The European Travel Retail Council (ETRC) has repeated its plea to travel retailers not to sell LAGs to passengers transferring upon arrival in the EU, despite the April 29 European Commission deadline which passed at midnight. This was supposed to lift LAGs’ restrictions for transfer passengers coming from non-EU countries and on non-EU airlines.
As stated already, ETRC says it has conducted extensive discussions with the European Commission, Member States and European airports and it is clear that as things stand, many airports in Europe will not be able to lift the restrictions as scheduled [see story:www.trend-news.com/default.asp?newsid=9752″
‘MAINTAIN THE STATUS QUO…FOR NOW’
ETRC says airports are simply not ready and it is strongly advising retailers to maintain the status quo for now, even though it has consistently supported the lifting of the restrictions in the past – but only provided the necessary procedures are in place to facilitate passengers who are transferring at EU airports without any delay or inconvenience.
In its latest advisory, the ETRC says: “It is hoped that problems of non-compliance will work themselves out over a short period of time. However, in the meantime ETRC strongly recommends that non-EU retailers hold off on selling LAGs to transfer passengers until the situation is clarified.
CUSTOMER IS FIRST CONCERN
“The duty-free industry’s first concern must be the satisfaction of its customers and all possible steps must be taken to avoid that products bought by transfer passengers in good faith are confiscated. This would greatly damage the image of our industry and cause high levels of customer frustration.
“ETRC continues to closely monitor the situation and is working together with stakeholders and policy-makers to take appropriate actions with respect to this situation. Existing arrangements in place for passengers arriving on flights from the USA, Canada, Croatia, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur and transferring onwards will continue.”