Duty and Tax Free
The abolition of intra-EU duty and tax free sales in July 1999 created a particular tax and duties accounting problem for airport shops. As most terminals have a mix of EU and non-EU passengers, a new operating regime was required to ensure that excise duty and VAT were correctly accounted for on sales made to EU passengers and that retailers were not faced with excessive accounting burdens. Following extensive discussions between the UKTRF and HM Customs and Excise, the Excise Goods (Export Shops) Regulations 2000 were introduced to deal with this issue. These provided that airport shops could receive and store excise duty-suspended goods for duty free sales to passengers travelling on a non-EU flight, but they could also sell duty and VAT paid goods to passengers on an EU or UK flight and, in principle, account for duty at the point of sale. This enabled airport retail operators to use common stock for both EU and non-EU sales, which was a major operational benefit.
HMRC have recently determined that the Export Shops Regulations are now in need of updating and retail members of UKTRF are currently assisting HMRC’s Policy Team to establish new rules which are workable for both export shop operators and HMRC.