Airports call for duty-free arrivals shopping

27 August, 2008
Page 12 
The Canadian Airports Council has called on the country's government to introduce duty-free arrivals shopping.

CAC has developed a

powerful economic case for the adoption of arrivals shopping.

It estimates the opening of arrivals shops would give the C$174 million Canadian airport duty-free business a sales boost of C$61 million, create 400 new jobs, and generate C$7.2 million in additional federal tax revenue.

"Arrivals duty-free represents a unique win-win opportunity for the federal government to help Canadian duty-free operators and their airport hosts, while also increasing federal tax revenue," said CAC president and chief executive Jim Facette.

"We hope the minister [of finance] will act on this ­recommendation from the committee."

The Canadian government ignored earlier calls by the industry to allow arrivals duty-free, but the continuing spread of arrivals shops in other countries worldwide (some 50 states have now adopted them) might ­persuade the authorities it is the right time to take the plunge.

If arrivals legislation is passed, Canadian operators' duty-free liquor sales will increase significantly as many travellers opt not to buy earlier in their journey because of the inconvenience of carrying heavy bottles.

Conversely, airport retailers in the US and Europe with significant numbers of flights to Canada will be negatively affected as returning Canadians opt to defer their purchase until their arrival.