3 OCTOBER 2022


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Article from BTNews 3 OCTOBER 2022

VAT on Duty-Free removed?

A return of VAT-free shopping will boost inbound tourism says the travel industry.

Tucked away in his mini-Budget statement Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng also announced plans to reintroduce VAT-free shopping for international tourists.

It was all somewhat vague and no timeline indicated except it would be software driven. 

Whether the wording “high street” includes the airside shops at the UK’s international airports remains to be seen, but that would be very logical. Currently VAT is charged at these outlets.

Joss Croft, Chief Executive of inbound travel association UKinbound, said “We are incredibly pleased that government has listened to the tourism and retail industries and will be introducing a modern, digital VAT-free shopping scheme.

“This is a significant win for Britain Plc that will drive growth, provide a boost to high streets across the country, and lay the groundwork for the UK to become an international shopping hub, driving tourism and export earnings into the UK”.

Heathrow could be a big winner.  John Holland-Kaye, CEO of Heathrow, said: “The return of tax-free shopping for international visitors is great news for British businesses. We want to hear the tills ringing on our shores as visitors make the most of the UK’s world-renowned retail, not lured away to Paris or Milan when we know how competitive our offer is. The boost this brings will spread far beyond our airport terminals, and reach high streets and ports up and down the country, without even mentioning the extra spend visitors make on hospitality and leisure. Thanks to this added incentive, the Government is strengthening the offer of a truly Global Britain.”


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