Strong industry support for the Duty Free World Council and Tax Free World Association anti-illicit trade declaration as DF:TTS campaign takes next steps
4 October 2023
The Duty Free World Council and Tax Free World Association anti-illicit trade declaration received a strong endorsement from the travel retail industry at an event held today at the TFWA World Exhibition and Conference in Cannes, France.
The event marks the next step in the Duty Free: Trusted, Transparent, Secure campaign. The campaign, jointly launched by the DFWC and TFWA in 2022 is a global campaign to coordinate and demonstrate a clear stance by the duty free industry against illicit trade, counterfeiting and intellectual property theft.
Attendees at the event heard an address from DFWC President Sarah Branquinho, followed by a panel discussion with senior industry figures Nuno Amaral (ARI), Lucio Rosetto (Lagardere Travel Retail), Thab Musleh (Qatar Duty Free), and Michael Schmidt (Dubai Duty Free), moderated by TFWA Managing Director John Rimmer.
Speakers at the event were unanimous in their commitment to opposing illicit trade and other criminal activities wherever they occur, and reiterating the industry’s desire to collaborate with governments and enforcement agencies at every opportunity. Each had tangible examples of the way that illicit trade poses economic and reputation risks to the industry, and the need for a concerted all of industry approach to reinforcing the industry’s credentials as an authentic and trusted channel.
Branquinho also set out the anticipated next steps for the DF:TTS campaign, noting an intention by DFWC and TFWA to use the declaration in focused stakeholder engagement in 2024, and a commitment to growing industry participation further.
Speaking at the event, Branquinho said:
“Our industry needs to be synonymous with honesty, authenticity and integrity. We already boast one of the most transparent and secure supply chains in the world, and we have a strong history of close collaboration with customs authorities and enforcement agencies across the globe.”
“We are proud of the level of support in our industry for the declaration, and we encourage all retailers and suppliers to sign up to this important initiative.”
Speaking at the opening of the TFWA Conference earlier in the week, TFWA President Erik Juul-Mortensen highlighted the importance of a clear zero tolerance stance against illicit trade across the industry:
“We need to reinforce our credibility and clearly and publicly position ourselves as a model business, committing to the values that governments, regulators – and our customers – want to see: authenticity, trading honestly, and taking a zero-tolerance approach to illicit trading, counterfeiting and intellectual property theft across every product category.
These criminal activities unfairly tarnish our collective reputation as an industry when counterfeit goods are fraudulently mislabelled as ‘duty free’ to add authenticity. They cost industries like duty free and travel retail millions every year in lost sales opportunities.
I salute the retailers and suppliers who have already shown leadership by signing up to the Duty Free: Trusted, Transparent, Secure campaign, and I urge every retailer and supplier here today to do the same."