Duty and Tax paid

EU Enlargement

EU Enlargement The process of enlarging the European Union has assumed greater significance for the travel retail trade following the abolition of intra-EU duty and tax free sales in July 1999. As new Member States join the EU, all travel retail sales after the date of accession have to be on a duty and tax paid basis, rather than duty and tax-free. The most significant date in this process was 1st May 2004, when ten new countries joined the EU, taking the total number of Member States to 25 at that time. Since then, Bulgaria and Romania have also joined the EU, on 1st January 2007, and Croatia joined on 1 July 2013, thus giving a total of 28 Member States.

The EU has also commenced accession negotiations with Turkey but these are unlikely to be completed for some years. Other candidate countries for membership are Serbia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Iceland has recently confirmed that it will not be seeking membership.

Here is the full list of current EU Member States:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Republic of Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • The Irish Republic


  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • The Netherlands
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain (but not the Canary Islands)
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom (but not the Channel Islands)