NAJ News

Tax Free Shopping must return urges NAJ

24 May 2023


NAJ Principal Officer Ben Massey attended a Ministerial roundtable this week and reported the impact that the continued absence of the VAT return scheme is having on jewellery businesses across the country.

The consumer goods roundtable, chaired by Kevin Hollinrake MP, Minister for Enterprise, Markets and Small Business, enables the government to consult with trade representatives to better inform policy and associated activities. Massey, reporting on behalf of NAJ members, explained how the lack of a scheme is affecting jewellery retailers and the domestic supply chain.

Ben Massey said,

“Our members are reporting a real impact on international visitors choosing to buy their luxury goods from other destinations around the world. This isn’t just an issue in places like London and Edinburgh but impacts the whole of the UK, including supply chains. 

“It’s important we also don’t just focus on the international visitors, but also the secondary impact of UK residents that are also seeking tax-free shopping by visiting cities such as Paris as part of a weekend city break. At a time when business is challenging, particularly around the middle market – reform in this area will give a real boost to NAJ Members and luxury retail more widely."

VAT-return scheme must return

Following calls made by Burberry Chairman Gerry Murphy at a recent business connect hosted by the Prime minister, 68 retail, hospitality and tourism bosses have published an open letter addressed to the government to scrap the tax.  Working in collaboration with other trade representatives, the NAJ Principal Officer continues to lobby for the scheme to be reintroduced following Jeremy Hunt's decision to undo many of his predecessor's budgetary announcements published in September.

Associated trade bodies in other luxury goods sectors, including furniture, fashion, and footwear, were also part of this roundtable discussion which highlighted issues around skills for UK manufacturing, access and support for international trade shows, and the ongoing issues facing customs processes. Energy support also remains a real issue.


Source: National Association of Jewellers