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The European Parliament

Having regard to the Council decision taken in 1991 to abolish duty and tax-free sales for travellers within the EU with effect from 1 July 1999.

1. Notes that

(a) There have been several studies published on the social and economic impact of the abolition of Duty Free sales, but that unfortunately none of these studies has been carried out by independent assessors.

(b) There is considerable concern and apprehension about the consequences of abolition on jobs, regions and transport sectors, especially in peripheral regions and in the sectors of ferry services and regional airports.

(c) In the plenary debate in the European Parliament on the Fuchs report on VAT of 20 November 1990, Mrs Scrivener, speaking on behalf of the Commission, committed the Commission to undertaking a study in respect of the abolition of Duty Free sales in the Community.

(d) The Transport Council of 17 March 1998 requested the Commission to undertake such a study.

2. Calls on the Commission:

(a) To carry out and publish an independent study into the social, economic, regional and revenue consequences of the abolition of duty and tax-free sales in the EU as a matter of absolute urgency and no later than 30 September to ensure that a clearer picture of the situation is available.

(b) To include aspects relating to employment.

3. Takes the view that specific attention must be paid to the economic problems which would arise on a number of sea crossings if Duty Free sales were abolished on board the vessels concerned and that the appropriate measures must be taken with a view to guaranteeing the operating balance on those crossings.

4. Instructs its president to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the governments of the Member States.