Sajid Javid announces return of duty-free for Brits travelling to Europe under no-deal Brexit

Posted On: 
10th September 2019

Sajid Javid has vowed to bring back duty-free purchases of cigarettes and alcohol if Britain leaves the European Union without a deal on 31 October.

Sajid Javid said he was 'pleased to be able to back British travellers'.

The Chancellor said UK excise duty and VAT would be immediately scrapped on alcohol and cigarettes bought by those leaving the UK to head to the EU if a no-deal Brexit goes ahead at the end of next month.

Duty-free sales within the EU were axed two decades ago, with consumers paying full levies on any goods bought while bound for European countries.

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But Mr 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."

The Treasury said the move would mean that a bottle of wine purchased at Heathrow airport duty free on the way to the EU could be up to £2.23 cheaper than normal.

The plans are estimated to cost the Treasury between £150m and £200m a year, and a new option allowing returning holidaymakers to purchase limited amounts of products at duty-free shops in Europe will also be introduced.

Duty-free shopping is already permitted for those travelling to non-EU countries.

The return of duty-free will only apply immediately if Britain leaves the EU without a deal, as the current withdrawal agreement will see Britain stay in the EU's single market and customs union during a transition period.