I have personal experience about Finland, but I've heard that this applies also in another countries.

If you are a passenger and going to domestic flight, you cannot do shopping in tax free shops in airport. I understand this, but why cannot those shops sell items to domestic passengers and just include taxes on those goods?

  • I believe its because they are in a specially designated trade zone; where taxing is not allowed. Similar to many free trade zones around ports. Commented Oct 16, 2014 at 20:14
  • 1
    The funny thing is nothing stops you from getting a 20 euro boarding pass from Ryanair (which does fly outside the EU in some cases) and buying as much duty-free as you want.
    – JonathanReez
    Commented Sep 4, 2016 at 16:20
  • Just a small point that this is not a universal rule - in the US, where they collect sales tax (but don't refund it, with some rare exceptions), there is no difference in the prices of the shops at airports - and in Dubai where there is no sales tax, there is no difference either. Commented Sep 4, 2016 at 16:24

2 Answers 2


It really depends on the shop location and airport layout. If the duty-free shop is only in the international departures zone then they probably don't set up a tax-in/tax-out process in their cash register. Therefore they have no process to sell with tax.

If the shop is in a mixed departures zone or public space then they have a gate delivery process and sometimes do have a tax-in option at the register. Copenhagen airport does - I went to buy some small things there, they asked for passport and boarding pass, I told them where I was going and they just rang it up with Danish tax.


I am Brazilian, and in Brazil, as well as in most Latin American countries, the Duty Free shop in inside International Departure/Arrivals area, so it's impossible to get there in the case of domestic flights. I have lived in Germany, and how domestic and international flights (In Europe it's hard to separated domestic and international, because should be considerated if the country is Schengen or not) depart, most of the times, from the same hall, the Duty Free is accessible for both passengers. I remembered that most itens were duty paid, except for cigarets, destinated just for people fighting outside EU. Also they sold duty paid cigarets. I don't know why this shops are stil called Duty Free, because just few itens are indeed duty free (I remember just cigarets).


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