Duty-Free-holiday destinations: Where the customs hut on the ski slope


    The Tyrolean Ischgl is a worldwide known Paradise for skiers, with More than 40 ski lifts and more than 200 kilometres of slopes are to be found there – one of the largest areas in Austria – and internationally-notorious Après-Ski scene at the base station. But the greatest peculiarity surprised the skiers in the 2700 meters of altitude, when he leaves the chairlift. There is a snowy Container, a customs house is all of a sudden. Prepared by the Austrian customs, because a few metres further on, the European Union, and Switzerland begins.

    Dyrk Scherff

    editor in the area of “money & More” the Frankfurt General Sunday newspaper.

    F. A. Z.

    The skier to take the hardly true, you just drive over to the neighboring country, because the ski area is across the border discover with a common Ticket. The journey to the Engadine has its charm, the mountain huts entice you with Rösti and other Swiss Goodies. But it offers another special feature: A shopping tour on the edge of the Piste down in the village of Samnaun. The is attractive, because the prices are significantly lower than those in Austria or Germany. Especially tobacco, there is significantly cheaper. The carton of cigarettes, there are half-price, also alcohol, perfume and confectionery are part of something cheaper, such as a price test of the F. A. S. shows.

    This is the special Status of Samnaun, Because the 800-strong community, a duty-free area. This privilege has since 1892. She was only of the Tyrol, it lacked an access road from Switzerland. The centralization of the Swiss customs in 1848, continued the trade with Tyrol abruptly to an end. Thus, the inhabitants of Samnaun had lost an important source of income. The duty-free should be a compensation for it. Even after construction of a road from the Church in the rest of Switzerland in 1912, the residents were allowed to retain the privilege.

    It means that the Were only very few charges today levied. This price advantage is the dealer and made a deal out of it. The Duty-Free shops, the tourists, especially from the airports know, is one of the most important economic factors in the municipality. Everywhere in the resort is it advertised. Around 50 stores there are now in place that can directly be used with skis, but also by cable car from Ischgl achieved. Who’s coming then with his purchases back to Austria, you must take note of the permitted allowances of 300 Euro, the Goods must not be subsequently taxed. Therefore the Austrian customs has set up in the ski area, a customs house, but that is mostly empty. He is in control of the skier on skis.

    Samnaun is not the only area in Europe that has become due to special arrangements for customs and taxes to a shopping Paradise for tourists. In the Alps there is Similar even in the Northern Italian ski resort of Livigno, on the border with Switzerland, not so far away from Samnaun. But also in warmer climes such shopping lure idylls. For example, on the Canary Islands, Gibraltar, or on mount Athos in Greece, in the North of Cyprus, or the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla in North Africa. Or the North, in the British channel, as well as the Finnish åland Islands. And in the non-European territories of France (such as Martinique) and the Netherlands (Curaçao). And even in Germany on the island of Helgoland and Büsingen in Basel.

    Customs exemptions on the European level

    apply This to all areas of the state belong legally to the European Union (except Samnaun), but not to the European customs territory, or, at least, not to the EU tax area, in the minimum rates for consumption and value added taxes. You can then raise local taxes to do this, but often, the retail boost. The special status everywhere is decades old and remained the same even as the Duty-Free sales in the European was abolished the internal market in 1999. Was founded in, as a rule, with a geographical disadvantage, be it as an island or as a remote village in the mountains. On the way in these special areas of tourist duty – and tax-free shopping, namely, the on-Board sales in airplanes, and on cruise ships, when you leave the European territory. For both of these routes a higher level of free apply even borders, for every kind of traveler there are a total of 430 Euro.