Phantom EU Duty Free, Bradbourn and the one bag rule
Wednesday, February 29 2012
MEP Mike Nattrass states a campaign by a fellow West Midlands MEP against the one-bag rule on low cost airlines will lead to the creation of an unfair marketplace by favouring EU airport retailers as there is no ‘Duty Free’ in airports for EU citizens on internal EU flights.
UKIP Transport Spokesman Mike Nattrass says Philip Bradbourn’s Motion to the EU Commission, concerning air passenger baggage restrictions, will lead to airports tightening their grip on retail sales and see yet more luggage being forced into limited aircraft cabin lockers.
Mike Nattrass says Philip Bradbourn’s Motion to the European Commission ‘on the future of regional airports and air services in the EU’ and so-called ‘duty free’ could open a flight path towards stifling free retail trade.
Mike Nattrass MEP, who is a member of the EU’s Transport & Tourism Committee, said: “Airports have around 60 per cent of the global "duty free" market, whereas airlines only have seven per cent.
“Why do the EU wish to design legislation to protect a dominant player in the market and perhaps actually create an anti-competitive marketplace?
“The term ‘duty free’ should not be used at all as duty free sales do not exist within the EU for EU travelers. The Commission itself abolished the practice more than 10 years ago.
Ivor Smith, Director of Birmingham-based Arrivals Duty Free Ltd, which provides online global information on duty free and tax free shopping, said: “The proposals will force more baggage back into aircraft cabin lockers where space is frequently limited.
“The motion appears to be more designed to protect and ring-fence EU airport retail – a negative, protective and monopolistic strategy.
“The harmonisation of duties across the EU did not happen, so the legislation would give airports in low excise duty areas an advantage. In effect Mr Bradbourn’s motion favours airports in countries such as Spain, not Britain,” he added.