ETRC and TFWA set to launch phase two of DF&TR Digital Labelling Platform

By Andrew Pentol |


Nigel Keal, President, ETRC.

The European Travel Retail Confederation (ETRC) and Tax Free World Association (TFWA) are to launch the second phase of the DF&TR Digital Labelling Platform.

As reported in December 2018, ETRC and Gebr. Heinemann hosted a live test of the digital labelling platform at Hamburg Airport.

This followed an ETRC-hosted cocktail at the European Parliament in Brussels in July 2018, which provided travel retail suppliers, Board members, EU parliamentarians and Commission officials the chance to test the digital solution.

Since then, the pilot project has gained growing support within travel retail and EU circles.

According to Julie Lassaigne, ETRC, Secretary General, who assumed the role in January 2019, the pilot project was a success.


Speaking as part of an in-depth interview with TRBusiness Deputy Editor Luke Barras-Hill shortly after her appointment, Lassaigne said: “We had a more than 70% acceptance level from travellers for the solution and we were able to identify that in a real-life environment we had to work a bit harder on the technological impacts.”


The pilot project at Hamburg Airport, hosted by Gebr. Heinemann allowed travellers to visit the ETRC’s labelling website on a smartphone and scan the barcodes of 10 commonly available duty free products.

The one-year project, co-funded by ETRC and TFWA, will begin in February. The aim is to build a fully functional platform with 18 suppliers across the perfumes and cosmetics, alcohol and confectionery categories.

Travellers will have access to product information in multiple languages by scanning a barcode using a smartphone or in-store scanners. Tests will be conducted in-store towards the end of the year to collect consumer feedback and respond to policy-makers’ request to have this tested in a live environment.

The project will support ETRC’s continued efforts to secure digital labelling as a legal way to provide information to consumers in travel retail.

This latest development is particularly timely as the European Commission is consulting on the possibility of labelling additional fragrance allergens in cosmetic products. The European Comission also gave the green light recently to a voluntary digital labelling scheme to provide the list of ingredients on spirits products sold in the European Union.


Attendees to the ETRC cocktail at the European Parliament in Brussels in 2018 were given the opportunity to test the digital labelling solution from a selection of typical travel retail products.

Nigel Keal, President, ETRC said: “We are very grateful for the special contribution of TFWA to make this project possible. This year will be critical in securing the acceptance from regulators for such a solution, by demonstrating it provides the necessary information in a user-friendly format.

“We will work closely with the new European Commission and Parliament in that respect to show that our solution can meet both the requirements of the regulators and the specificities of our unique consumer, the international traveller.”

Alain Maingreaud, President, TFWA commented: “It is TFWA’s mission to support industry projects that can benefit brands operating in duty free and travel retail and which can also have a positive impact on the sustainability of the channel as a whole.

“ETRC has led this initiative for several years with very promising results and we are delighted that our contribution will help take this project to the next level.”

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