New code of practice for UK airport shops

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A new code of practice (CoP) for airport retailers has been launched by the Airport Operators Association (AOA) and the UK Travel Retail Forum (UKTRF). The aim is to ensure greater transparency regarding how consumers benefit from the VAT relief concession, and follows recent criticism that some retailers were allegedly boosting their profits by failing to pass on these discounts to passengers.

The CoP outlines current best practice on VAT relief in airports, and will be set out in-store and online, providing clear explanations to customers on how and when the benefit is used, and why they are required to present their boarding passes. Retailers adopting the guidelines will report back to the UKTRF on how they have been implemented.

Darren Caplan, chief executive of the AOA, said, “We have worked closely with airport partners and retailers to improve information and transparency about how retailers apply the VAT relief concession, ensuring travelers can continue to shop at UK airports confident in the knowledge that they are getting a great deal.”

Sarah Branquinho, chair of the UKTRF, added, “Our members have an exemplary record of compliance with HM Revenue & Customs laws, Advertising Standards Authority guidelines and Trading Standards Authority consumer legislation, but the CoP will go one step further in ensuring transparency and consumer trust, helping customers know that the savings resulting from the VAT relief concession are passed on to them.” 

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Helen has worked for UKi Media & Events for nearly a decade. She joined the company as assistant editor on Passenger Terminal World and since progressed to become editor of five publications, covering everything from aviation, logistics and e-commerce to meteorology. She has a love for travel and property and has redeveloped three houses in three years. When she’s not editing magazines, she’s running around after her two boys and their partner in crime, Pete the pug.

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