After more than four years as the Frontier Duty Free Association’s number one priority, Canada’s land border duty free operators are celebrating the successful outcome of the strategic review by the Canadian government. The goal of the Review, which began in 2010, was to simplify the Duty Free Shop regulations and grant duty free operators greater autonomy.
Last Friday, Dec. 12, the Canadian Government issued the following announcement.
The Honorable Steven Blaney, Canada’s Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, today announced changes to the Duty Free Shop Regulations that will streamline industry requirements, as well as reduce costs and the administrative burden on both the duty free shop industry and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).
Processes will be streamlined by eliminating outdated requirements. The changes also allow the CBSA to better focus its resources on its core mandate of safety, security and the facilitation of legitimate trade and travel. The CBSA will continue to monitor compliance to ensure that duty-free products are sold for immediate export only and do not enter into the Canadian market-place. These changes follow extensive consultations with external stakeholders.
There are 53 licensed duty free shops. These shops are located at land border and international airport locations across Canada.
Duty free shops are intended only for customers who are about to leave Canada. Goods at a duty
free shop are purchased as a traveler leaves the country.
The CBSA monitors duty free shops to ensure that they comply with the government requirements set out in legislation, regulations, and policies.
The changes include the lengthening of licensing terms from five to ten years and duty free shop owners will no longer need to notify the CBSA immediately upon receipt of goods.
The Honorable Steven Blaney, Canada’s Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, comments:
“Changes to the Duty Free Shop Regulations will allow the duty free sector to continue to keep pace with today’s retail realities. They will also permit the CBSA to better focus its resources on safety, security and the facilitation of legitimate trade and travel. For the Canadian taxpayer, there is no requirement to impose strict regulations on duty free shops given their long-standing record of compliance.”
Peter Brain, FDFA president, adds: “The Frontier Duty Free Association (FDFA) – which represents land border duty free shops across Canada — is very pleased that the government has completed its Strategic Review of our sector and will now implement related changes designed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of store operations, to the benefit of government and duty free licensees.
“From the perspective of duty free licensees, completion of the review will enable FDFA members to make long term investments under a secure legal and regulatory framework, in response to intense current market challenges.”