Breakthrough in Indian labelling for duty free?

Following a recent legal action by one retailer in India, the industry could be seeing the light at the end of what has been a long dark tunnel.  The High Court in Mumbai has given a 6 month stay until March 2015, ruling in favour of the duty free retailer after a writ was filed seeking interim relief. The Indian Food Safety Standards Association (FSSAI) has yet to respond.
The ruling orders the FSSAI to give No Objection Certificates to the retailer and clear all consignments without applying the FSSAI acts and rules. The ruling also restrains the FSSAI and its officers from applying the act, its rules and regulations on the retailer and any goods sold in its duty free shops.
While this is only a temporary ruling and pending final judgement, it is a considerable breakthrough in what has been a long process, where discussions with the FSSAI directly have proved to be fruitless.  

For more information, please contact Michael Barrett (

 India tobacco allowances

Following the decision by the Indian government to reduce the tobacco allowance for inbound passengers from 200 to 100 sticks earlier this year, APTRA is calling on retailers around the world to take heed of the new regulations on inbound allowances of tobacco goods when they sell to passengers who are travelling to India.

 Although the rules vary from one airport to another, customs authorities at several Indian airports, including Cochin and Hyderabad, are already implementing the strict new inbound duty free tobacco allowances which were announced in July by the Central Board of Excise & Customs in Mumbai. Either they are confiscating purchases which exceed the new limit of 100 sticks, 25 cigars or 125 grams of tobacco per adult or they are demanding payment of the duty on any purchase which exceeds that amount.


Jaya Singh, President APTRA, commented “APTRA and its partners in the duty free and travel retail industry appeal to retailers to act responsibly and advise customers of the new limits on tobacco bound for India. This confusion is damaging the image of our entire industry and acting as a severe disincentive to passengers to shop in our stores.”

New database and website launched

APTRA’s new comprehensive member database is now live and accessible directly from the APTRA website homepage or via this link: The database enables members to search intelligently for industry contacts by country, airport, category and retailer or by airline/airline retailer to assist members to connect with exactly the right person in the right place in order to facilitate more efficient business. Supplier contact details are also displayed in the database. The initiative is part of APTRA’s strategy to facilitate networking and drive growth for the industry. It is a highly useful tool, especially for new companies joining the industry or smaller companies who do not have access to key players and decision makers.
As APTRA President Jaya Singh commented: “The value-add for members is clear. This is only the first milestone and many companies and key people will recognise the scalability and the all-round benefits that this brings. The potential growth of the database going forward is indeed exciting. Most importantly, in the feedback culture that we have actively encouraged, this is exactly what the members were asking for.” To read the full press release, click here.
When accessing the database via the website, members will be able to discover a “new look” website. While the main functions and sections remain the same, the architecture and system on which it has been developed provides for greater efficiency and ease of navigation. To facilitate membership fee payments, a Paypal payment facility has been added to the site, which enables companies to pay via credit card on Paypal, even if they don’t have a Paypal account. 

The members’ only section, where exclusive research reports only available to APTRA’s members as well as the full directory of members contact details can be found, is accessible through Login and Password as with the database. Members will receive a separate email explaining how the login and registration process functions for both the members’ area and database. 

RRTP rolls out with Changi and DFS


Staff working in DFS stores at Singapore Changi Airport are the first travel retail professionals to embark on the new APTRA Responsible Retail Training Programme (RRTP). Two back office and 16 front line sales staff have started the web-based modules and the remaining 14 sales staff will commence training when shift patterns and workload permit. The RRTP is a bespoke training package for customer service staff in airports, ferries and downtown duty free stores which is designed to implement the principles of the Self-regulatory Code of Conduct for Alcohol Sales which APTRA introduced in 2012.
The objective is to ensure that staff members respect local and international sales regulations when selling alcohol in duty free and travel retail stores and refrain from selling to passengers whose purchases may be seized by customs authorities on their onward journey. The programme has drawn other retailers too, with WDFG and Dufry Cambodia also enrolling their staff through the training.
APTRA President Jaya Singh said retailers are strongly encouraged to follow suit to demonstrate the industry-wide responsible approach to liquor retailing. “I urge all those travel retailers who are engaged in liquor sales to contact us and arrange to take part in this training programme. The more members of the industry who embrace the fine principles outlined in our Code of Conduct, and are seen to do so, the better our reputation as an industry will become and the more our views will be embraced in advocacy issues in the future.”

For more information on how to enroll your staff in the Responsible Retail Training Programme, please contact Michael Barrett or Gerri Goh. 

Latest Member Research now available :
Impact of Security Regulations on Travel Retail and Food & Beverage

The fourth part of the 2014 APTRA research programme is now available for members’ in the dedicated area of the website. The report, commissioned from the Swiss based research company m1nd-set deals with the impact of security regulations and airline rules on how passengers adapt their shopping behaviour in airports across Asia Pacific. The report reveals some interesting insights on how the regulations have a significant influence on passenger behaviour; 70% of passengers refrain from purchasing liquor due to security regulations. More worrying is that in some markets, passengers reason for not purchasing is lack of information about the rules.
Members can access all reports in the members’ only section of the APTRA website. Other reports already available on the website include a Fashion & Accessory category report, a special focus on the eyewear category and a report on gifting in duty free. Please note that, as mentioned in the previous article, as the website has been upgraded, members will need to re-register to access the members’ section.
For further information on all report findings, please contact Peter Mohn on

In the spotlight: Andrew Ford, DFS


From supplier to TFWA CEO to retailer, there are few industry executives with such an all-rounded perspective on the duty free and travel retail industry. DFS Senior Vice President for Global Business Development Andrew Ford was voted onto the board of APTRA at the last AGM in May, as a returning member of the board as Andrew helped found the association back in 2005.
Read about Andrew’s vision for the industry, his motivations and passion on the APTRA website here.


China’s Century Shanghai 2015

Preparations are in full swing for the second edition of the China’s Century conference. The event, which is organised by TFWA in partnership with APTRA will be held in Shanghai from 10-12 March 2015 at the Jing An Shangri-La Hotel. Registration for the event will begin on 10 December via the TFWA website.

TFWA is already in discussion with a number of airport authorities, airlines, brands and retailers about sponsorship opportunities for the event. Interested parties should contact Marissa Phanivong for details of the various options: / +33 140 740 986.

TFWA are expecting around 400 delegates at the event, which met with much success for its first edition in Beijing last year. The event brings together senior executives from premium and luxury brands from around the world as well as decision makers from Chinese and international airports and airlines, as well as airport retailers from both China and around the world.

The conference was inaugurated to help TFWA and APTRA’s members and the wider duty free & travel retail industry gain a deeper understanding of the Chinese market, which has become crucial to the health of the duty free and luxury goods sectors. The conference content is designed not only to explore the retail opportunities created by infrastructure developments within China, but also to understand the Chinese traveller’s needs and expectations. For more information, visit


News from the World Council

Kshitij Goyal (K pronounced Kay) has commenced work at the DFWC office in Paris as assistant to Frank O’Connell.

K recently completed his coursework for Master in Management from ESCP Europe Business School, Paris. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering(Computer Science) degree from Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani – Dubai. K’s fields of interest include market research and international business development and in his spare time he enjoys playing polo on weekends at Polo club de Chantilly, an hour drive from Paris.

Asia Pacific airlines take the lead


  According to a report by IATA, airlines in Asia Pacific carried around one billion passengers in 2013, an increase of over 9%, making it the leading region for air travel. Europe came second and North America third with 825 and 818 million passengers respectively. The leading routes in the region, according to the article on travel trade publication TTG, were Hong Kong-Taipei and Jakarta-Singapore. See the article on the TTG here.

According to an another article in the same publication, a report by OAG Aviation Worldwide reveals that Asia has emerged as the leader in low-cost long-haul aviation. Traditionally a short-haul service when first launched in Europe and North America, Asia’s low cost airlines are adapting the service to flights of up to 8 hours. The report reveals how, although growth of the LCC sector has been slow in China, the market will be a key player in the coming years following new measures introduced by the government which will drive growth in the market. Read the full article here to find out more about the key routes and future players in this fast-growing sector.

PATA releases Young Asian Traveller Report

logo-PATAIn response to the rapid growth of economies across Asia and the boom of travel among the younger generations, The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) has published a comprehensive report which focusses on the phenomenon of “The Rise of the Young Asian Traveller”. Designed to increase the understanding of this fast growing traveller segment, the report looks at a number of aspects which will provide valuable insights to travel and tourism industry professionals across the world.

 Some of the questions the report addresses include why youth travel doesn’t necessarily mean budget travel in Asia, the impact of mobile technology on travel consumption and what influences their travel decisions. To purchase and read the full report, visit  

Policy watch : Liquor labelling in Indonesia

Reports in the Indonesian press have signalled that the Indonesian government is considering a law on plain packaging or graphic health warnings on alcohol products.

While no timeframe is mentioned yet, nor is there any mention of duty free, the industry is justifiably concerned by the news as the law, if implemented, would have damaging effects on duty free sales in the country if duty free is not exempt from the legislation.

See the article on the Jakarta Post website here.

Policy watch : Bhutan raises inbound allowance

It is not common to read about allowance increases in tobacco, but the Bhutan parliament’s decision to increase the allowance is a demonstration of the industry’s arguments on allowances being enforced. By raising the personal limits the government aims to curb the proliferation of tobacco in the black market.

As reported in the Indo-Asian News Service last month, the allowance has been raised from 80 cigarettes to 800 cigarettes, 150 pieces of cigars, and 750 gm of other tobacco or tobacco products a month. The sale, distribution or cultivation of tobacco in the country remains a criminal offense.

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