Get set for tax-free shopping! It’s the return of the booze cruise as British tourists can get cut-price alcohol and perfume in Europe from next week
- British tourists will be able to enjoy tax-free shopping in Europe from Monday
- They will be able to claim more than a fifth off the purchase price thanks to Brexit
- Potential savings are likely to revive ‘booze cruise’ trips across the Channel
British tourists will be able to enjoy tax-free shopping in Europe for the first time from Monday.
The potential savings are likely to revive ‘booze cruise’ trips across the Channel to destinations such as Calais, which died out as tax savings shrunk and UK supermarkets improved their ranges.
A total of 31 European countries are offering deals under the new rules to attract UK tourists. First on the list is Portugal, where Britons can legally travel from Monday and claim back a 23 per cent discount on any products bought there.
British tourists buying alcohol, perfume, fashion and technology in the EU will be able to claim more than a fifth off the purchase price thanks to Brexit
The savings will reduce the price of a 30ml bottle of Chanel No 5 perfume from £250 to £203, a Louis Vuitton tote bag from £2,680 to £2,178, and a Gucci poppy flowers print silk dress from £3,100 to £2,500.
Portugal will also offer tax discounts on wine and port but customers will be limited to what they can carry on the plane.
Tax reductions on products bought in European capitals such as Paris, Milan and Lisbon were previously available only to travellers from non-EU countries such as China and the US.
The discounts were extended to those from the UK after Britain left the EU at midnight on December 31, but Britons have been unable to take advantage until now because of coronavirus travel restrictions.
Tax reductions on products bought in European capitals such as Paris, Milan and Lisbon were previously available only to travellers from non-EU countries such as China and the US
Popular destinations including France, Greece, Spain and Italy all offer tax discounts of 20 to 24 per cent on tourist shopping when travel restrictions end.
But so far Gibraltar and Iceland are the only other European nations besides Portugal on the green list, requiring no quarantine on return. Others are expected to follow in late June or early July. UK travellers are set to spend a third more as a result of the tax breaks, according to the tourist shopping firm Global Blue. Before the pandemic UK residents made 70million trips to Europe a year, spending a total of £34billion.
The UK economy will not benefit from the flow of European tourists coming the other way, as the Chancellor scrapped duty-free shopping from January 1.
It is up to individual countries whether they want to offer tax-free shopping.
To claim, shoppers must show their passport when they buy items and fill in a form at departure lounges. They can receive cash from a refund kiosk or use an app to have money paid back to a bank card.