What Is a Duty-Free Store?


Quick Answer

A duty-free store sells merchandise that is exempt from certain local taxes and duties, which makes the merchandise cheaper than items available at regular stores. Governments allow duty-free stores because international travelers take the merchandise out of the country.

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Full Answer

Duty-free stores are often located at international airports and ports, border towns, international train stations and cruise ships. Some international flights also sell duty-free goods. Upon entering one's home country, duty-free goods bought abroad may be subject to custom duties if they exceed quantity and value restrictions. Typically, to qualify for duty-free shopping, one must have been away from one's home country for at least two days. Some countries such as Australia, Norway and the Philippines have inbound duty-free shops where arriving international passengers may purchase duty-free items, which saves them the trouble of carrying these items on the return trip.

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