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Shaftesbury supports Association of International Retail on tax-free shopping for tourists

The Association of International Retail, The British Retail Consortium and the New West End Company recently expressed their reaction to the Government’s announcement that the VAT Retail Export Scheme will not be extended to EU visitors and will be withdrawn for non-EU visitors to Great Britain. We share their concern about the end of tax-free shopping for tourists, and worry about its impact on London’s struggling retail sector. The pandemic has changed the retail landscape and most businesses in the sector are doing everything they can to remain open for customers in a safe and reassuring way.  The decision to end the scheme, combined with the lasting impact of the lockdown, will cause further deep distress for these retailers. We urge the Government to revisit its decision and continue to champion initiatives to help the retail and hospitality sectors, which will need support to get through the winter and in the long-term.

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