Travelers can avoid tax-free temptations

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Norway’s state airport authority Avinor has bowed to criticism and decided to redesign its airports’ international terminals around the country, so that airline travelers won’t be funneled straight into tax-free shopping areas.

“We stand corrected,” Dag Falk-Petersen, head of Avinor, told newspaper Aftenposten on Friday. “Landing in Norway and then right into a liquor store isn’t the profile we’d like to have for our airports.”

Debate has flown over duty- or tax-free shopping in Norway, not least since the last left-center government increased duty-free allowances and the new conservative government allowed travelers to bring two more bottles of tax-free wine into the country if they don’t use their tobacco quota. State wine and liquor monopoly Vinmonopolet, which exists to strictly regulate alcohol consumption in Norway, complained that the brisk business done by Avinor’s duty-free shops poses a serious competitive threat.

Now, at least, passengers won’t need to pass through duty-free sales areas when passing through the airports. Oslo’s main airport at Gardermoen will be the first to be remodeled so that passengers won’t be met upon arrival with shelves full of wine and liquor at duty-free prices. Falk-Petersen said it also will be easier to avoid the tax-free sales areas entirely. staff