Ten Things You Need To Know About Duty Free

November 16, 2021

Since the return of Duty Free at the start of 2021, our passengers have been able to buy a range of spirits, wines and beers with huge savings versus the UK high street.

But if you’re asking yourself what Duty Free actually means and what savings you could get, then read on…

1. Something old, something new

While many associate Duty Free with the great deals of the nineties, Duty Free is actually a new thing. Duty-free shopping made a welcome return to DFDS’ cross-channel ferry routes on 1 January 2021 for the first time since 1999 following changes to regulations that resulted from Brexit.

British passengers travelling to EU countries now do not have to pay tax (‘duty’) on a variety of products. Not paying that tax can cut the cost of many items by between 20 to 50 per cent.

2. You have specific allowances of how much Duty Free you can bring into a country

The allowances are generous though, don’t worry! It’s worth checking them before you travel though, as there are different allowances depending on whether you enter the UK or enter Europe with your Duty Free goodies. These handy infographics set out just how much you can purchase. Each member of a group or family aged over 18 is entitled to this personal allowance.

Duty Free Allowances

3. You can’t fulfil allowances each way on same trip

Unfortunately you can’t fulfil your allowances on both legs of your trip if you will have all of them with you. For example, if you sailed to France for the day, you would be unable to buy your maximum Duty Free allowances on entry to France, then bring them back on return to the UK, and purchase your allowances on entering the UK.

The maximum allowances on entering each area (UK & Europe) are stated on the infographics above.

4. You can save hundreds of ££

You could save over £220 on a trolley full of Duty Free beers, wines and spirits when you shop at our Dunkerque Duty Free Shop. With savings of between 20 – 50% versus the UK high street, you get much more for your money.*

* All items are subject to availability. The sale of alcohol and tobacco is forbidden to people under the age of 18. Proof of age may be required. All high street price comparisons relate to the UK and are correct as of 20/09/21. Some items are calculated on a pro-rata basis against a smaller sized bottle or pack. Offers valid 04/11/21 – 01/02/22

Ten Things You Need To Know About Duty Free - Header

5. It’s not just alcohol!

While big savings can be made on spirits, wines, and beers, these aren’t the only products in our Duty Free stores. Premium perfumes, skincare and cosmetics are available, as well as a wide choice of electronics, technology and Lego for kids and big kids alike!

Duty Free Products - Perfume

6. It’s not just onboard

You can browse our Duty Free Shops onboard all our ships from the UK to Europe. If you are travelling from the UK to France, you can also visit our dedicated Duty Free Store at the Port of Dunkerque. Here you can buy bulkier items and pop them straight in your boot as there is plenty of parking outside. A similar shoreside Duty Free Shop will be opening at Port of Calais in 2022.

7. Prices are regularly compared against high street stores

We regularly check prices of some of the UK’s leading supermarkets and benchmark our alcohol prices against these to ensure you are getting some of the best deals around.

8. Try before you buy

We regularly have wine and whisky tastings onboard and in our Dunkerque Duty Free Shop. We want to make sure you are happy with your purchases before you buy them.

Duty Free - Wine Tasting

9. Leave the car at home

Coming in 2022, you’ll have the option to leave the car at home with our DFDS Duty Free Coach Trips. Running from Thursdays – Sundays with multiple stops from London – Kent – Dover, you can hop onboard and enjoy a day of retail therapy, with meals included too!

10. Look out for our Click and Reserve service

Coming soon, our Click and Reserve service. Order your items online and pick them up at our Duty Free Store. An easy way to make big savings!

Find out more about Duty Free with DFDS here.

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