independent

Saturday 22 September 2018

Rosslare duty-free would generate €1.7m

Brendan Keane

The reintroduction of duty free sales as a result of Brexit would generate revenue of around €1.7m through Rosslare Europort according to a report compiled by the Irish Duty Free Alliance (IDFA).

The IDFA is an independent group representing the interests of businesses trading in the Irish duty-free and retail market. In compiling the report Professor Anthony Foley, Associate Professor of Economics at Dublin City University Business School, examined the economic impact of reintroducing duty-free and tax-free sales between the Republic of Ireland and the UK after Brexit.

At present, Rosslare to UK routes account for around 66.4 per cent of all of the port's annual departures.

Prof Foley said the objective of the report was to identify and assess the national and regional impact that a reintroduction of duty-free and tax-free sales would have.

He said a return of duty-free sales on the Ireland-UK route would increase economic output as well as creating employment enhancing job opportunities.

The IDFA commissioned the report as part if its call for an immediate return of duty and tax-free sales on Ireland-UK routes at the end of the Brexit transition period in December 2020.

'At present one of the last impressions on the millions of departing UK visitors is the very high alcohol and tobacco excise coupled with the relatively high VAT rate,' said Prof Foley, in the report.

'The restoration of the duty-free facility on the UK route would significantly improve that close-to-last impression of the Irish holiday.'

In his conclusion he said the restoration of duty-free between Ireland and the UK would provide 'a substantial' opportunity for ports like Rosslare Europort.

The Chairperson of the IDFA, Frank O'Connell, said his organisation is hoping for a 'soft' Brexit but added that regardless of the final agreement a return of duty-free sales would 'secure a positive outcome from an otherwise undesirable situation'.

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