Beer Duty / Taxation / 10 September 2019

BBPA responds to possible return of duty-free

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has today responded to the announcement by Chancellor Sajid Javid that if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, duty-free shopping in EU countries will return.

The decision to bring back duty-free shopping in UK ports, airports and international train stations would mean people travelling to the EU from the UK would not have to pay excise duties on alcohol in a duty-free shop.

It would also give travellers a new option to buy limited amounts of alcohol in duty-free shops in Europe and bring it back to the UK.

At present, people who travel back to the UK from the EU can bring back unlimited amounts of alcohol for their own use, if they pay duty in Europe (although there is some guidance on this from HMRC). This would still continue.

Brigid Simmonds, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, commented:

“Brewing and pubs are vital attractions for our tourism industry and boost UK exports too. In fact, many tourists who drink beer in the UK take it back home too. Enabling European tourists to buy British beer duty-free and share it with friends and family back home can only help in promoting our beer exports overseas.

“Restrictions on the amount of beer that could be brought into the UK duty free are welcome. 82% of the beer consumed in Britain is brewed in Britain, using many British ingredients such as malting barley, so it is imperative we continue to support our own brewing industry. In the event of a no-deal scenario, it is also extremely important that the Government acts to ensure the existing system that allows beer to move around Europe seamlessly is maintained with minimal disruption.

“Deal or no-deal Brexit, if the Chancellor is serious about supporting British brewers, beer drinkers and pubs, then he should cut beer duty in his next Budget. We pay the third highest beer duty in Europe and 11 times more beer duty than Germany.”

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