DFWC & TFWA position paper calls for cross-sector action on illicit trade

By Luke Barras-hill |

Duty free and travel retail lobbying forces have urged national governments and cross-border enforcement agencies to work proactively with the industry to tackle illicit trading.

Representatives from a number of DF&TR regional trade associations met on Tuesday 4 October to endorse a position paper released by the Duty Free World Council (DFWC) and Tax Free World Association (TFWA).

A part of the recently launched ‘Duty Free: Trusted, Transparent, Secure’ campaign, the position paper sets out the disproportionate and unfair impact that illegal activity such as illicit trade, counterfeiting, and intellectual property theft has on secure, transparent and legitimate duty and tax free supply chains.

Five key recommendations

By fraudulently labelling tax-evaded goods as ‘duty-free’ using fake labels and markings, criminals continue to ‘cash in’ on the trust that consumers have placed in the duty and tax free industry for over 75 years, say backers of the campaign.

Duty free associations meets at TFWA Cannes 2022

DFWC President Sarah Branquinho (centre) with representatives from TFWA, ETRC, APTRA, MEADFA, UKTRF, ASUTIL and IAADFS at the launch of the position paper at the TFWA World Exhibition & Conference in Cannes.

Aside warning consumers of the dangers of illicit goods and how to identify genuine duty free products, the position paper sets out several recommendations.

These are: better regulation of informal and casual retail channels (street stalls and markets); tighter controls over free trade zones and special economic zones to prevent illicit trade ‘hotspots’; support in educating consumers (i.e. through www.dutyfreefacts.com); investigating duty free specific issues (i.e. fraudulent mislabelling); and enhanced collaboration between industry and enforcement bodies.

DFWC President Sarah Branquinho said: “We are proud to launch the position paper in support of the Duty Free: Trusted, Transparent and Secure campaign.

Position paper on tackling illicit trade in duty free

Extract from the position paper. Source: DFWC.

“Since the campaign’s launch this summer, we have been greatly encouraged by the level of support it has received from industry and enforcement bodies. Today’s paper outlines how we can increase cooperation and work together to tackle this form of illegality.”

Erik Juul-Mortensen, President, TFWA added: “TFWA has been honoured to be a part of the Duty Free: Trusted, Transparent and Secure campaign since its conception. The position paper highlights the action our industry has been taking against illicit trade for many years, and what steps are required from the public sector to strengthen this.”

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