United Kingdom UK Scotland, N Ireland, Wales, England
LHR | London Heathrow airport
European Union Arrivals and Departures duty free airport shopping: This is an EU Member State, Duty Free and Tax-Free sales are not permitted for intra-EU travellers, nor can you usually buy Tax-Free or Duty Free goods on arrival at an EU airport when arriving from outside The EU. Airports in the EU have 'Travel Shops' where the goods are competitively priced for the passenger, these sales are often called 'Travel Value Shopping'.
Many EU airports now have arrival shops where you can buy goods in the baggage claim area, more are opening all the time. But, the stores located in this airport for arriving passengers, regardless of where you arrive from, are all tax and duty paid shopping conditions. Whereas, outbound passengers flying to a non-EU destination, can buy their duty free and tax-free goods from shops in the departure lounge. These goods must be exported to a non EU Country.
Occasionally domestic and some airports retailers advertise their goods as duty free or tax-free, but for EU travel or for shopping on arrival, this normally means that the prices are special promotional or discounted offers. The only tax free goods available in domestic shops throughout the EU, are those offered under the VAT/IVA Sales Tax Refund shopping scheme.
Airlines operating on routes within the European Community maintain a carry-on baggage limit and this could restrict your shopping in the airport. If you buy your goods on arrival at the airport and then pack them in your checked baggage for your return journey, this potential problem is resolved. The same applies for the transit of liquids, known as LAGS.
European Union member states also operate a tax-free shopping scheme where visitors to these countries can obtain a sales tax refund on the goods they purchase during their visit. Foreign visitors who are not resident of The EU and are returning to a non EU country have the facility to use the Tax-Rebate retail scheme where the local EU sales tax, otherwise known as VAT/TVA, is refunded to you when you depart from Europe.
The refund booths can be found in most major EU airports and more details are available in our tax free and downtown shopping section, under land travel searches.
If you are arriving from outside The European Union into an airport located in an EU Member State and then connecting on a flight to another EU destination, you will not be able to buy duty free goods, such as liquors and tobaccos, at duty-free prices.
What can you buy at the airport for this journey? Other goods, like perfumes, cosmetics and gifts are available at competitive 'tax-free' equivalent prices. Any available alcohol and tobacco sales, for EU-transfer passengers, are tax and duty-paid goods.