EURASIAN ECONOMIC UNION. The first of the much-anticipated arrivals duty free shops in Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) countries is expected to open in the first quarter of 2018, according to Eurasian Duty Free Association (EADF) Executive Director Fatima Dzoblaeva

As revealed by The Moodie Davitt Report, the door to arrivals duty free within the EEU countries – Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan – was opened in late 2016 by the introduction of a new Customs Code.

Speaking to The Moodie Davitt Report in Moscow recently, Eurasian Duty Free Association (EADF) Executive Director Fatima Dzoblaeva said that while some legislative tidying still needs to be done before the first stores will open, prospects for an important new sales channel look promising.

Eurasian Duty Free Association Executive Director Fatima Dzoblaeva: “Our expectations are that revenue from arrivals duty free could be as high as 20% of that gained from departures duty free”

“As confirmed by all member states of the EEU, the Customs Code becomes effective in all states from January 1, 2018,” she said. “National Customs legislation will also become effective starting from the same date in all EEU states.

“However, the by-laws might take additional time to be developed and put in place. For the intervening period until the new by-laws are put in place, the existing by-laws will work to the extent that they comply with the new Customs code.

“The Eurasian Duty Free Association’s (EADF) expert estimation of the timing for the first arrivals duty free shop in Russia is the first quarter of 2018.”

Russian travel retailers such as Regstaer (pictured above and below at Vnukovo Airport in Moscow) are confident of a considerable windfall from the introduction of arrivals duty free shopping

Asked how much incremental business arrivals shopping could deliver across the region, Ms Dzoblaeva said: “The EEU airports and its incumbent duty free retailers are interested in developing new markets and new opportunities whenever they arise.

“The new arrivals duty free channel will mean at least one shop per arrival area in the airports. Our expectations are that revenue from arrivals duty free could be as high as 20% of that gained from departures duty free, based on what seems to be the case in other non-EEU countries.”

Note: A full interview with Fatima Dzoblaeva will appear in the next issue of The Moodie Davitt Report Print & Interactive Edition, out in early October to coincide with TFWA World Exhibition.

Regstaer Commercial Director Vadim Sagiev says the retailer is all set to open arrivals shops early next year