by the UK Travel Retail Forum has found that 55% of Brits want to see duty free allowances extended to arrival stores, facilitating ease of travel and on-shoring the benefits to UK plc. Only 8% of those polled disagreed with the policy.

Presently, 65 countries have arrivals duty free stores in place including almost all international travel hubs in Asia, the Middle East and Australia, and several non-EU countries in the European Economic Area and Eastern Europe. When informed of this, 36% of Brits polled said this made them more likely to support the introduction of arrivals stores in the UK.

“We’ve already seen strong take-up of the government’s boost to duty free allowances, which travelers can avail of when they return to the country. The problem is that at present, these sales can only take place at the point of departure – offshore airports and ports.

“The UK Travel Retail Forum and our members are calling for this positive reform to be extended to arrival stores too, so Brits returning home and international tourists coming to the UK can shop on their entry to the UK, picking up products often only available exclusively through travel retail.

“We want to grasp this opportunity to make the duty free shopping experience more convenient for inbound travellers, while creating jobs and making the UK a more competitive destination,” says Nigel Keal, Chair of UK Travel Retail Forum.

REGION Europe

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