Duty free plan for borough's port welcomed

Dorset Echo: DON’T PASS THE PORT: Weymouth could become a duty-free port, according to Coun Ian Bruce DON’T PASS THE PORT: Weymouth could become a duty-free port, according to Coun Ian Bruce

WEYMOUTH could become a duty-free port in an effort to attract more visitors.

Weymouth and Portland Borough Councillor Ian Bruce, who is the spokesman for tourism and leisure, said he would like to see businesses come forward to offer a duty-free service to vessels.

Council officers are investigating options as to how and if this could be done.

Coun Bruce said he saw the idea in practice on a trip to Alderney.

He said: “There’s a little shop on the harbourside, and you fill out a form and they bring it over to your yacht, or whatever type of vessel you have.

“It’s amazing how many people it attracts.”

While the idea is only in the inquiry stage at the moment, Coun Bruce said he hopes businesses would be interested in offering such a service.

He said: “It’s certainly not the kind of thing I think the council should run.

“I’m quite keen for a company to hear my idea and run with it. I think it would have to be a service where the items were taken out to the vessel.”

He added: “Within the EU you can’t get duty-free allowances but you can if you go to the Channel Islands.

“That’s one of the reasons Condor does so well. It struck me that if we offered a service like this at Weymouth, perhaps even Portland, then it would encourage people to come here because it would give them more of a reason to do so.

“People could bring their boats into Weymouth from the Solent, for example, and take advantage of the facility before heading across to the Channel Islands. Maybe they would even come on the way back.

“It’s the shortest crossing from here and you can make it in the light. The more we get people in the better, as it is earning us money.”

Mark Blunden, president of the Weymouth and Portland Chamber of Commerce, said: “Anything that helps bring business into the area is good news. It’s certain to create a few more jobs, too, which is always welcome so I hope that Councillor Bruce can make this happen.”

Comments (7)

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11:21am Mon 23 Dec 13

Get a grip says...

Staggering.
Staggering. Get a grip

11:27am Mon 23 Dec 13

shy talk says...

So to get the duty free allowances does this mean I have to moor up in Weymouth Harbour and pay mooring fees? Or for example sail from Portland anchor off in the bay and place my order if allowed, then back to Portland.

The reason a duty free port works for Alderney is its location. Looking at the duty free allowances for Alderney it is not that much just a small bonus. It works out cheaper to go across the Channel and buy duty paid and get more for your personal use for example France.

If this proposal goes ahead and attracts more visitor all well and good.
So to get the duty free allowances does this mean I have to moor up in Weymouth Harbour and pay mooring fees? Or for example sail from Portland anchor off in the bay and place my order if allowed, then back to Portland. The reason a duty free port works for Alderney is its location. Looking at the duty free allowances for Alderney it is not that much just a small bonus. It works out cheaper to go across the Channel and buy duty paid and get more for your personal use for example France. If this proposal goes ahead and attracts more visitor all well and good. shy talk

11:41am Mon 23 Dec 13

arlbergbahn says...

isn't the reason the Channel Islands are able to do so because they're not part of the EU, even though they're part of the UK, due to a convenient loophole dating back to the days of William the Conqueror? I'm glad to see a bit of imaginative thinking coming from W&PBC, but I think, unless, and this may of course be possible, I am wrong, Weymouth would have to leave the EU first for it to be possible.
isn't the reason the Channel Islands are able to do so because they're not part of the EU, even though they're part of the UK, due to a convenient loophole dating back to the days of William the Conqueror? I'm glad to see a bit of imaginative thinking coming from W&PBC, but I think, unless, and this may of course be possible, I am wrong, Weymouth would have to leave the EU first for it to be possible. arlbergbahn

6:32pm Mon 23 Dec 13

smilealoft44 says...

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha arrrrr ha ha ha dont make me laugh,
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha arrrrr ha ha ha dont make me laugh, smilealoft44

7:11pm Mon 23 Dec 13

X Old Bill says...

In order to claim a refund of VAT and or excise duty on goods purchased in the UK you must show that you are leaving the EU, not just the UK, with the goods within a short time.
So that rules out anyone from France, or anywhere else in the EU.
Maybe a Channel Islander would like to buy DF goods at the same price as he can get them at home and take them back with him - unlikely.
So that just leaves Iceland and Norway as possible destinations for small yacht owners. I know that both these countries operate a system of VAT and excise refund because I have taken advantage of it myself, so it might work the other way if they can attract enough of them.....
In order to claim a refund of VAT and or excise duty on goods purchased in the UK you must show that you are leaving the EU, not just the UK, with the goods within a short time. So that rules out anyone from France, or anywhere else in the EU. Maybe a Channel Islander would like to buy DF goods at the same price as he can get them at home and take them back with him - unlikely. So that just leaves Iceland and Norway as possible destinations for small yacht owners. I know that both these countries operate a system of VAT and excise refund because I have taken advantage of it myself, so it might work the other way if they can attract enough of them..... X Old Bill

4:41pm Fri 27 Dec 13

weymouthfox says...

Alderney is not in the European Union and like all the Channel Islands has low rates of tax and duty. Weymouth is sadly still part of the EU and quite a different place to Alderney. You have to wonder where some of these councillors left their brains..............
....
Alderney is not in the European Union and like all the Channel Islands has low rates of tax and duty. Weymouth is sadly still part of the EU and quite a different place to Alderney. You have to wonder where some of these councillors left their brains.............. .... weymouthfox

8:04pm Sat 28 Dec 13

JamesYoung says...

I have my doubts about this too. Technically, a vessel leaving Weymouth for the Channel Islands could use the service, but that's pretty much the only destination, which would mean that, in all likelihood, it would be abused pretty quickly and HMRC would be all over it.
I have my doubts about this too. Technically, a vessel leaving Weymouth for the Channel Islands could use the service, but that's pretty much the only destination, which would mean that, in all likelihood, it would be abused pretty quickly and HMRC would be all over it. JamesYoung

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