VAT-free shopping: Have your say to push for its return

by | Nov 16, 2023

Over the last 12 months, the British Beauty Council has been calling on government to reinstate VAT-free shopping for overseas visitors. The organisation needs your help to prove the industry backs its call

In February 2023, the British Beauty Council signed a mayoral letter to the Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt MP, from key retail businesses and industry lobby groups calling for the return of VAT-free shopping.

Upon its submission, Victoria Brownlie, Chief Policy Officer at the Council, said: ‘Sadly, the UK no longer offers tax-free shopping incentives to overseas visitors. I don’t think the Government could have foreseen the additional impact this would have on businesses… Evidence suggests that the full impact of the policy on Treasury revenues would be a net positive of £350m each year, so for us, it’s an easy-win measure for the Government to introduce which would really ease the current burden on businesses and show the rest of the world that the UK is open to visitors.’ 

Ahead of the Autumn Statement, the Council is gathering evidence from across the beauty industry to support it’s call. It has launched a short survey which is designed to understand the direct and indirect impacts of the loss of the shopping perk.

The survey asks questions surrounding drops in revenue, strategies you have implemented to safeguard business against this loss, and the impact losing VAT-free shopping has had on trading overseas.

Findings from the investigation will be used to demonstrate the scale of the impact of removing VAT free shopping on UK tourism, hospitality and retail businesses, and to evidence widespread support for its return.


Take the survey today


The survey closes on the 20th November. 

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