View Full Version : Booze Cruises - non event

23rd Nov 2006, 12:06
The decision today NOT to ease the duties on 'imported' dutiable items from other EU States has been a non-event. For a week or more the media have hyped the decision as being likely to change the way we shop for 'duty free', highlighting the probability that things would change, whereas nothing has.
Once again the media has created a story out of nothing.


Retailers have expressed relief at a European Court ruling against allowing consumers to buy drinks and cigarettes online at lower duties from abroad.
The decision means shoppers buying cheaper goods abroad will still have to accompany the goods back themselves.
Shopkeepers said a different ruling allowing an internet bargain hunt would have hit them hard, while the Treasury said it was a victory for common sense.
The UK already loses duty of more than £1bn per year owing to "booze cruises".
And it would have lost a lot more if the ruling had gone the other way and more shoppers had turned to buying low-duty goods online.
"This clear win for the government is a victory for commonsense," said a Treasury source.


High Wing Drifter
23rd Nov 2006, 13:13
I would say it is victory for French interests more than anything.

23rd Nov 2006, 13:21
Certainly Calais would not be the place that it is today without the constant influx of British 'tourists'.
Before the EU, such events were popular with the Danes making forays into Germany. Might STILL be for all I know. Went on one once myself (by coach) - the fare was subsidised by the places at which the coach stopped for 'comfort breaks' (!) where, by coincidence, there were warehouses full of 'desirable' (to the Danes) purchases. We bought an electric iron!

23rd Nov 2006, 15:50
Just when it looks as if the EU might do something useful................

23rd Nov 2006, 22:27
Really? We used to go on a 'Butterfahrt', where we'd sail thrice from Lübeck to Denmark, ostensibly to buy cheap butter. There just might have been some duty-free alcohol for sale, too. :ok:

It cost 10DM from Münster and back. Those were the days, 4DM per Australian dollar. Three years later, it was 1.11. :mad: