Airports Council International Europe (ACI Europe) has proposed duty and tax free shopping on arrival at airports across the European Union (EU) to support the recovery of the aviation sector.

The association, along with the European Travel Retail Confederation (ETRC), called on EU lawmakers to revise the current legislation to allow arriving passengers to shop duty free at EU airports.

The move comes after an ETRC-commissioned report found that the introduction of duty free shopping at EU airports will have significant economic benefits.

The report stated that the step would generate around €4.3bn in Gross Value Added (GVA) and €1.6bn in tax revenues, based on last year’s traffic figures.

It would also help 41,500 jobs, the report added.

Arrivals duty and tax free shops are common in several countries across the world, including airports in some European nations such as Norway, Iceland and Switzerland.

However, existing EU legislation restricts duty and tax free sales for passengers leaving the European Union.

ACI Europe director general Olivier Jankovec said: “EU airports are currently facing the most difficult trading conditions in modern history and are urgently in need of government support.

“Given the unique role that airports play as economic gateways, it is imperative that all steps are taken to keep them open through these difficult times.

“EU airports are currently losing hundreds of millions of euros of potential commercial income to their non-EU counterparts each year. Arrivals duty and tax free will allow retail sales to be displaced from third countries back to the EU airport of arrival.”

Recently, ACI Europe said that around 193 airports in Europe may face insolvency in the upcoming months, if passenger traffic does not pick up by the end of the year.