Talk:Duty free shopping

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Duty-free ports?[edit]

Some ports, or even whole countries, are "free ports" with zero-to-low duties on some or all items. Hong Kong and Singapore are the classic examples, with a huge trade in cheap electronics, cameras, etc. I'm not sure what their current rules are, though, or which other places might now be in the game. I think some in the Middle East, since their governments have enough oil income they don't need to tax trade.

I think these are worth mentioning here if anyone has details. Not sure if they need a discussion or just a link somewhere. Pashley (talk) 17:04, 31 December 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Singapore is a popular shopping destination and as far as I know the duties on what you import to Singapore are very low, and therefore they can sell electronics etc. at low prices. Much of Changi airport is dedicated to tax free shopping and it seemed like they never missed a chance to remind you that you can claim back the 7% Goods and Sales Tax on your purchases in Singapore at the airport. On the other hand, tax refunds is not something unique.
Here in Finland for instance, people from outside the European Union (now in the holiday season quite a few Russians come here for shopping) can likewise get the amount they paid as VAT refunded at the border (but here they need to get a special receipt with the store's stamp or something while you in Singapore just show the receipt at the kiosk at Changi airport). People don't come here to shop because shopping would be particularly affordable but because shops here have a better assortment than in Russia. And Far Eastern travelers love to buy design clothes and items (Iittala vases etc). And as we here in Northern Europe seem to be competing with Switzerland who's the most expensive in the world and the Value Added Tax is 24% (yes, non-European readers, you read that correctly) it would be dumb not to use the refund possibility.
Dubai is also a famous shopping destination. Saqib can probably tell more. ϒpsilon (talk) 19:12, 31 December 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

special territories of the European Union[edit]

As already alluded to some territories of EU members (Heligoland being the only one I know for sure about) have tax and or duty exempt or otherwise special status...

this wp article lists them in more detail than necessary for a travel guide, but we might still glean some travel related information there Hobbitschuster (talk) 12:42, 31 October 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

w:European_Union_value_added_tax#EU_VAT_area is also a useful one. ϒpsilon (talk) 12:45, 31 October 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Indeed. Though EU law seems to be just a huge set of asterisks piled upon even more asterisks... Why can Greenland leave and Gibraltar can't? Why do the British bases on Cyprus use the Euro even though they're not in the EU? Whereas their mother country is in the EU but does not use the Euro... Hobbitschuster (talk) 13:17, 31 October 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

duty free rail travel[edit]

Does duty free shopping exist in rail travel? Hobbitschuster (talk) 17:55, 16 February 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hardly. Duty free shopping came about as ships could choose in what country to get provisions: if you insist on taxes the ship shops elsewhere. International rail is usually the result of cooperation between national railway companies, and avoiding taxes does not sound like a governmental priority :-) Aviation came late, but probably insisted on being treated as shipping – and with more intermediate stops in those times, going via a low-tax country was quite realistic on longer routes. --LPfi (talk) 18:10, 16 February 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply] Though it's probably not "real" duty free, as both UK and France are in the EU and not outside the VAT zone. ϒpsilon (talk) 19:14, 16 February 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
According to something I just watched on TV there used to be duty free stores underneath east Berlin in U-Bahn stations only reachable from the West... Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:54, 16 February 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That would be an Intershop, I guess. Vidimian (talk) 06:42, 20 February 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Some BDS (boycott, divest & sanction Israel) people are calling for a boycott of one group of duty free shops.ABC: US duty free owners give millions to Israeli settlements. at Worth a mention here? Or a can of worms we need not open? Pashley (talk) 02:20, 2 July 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Boycotts are worth a mention only if we decide to have an article that's specifically about boycotts, but do you really think that's travel-relevant? I think the answer - no, it isn't - is pretty self-evident and answers your question of whether to mention this, and also the previous discussion in the Pub about whether to boycott hotel chains owned by the Sultan of Brunei, or any other anti-gay or otherwise objectionable government or individual. Leave that for activism sites, please.
If we did want to address moral questions, the obviously travel-relevant ones would be not whether to boycott, which you can do at home unless it focuses on only one or a few fixed businesses abroad with no substantial web presence (which BDS, as everyone knows, definitely does not), but what the moral considerations are in whether to travel to places whose governments you as a (potential) traveler consider odious (taking pains not to mention them specifically) and indeed whether to expend unnecessary greenhouse gases by traveling by plane or other petroleum-powered vehicle at all. Even then, I think an article about the moral considerations in whether to travel to countries with arguably odious governments should probably be avoided, because it's so obviously fraught with controversy from the word "go", even before you get to inevitable arguments about which countries are being implicitly addressed.
I would also suggest for you to avoid taking any future opportunity to mention BDS in discussion threads, as that just risks provoking off-topic arguments and riling people up. There are a lot of other countries whose governments are doing things that could arguably merit a boycott, include one where you spend a lot of time and another one that I live in and am a citizen of, so why single out only one arguably odious government in particular? That's a political question (and for some people, one of bigotry), not a travel question. I say that in spite of the apparently narrow focus particularly on settlements in the Occupied Territories in this case - remember, this site recognizes all de facto occupations without passing judgment on them, although I daresay most of us oppose many of them as individuals. Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:33, 2 July 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes. I think it is good to point out animal suffering in connection with zoos offering elephant rides, tiger hugging and similar, where moral implications can come as a surprise for the traveller. For regular businesses with objectionable practices, not tied to the destination, I think our readers should check those activist sites (and choose which to check) themselves. Here our coverage would anyhow be pretty spotty and arbitrary, so pretending to do the job would not only bring controversy, but possibly hurt the cause itself. A short section at Responsible tourism should suffice. --LPfi (talk) 08:10, 2 July 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

CNN article[edit]

CNN published an article about "How not to get ripped off at duty free". Some of the advice might be worth adding here. —Granger (talk · contribs) 14:44, 8 November 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Most value via payment card?[edit]

In Tax refunding, we say that

"Often, the refund can be requested in the form of cash, cheque, or credit to a user’s payment card [...]. The third option usually provides the most value for travellers"

Why? Isn't the amount returned the same regardless? If the statement is true, I assume it is due to some oddities, which hardly affect everybody, so should be explained. –LPfi (talk) 10:04, 30 December 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

If it said "is often most convenient" instead of "provides the most value", I would not question it. A cheque is not much use if you are far from home & your bank. Mail it to them & wait for it to clear? Cash will be in the local currency, not convenient if you are leaving the country, and perhaps not safe to carry if the amount is large. Pashley (talk) 11:36, 30 December 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]