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

Written by: Emma Lunn
The government will re-introduce duty free purchases of cigarettes and alcohol if the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 31 October.

In the event of a no-deal exit, people travelling to the EU will be able to take advantage of duty free shopping meaning they won’t have to pay UK excise duties on cigarettes and alcohol.

People travelling back from the EU will still be able to bring back unlimited amounts for their own use, if they pay duty in Europe. But the rule change means travellers will also have the alternative option to buy limited amounts of duty free alcohol and cigarettes at duty free shops in Europe instead.

The government has announced that the policy will apply with immediate effect in the event the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 31 October.

According to the government, the new rules will mean a bottle of wine purchased in Heathrow duty free on the way to the EU could be up to £2.23 cheaper.

The travel industry has been calling on the government to re-introduce duty-free, which stopped when the EU Single Market was introduced.

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.

The government says it will shortly launch a consultation on its long term duty free policy.

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