Should Duty-Free Shops On Airports Be Closed?

Should Duty-Free Shops On Airports Be Closed?

Last week, the news hit the market that smugglers are utilizing the duty-free shops at International Airport in capital city to bring gold into the nation, forcing customs officials to step up vigil. Also, in an attempt to stop smuggling mainly by ground handling staff and airlines crew, the Customs is looking to take necessary measures to regulate use of cell phones inside the airport premises. Many such problems were highlighted during a recently held meeting by officials of DRI with representatives of immigration, customers, airlines, Central Industrial Security Force, and Delhi International Airport Limited.

The representatives highlighted various instances where air travelers hide yellow metal in duty-free shop purportedly with the involvement of ground handling staff managing it. Thereafter, the gold was ferried out of the premises by the personnel working there. This matter poses a question, Should Duty-Free Shops On Airports Be Closed?


1. There are many grave reasons for not having duty-free shops on airports, and the most important reason is security. Duty-free shops create a big loop hole in the security system of an airport, and the gold smuggling cases highlight the problem.

2. Duty-free shops give an unfair advantage to overseas passengers to purchase duty-free products to be used at home, while other people who don’t take foreign trips pay value-added taxes and customs to purchase them.

3. The duty-free shops result in more inconveniences to travelers as it makes the customs areas and baggage claims crowded posing increased threat to security.

4. Travelers think that they are getting best deals at duty-free shops, but it is not always true. The luxury items, beauty products and electronic goods generally cost less at online stores or home.

5. The idea of having duty-free shops is to increase revenue. However, it can work other way round and force the authorities to spend more on increasing security know-how and personnel.


1. Duty-free sales are an integral part of airport operations and accounts for a big source of revenue. Therefore, they should not be closed without any strong reason.

2. Airport authorities enhance the profitability and services offered by having duty-free shops on airport.

3. Air travel industry is a service industry and it is very important to continue measures to improve the services, and putting convenience of passengers at the top of priority list.

4. The duty-free shops make it easier for visitors to do shopping in the nation. In fact foreign visitors can buy the products right at airport.

5. Shopping at duty-free stores is just a luxury to kill time and spice up the extended journey. It also rescues passengers who have forgot to buy gifts for their loved ones.

6. Regarding gold smuggling, the authorities can improve the security system to detect the loopholes and eliminate them. Duty-free shops cannot be blamed for this problem.


The problem of gold smuggling raised a question about the significance of duty-free shops. After analyzing the pros and cons, it is evident that airports do make significant revenues from these shops. At the same time, the passengers equally enjoy shopping from duty-free shops. The idea of closing these shops just because there is a rise in gold smuggling is purely a vague measure. The need is to strengthen the security system and eliminate the loop holes that lead to the cases of smuggling.
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  • RE: Should Duty-Free Shops On Airports Be Closed? -Deepa Kaushik (08/31/15)
  • Duty free shops are not the only way of smuggling the yellow element. It isjust oneof the various measures to carry-on this illegal operation. Duty-free stores do provide the shelter for these illegal activities, but we cannot close down every outlet or day-to-day activity in order to avoid smuggling.

    The way to curb smuggling is to take hold of the smugglers into custody. Instead of catching these culprits, shattering our own deveopment is like lighting self on fire. We should be sensible while making decisions and evaluate and analyse our priority list first. Security of the country is our prime concern, then comes the economy and lastly comes the luxury and showcasting elements.

    For the security, we need to scrutize our security measures and remove the loopholes in the security check. Shutting down the shops altogether is no good, as it would not cease the actual problem of smuggling. On the contrary, closure of these shops would decrease the revenue for the nation. We should maintain a balance while scrutinizing security along with adding to our economy through these revenues. If we can maintain this equilibrium, we can definitely attract more visitors which would passively add to our economic growth.

    Precisely, it would not be an actual resolution by closing down the duty-free shops.