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Things to Know About Duty-Free Shopping

The term “duty-free” describes the ability to buy a product under specific conditions without having to pay import, sales, value-added, or other taxes. Duty-free shopping is one of the benefits of travelling abroad. These retail establishments sell duty- and tax-free goods with the assumption that the products would be used outside of the nation. 
Popular duty-free products that may be purchased in airport stores include perfume, chocolate, and tobacco, cosmetics and luxury accessories. It is normal for duty-free shops to quote prices in Euros. Since almost everything they sell is purchased in euros, they often price their goods in euros, which is comparable to other duty-free stores throughout the globe and much easier for tourists to understand.
How to Buy Duty‐Free? 
Generally speaking, the nations you are visiting demand that you pay import, sales, value-added (VAT), or local taxes on the items you purchase. On the other hand, you are purchasing a foreign country when you shop in international airports, marine terminals, cruise ships, and on international flights. When entering the U.S., travellers can bring in one litre of alcohol and up to 200 cigarettes duty-free, according to the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) website. Citizens are also entitled to bring $200 worth of goods into the country without paying additional taxes. If you are over the average limit, you have to pay duty and tax on the total value. 
How Can It Save You Money? 
You may save money but it depends on the products and the country you’re in. Do not forget that these savings are just available for the products that are subject to duties and taxes. Clothing, accessories etc. May not be subject to duties and taxes. Some tips may help you to take advantage of duty-free; 

Compare Prices 
It is important to compare prices with the retail prices. Differences in prices may not be significant and you may end up paying more due to the limited selection of products in duty-free shops. So, do not forget to do your research. 

Check the Allowances 
Not all countries have the same allowance. This is the most merchandise you are allowed to return without having to pay taxes or fees. Make careful to check for limits on things like alcohol and tobacco as well, as some nations have them. 

Perfect Timing to Shop 
During peak travel seasons, holidays and summer vacations, duty-free shops can be busy. Try to shop on weekdays or early mornings if that is possible.  

LOyalty Programmes 
Some airports offer membership clubs or loyalty programmes for frequent travellers. The point of this program is to provide discounts and access to members-only sales. You can take advantage of this programme to save money. 

Watch Out for Promotions 
Sometimes, duty-free shops run promotions and special offers on some products. You can watch out for signs, brochures, or announcements throughout the store. They can provide you with savings. 

Frequently asked Questions

You buy it duty-free at the time of purchase, then only need to meet the requirements of the country you’re bringing it into. At an airport, duty-free shopping is typically located inside an international terminal after you go through security. 

Duty-free is a tax-free store. It sells expensive products at a lower price because there isn’t any import tax. You can buy items such as perfumes, cosmetics, luxury goods, electronics, souvenirs, alcohol, and tobacco.

Please note that any items you purchase at the airport, including tax-free products, are counted as part of your carry-on baggage allowance. In addition, you can bring duty-free bags and airport purchases in the cabin along with your cabin baggage. 

Duty-free items in reasonable quantities do not count towards your carry-on baggage allowance for your next flight. If you want to leave the airport and return later for your connecting flight, you can take your duty-free purchases with you as long as you don’t open the sealed bag. 

As such items are prohibited from being carried onto an aircraft, it is almost impossible to open sealed bags during a flight.

Duty-free items can only be purchased when departing from a country or when crossing into another territory. They are for export only and must be taken out of the country where they are purchased. 

The whole point of the bag is to ensure that the contents haven’t been tampered with. Once the seal is broken, you won’t be able to take them through any further security checks. The sealed bag is known in the aviation industry as a STEB – Sealed Tamper Evident Bag. 

The reason airport shops ask for the boarding pass is to ensure that you are flying internationally and hence eligible to purchase duty-free. Another reason is to ensure that you are flying directly to your destination. 

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