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What is Duty-Free?
Meaning, Origin, Popular Use, and Synonyms

Duty-free - osam tour

What is Duty-Free?

Duty-free refers to merchandise that is exempt from certain taxes and import duties, making it available for purchase at airports, international borders, and designated stores without the typical taxes and tariffs applied to goods sold in a country. Travelers often encounter duty-free shops in airports and other departure or arrival points, where they can buy various products, including alcohol, tobacco, cosmetics, electronics, and luxury items, at reduced prices.

The duty-free shopping experience is a popular perk for travelers, allowing them to enjoy savings on high-quality products that may be more expensive in their home countries due to taxes and import duties.

Origins of the term Duty-Free

The concept of duty-free shopping dates back to the mid-20th century when it was introduced to boost tourism and international trade. The first modern duty-free shop was established in Ireland’s Shannon Airport in 1947 by entrepreneur Brendan O’Regan. This innovative concept allowed departing passengers to purchase goods without the burden of customs duties and taxes, incentivizing travel and boosting airport revenues.

The success of the Shannon Airport duty-free shop led to the widespread adoption of duty-free shopping at airports and other international travel hubs worldwide.

Where is the term Duty-Free commonly used?

The term “duty-free” is commonly used in the context of international travel, particularly at airports, seaports, and border crossings. Duty-free shops are strategically located in departure and arrival areas, catering to both outbound and inbound travelers.

Duty-free shopping is a significant attraction for travelers, offering them the opportunity to purchase quality products at reduced prices, making it an integral part of the travel experience.

Synonyms of the term Duty-Free

The term “duty-free” is widely recognized and commonly used. As such, there are no widely recognized synonyms for this specific concept within the context of international travel and shopping.

How to say Duty-Free in other languages?

Translation - osam tour

Here’s how to say “duty-free” in various languages:

  • Spanish: Libre de impuestos or Libre de derechos
  • Italian: Duty-free (pronounced: DOO-tee-free)
  • French: Hors taxes or Exonéré de droits
  • German: Zollfrei or Duty-free (pronounced: DOO-tee-free)
  • Chinese: 免税 (Simplified Chinese: Miǎnshuì)
  • Hindi: शुल्कमुक्त (Devanagari: शुल्कमुक्त)
  • Japanese: 免税 (Katakana: メンゼイ)
  • Arabic: خالٍ من الرسوم (Transliteration: Khālin min ar-rusūm)
  • Russian: Без пошлины (Transliteration: Bez poshliny)
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