The town of Livigno enjoys the status of free area and is therefore
exempt from certain state taxes such as VAT tax.
This status has fostered the development of tourism since the end of the fifties.
The prices of goods sold in Livigno are exempt from VAT. Among the most convenient are sugar, spirits, fuels, cosmetics, and in general all electronics products are not part of the consumer group, such as digital cameras for professional band. The decline in affordability in relation to consumer products is mainly due to competitive prices that large retail chains are able to obtain by buying in bulk large quantities of product.
In order to regulate the traffic of goods exempt from taxes, was established customs Pass Foscagno, whose main task is to ensure that compliance with the maximum quantities of exportable goods: there is a detailed table of goods related to the types and quantities of goods exported from the territory of Livigno. Customs will also have the task of controlling the regularity of the goods imported into the territory of Livigno. The remaining customs of Gallo's pass and Forcola's pass have the task of controlling the transit of persons and goods to and from the Swiss territory. This task has waned recently, following the entry of the Swiss was in the Schengen area.
The origins of the dury free dating back to the special exemptions that the local community was able to obtain, since 1538 from the County of Bormio, and subsequently confirmed by successive laws and conventions and in the course of the twentieth century.
The reasons that led to the birth of the duty free were related to the payment of duties to the neighboring county of Bormio (requirement that residents with much difficulty managed to comply, given the very low production level of income of the main economic activities of the place ) and to the isolation that has long characterized this area: just think that until the winter of 1952/53 (first year of opening Foscagno pass during the winter) the community of Livigno was completely isolated for the entire winter, until the dissolution snow in late spring.