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Arrivals Duty Free program

November 22, 2005

November 22, 2005


The Honourable Ralph Goodale
Minister of Finance
Minister’s Office, L’Esplanade Laurier
140 O’Connor Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0G5

Dear Minister Goodale:

Re: Arrivals Duty Free Program

The Vancouver Board of Trade is writing to request your support for implementing an "Arrivals Duty Free" program at Canadian airports. While federal policy allows the sale of duty-free goods to departing passengers, current policies do not permit the sale of duty-free goods to passengers arriving at Canadian airports. This creates a competitive disadvantage for major Canadian airports and reduces the potential revenues that could be generated from international arriving passengers.

Over 40 jurisdictions in the world have implemented an "Arrivals Duty Free" program. It generally involves the operation of a small duty-free sales area prior to the Customs Primary Inspection Line. Experience in other jurisdictions has demonstrated a number of benefits from this type of operation, including: the creation of additional local jobs; additional non-aeronautical revenue for airports, helping them to keep costs to airlines low; reduced carry-on baggage loads for aircraft (and corresponding reductions in operating costs); the ability to promote Canadian products immediately to travelers; and increased customer convenience and purchasing options.

In short, if people who wish to purchase duty-free know it is available upon arrival, they will spend their money here, and the benefits of that economic activity will accrue to Canada rather than to a foreign country.

The Board urges you to initiate the legislative and regulatory changes required to make Arrivals Duty Free possible. This is an important initiative for the Vancouver International Airport, where it would support the federal government’s Asia-Pacific Gateway strategy by making Vancouver an even more attractive North American entry point for Asian travelers. The program also will help to support the competitiveness of international terminal operations at all major Canadian airports.


Darcy Rezac
Managing Director



The Hon. David Emerson, PC, MP, Minister of Industry 


The Hon. Jean Lapierre, PC, MP, Minister of Transport

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