Challenges to the Travel Retail industry in Asia Pacific often surface unexpectedly. Regulatory changes that are typically designed for domestic markets can impede Duty Free and Travel Retail disproportionately if a blanket implementation approach is enforced.

Working with members, fellow trade associations and related agencies, APTRA engages with governments and policy-makers to facilitate a deeper understanding of the Travel Retail industry’s pivotal role in local communities, employment, travel infrastructure, GDP and the wider economy of the region.

APTRA encourages members to be vigilant and to actively ask us to represent and assist them in dealing with issues affecting business. APTRA has represented members in this way with a number of regulatory bodies on recent issues concerning tobacco, alcohol and confectionery.

Several jurisdictions in Asia Pacific have formally recognised the Travel Retail channel’s unique status by permitting differentiated regulation. For example, in India the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has issued a directive that airport duty free shops are outside the remit of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.

Inbound allowance restrictions, local labelling requirements, and advertising restrictions are all examples of the challenges currently faced by industry stakeholders. The added complexity to APTRA’s advocacy mission is that these regulations do vary across the many countries within Asia Pacific. Hence legislation is fragmented and very country specific.

What is APTRA’s Role?

In partnership with our members, APTRA acts as an impartial body ensuring there is a voice at the table for the Travel Retail industry in public and trade consultations, with local government and authorities regarding regulatory developments which may impact the Duty Free & Travel Retail industry.

Current Challenges

  • Regulations designed and intended for the domestic market that would have an adverse effect on the unique dynamics of the Travel Retail industry
  • Lowering of duty free allowances
  • Country specific labelling requirements
  • Advertising, display and marketing restrictions on certain categories
  • Environmental regulations
Image courtesy of Changi Airport

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