A duty free shop or a duty free store represents a retail outlet that is exempted from the payment of specific local or national duties or taxes, on condition that the goods available for selling will be sold to travelers who will take them out of the country. Depending on the jurisdiction of the country, only some products can be sold in this duty-free regime; moreover, the way in which they are sold, the process of determining the duty or reimbursement of the duty factor also varies depending on the jurisdiction.
On the other hand, some countries may impose duty on the goods brought into the respective country, even though they have been bought from a duty free shop in another country, or if the quantity or value of goods exceeds the acceptable limit. Duty free shops are found most of the times in the international zones of international sea ports and airports, but these types of goods can also be purchased duty-free on passenger ships and board airplanes. Duty-free shops are not as frequently available for train or road travelers. However, there are several border crossings between Canada and the Unites States of America that have duty free shops for those who travel by car. Some countries offer any shop the possibility to participate in a repayment system, for instance, Global Blue, where an amount of money equivalent to the tax is paid, but after the goods are presented to the customs, the amount is refunded on exit.
In 1999, this type of duty-free shop was abolished for intra-EU travelers, but is kept for people whose final destination is outside the European Union; these duty free shops also sell to intra-EU travelers but with suitable taxes. There are some special member state territories for example, Livigno, Åland and the Canary Islands, which are all within the European Union, but they are outside the EU tax union, and therefore, still carry on duty-free sales for all travelers.
In 1947, it was established the first duty free shop in the world. This duty free store is still in service today at Shannon Airport in Ireland and was founded by Brendan O’Regan. The shop was intended to provide a service for the passengers of the Trans-Atlantic airlines who usually travelled between North America and Europe and whose flights stopped so that they could make a refill on outbound and inbound legs of their trips. The store was an instant success and it has been globally copied since then.