Duty and Tax Free

Wines and Spirits

Wines and Spirits In recent years there has been a move in the EU towards more regulation, particularly of the alcohol and food industry.  UKTRF is closely following the development of policies, for example, complex labelling requirements and minimum pricing for alcohol products, which could have an impact on duty-free and tax-free sales of these products.

In September 2011, the 53 member states of the European World Health Organisation region adopted a “European Alcohol Action Plan 2012-2020” which established guidelines to reduce the harmful use of alcohol in the region.  To this end, a number of EU Member States are considering applying stricter controls over its sale and are looking at the areas of taxation, marketing, promotion and labelling.

In mid-2014, the EU Commission adopted an Action Plan for the period 2014-2017 to tackle alcohol related harm to complement the work of the current EU Alcohol Strategy.  Priorities identified by the Commission include underage drinking and heavy drinking, which are being addressed, particularly in the UK, by measures such as making alcohol less affordable.

The travel retail market is a channel characterised by quality rather than quantity and so UKTRF considers that its profile is consistent with responsible consumption.  Moreover, it is a highly regulated and controlled market in that its products can only be purchased by passengers after they have passed through airport security and only on production of their boarding card. Furthermore, UKTRF is a signatory to the ETRC Code of Conduct for the Sales of Alcohol Products in Duty-Free and Travel Retail which is designed to be consistent and complementary to other such codes introduced by individual alcohol manufacturing companies and other bodies.  This initiative is part of a broader, ongoing engagement of UKTRF/ETRC with their members and with EU institutions.

For more information on the Code of Conduct, visit the ETRC website at www.etrc.org.