ETRC explores possibility of test case for arrivals DF in EU Member State

By Faye Bartle |

Julie Lassaigne

Julie Lassaigne, Secretary General, ETRC.

As part of the campaign to introduce arrivals duty free in the EU, the European Travel Retail Confederation (ETRC) is currently exploring whether a test case might be possible in one or more Member States.

The campaign remains ETRC’s main priority and the Confederation’s Secretary General Julie Lassaigne gave TRBusiness an update on the latest developments as part of her in-depth cover interview in the October 2023 issue. This is available to read online now, as well as in print for TFWA World Exhibition & Conference delegates in Cannes (1-5 October, 2o23).

“ETRC continues to talk to a wide range of political stakeholders on the benefits of Arrivals Duty Free for European travel and tourism,” said Lassaigne.

“We have now completed two studies which show the potential benefits for the 27 EU Member States, as well as how neighbouring countries that have introduced Arrivals Duty Free (Norway, Switzerland and Turkey) have benefited.

“We are now actively preparing for the anticipated publication of the European Commission’s proposal on a Travel and Tourism VAT package of measures, in 2024, which we expect to include the relevant proposal on arrivals.

“To that end, we are working with ACI Europe, national airport associations and individual airport operators to engage EU27 Member State governments to ensure they are well aware of the potential benefits ahead of time.”

Julie Lassaigne

Julie Lassaigne commands the stage at the TR Consumer Forum in Vienna in June 2023. Photo: Grant Pritchard Photography.

She continued: “Beyond airports, we are also working very closely with the spirits industry in several Member States, showing the broad appeal the possible introduction of arrivals duty free enjoys across industry sectors.

“In anticipation of the proposal, ETRC is currently exploring whether a test case(s) might be possible in one or more Member States.

“This would allow competent authorities and operators to gather meaningful information on the benefits suggested by ETRC’s studies.

“Provided the necessary safeguards are in place and a test case is allowed to run for a relevant time period, such a test case could prove invaluable in showcasing the benefits of arrivals duty free as well as reassuring competent authorities and governments that the introduction of arrivals duty free for passengers travelling into the EU does not impact the internal market.”

In her interview, Lassaigne also provides an update on the continued work on digital labelling, and supporting the Duty Free Word Council led campaign calling upon DF&TR stakeholders to unite in a zero-tolerance approach to illicit trade, including preparing for MOP3.

Click here to read the TRBusiness October 2023 issue.

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