Introduce arrivals duty free to boost aviation sector, UK government urged

By Luke Barras-hill |

The APPG for the Future of Aviation says the UK government can boost aviation and travel, create new jobs and generate additional tax revenues by introducing arrivals duty free shops.  Source: APPG for the Future of Aviation.

A cross-party group of UK Parliamentarians has urged the government to enact arrivals duty free shopping at airports, international rail and ferry terminals in Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

In a letter to Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt yesterday, the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the Future of Aviation has encouraged the adoption of a mechanism utilised by 65 nations across the world, including many in Asia and the Middle East.

The MPs claim that introducing duty free on-arrivals shops would lift passenger spending by 20-30%, while stimulating jobs growth at no cost to the taxpayer.

The letter follows a report published by the House of Commons’ Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Committee this week, the broad reaction of which was reported by TRBusiness, criticising heavily the recent U-turn on tax free shopping while calling on Whitehall to publish an assessment of the impacts of withdrawing the VAT Retail Export Scheme.

Henry Smith MP, Chair of the APPG for the Future of Aviation, commented: “Last year the Government took the right decision to introduce a more generous duty free allowance but the failure to introduce arrivals duty free stores in the UK has meant that it is other nations’ economies that are benefiting.

“This would bring significant economic benefits to the UK and would allow our aviation and travel industry to play their full role in growing our economy, without costing the taxpayer. The Chancellor can take the opportunity to boost UK aviation and travel, create new jobs and generate additional tax revenues through introducing arrivals duty free shops. We urge him to take this opportunity and boost our economy and the recovery of our aviation sector.”

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