Duty-free may return in the event of a no-deal Brexit

Duty-free may return in the event of a no-deal Brexit

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sajid Javid, has announced that duty-free shopping with EU countries is likely to return in the event of the UK leaving the EU without a deal.

Under the arrangements, those travelling to the EU will be able to take advantage of duty-free shopping, which will ensure that no UK excise duties will be due on cigarettes and alcohol.

The decision will affect shopping in UK ports, airports and international train stations and could mean that a bottle of wine purchased in Heathrow duty-free on the way to the EU could be up to £2.23 cheaper, according to the Government.

Those returning to the UK from the EU will still be permitted to bring back unlimited amounts of these goods for personal use, but they may have to pay duty in Europe.

In some cases, UK citizens will have the alternative option to buy limited amounts of duty-free alcohol and cigarettes at duty-free shops in Europe instead.

The travel industry has been keen for the Government to re-introduce duty-free arrangements, which stopped when the EU Single Market was introduced, but it is only the prospect of a no-deal Brexit and a complete split from the EU that will make this possible.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid said: “As we prepare to leave the EU, I’m pleased to be able to back British travellers.

“We want people to enjoy their hard-earned holidays and this decision will help holidaymakers’ cash go that little bit further.

“Duty-free shopping is already permitted for travellers going to non-EU countries. A consultation will also be launched shortly on our long-term duty-free policy.”

If you are concerned about how this change may affect you or your business, please contact our experienced team at UK VAT Advice.