Vatfree.com
How can I safely share a copy of my passport? /

We encourage you to block the sensitive information of your passport yourself, before you send us a copy for our administration. After you have blocked the sensitive information of your passport, you can also scan/print it, write over it by hand, and rescan this copy. This will make identity theft with the copy of your passport extremely difficult and unlikely to occur.

If you don't block your sensitive information yourself we will do it for you before saving the copy of your passport permanently to our system. We never share the original copy of your passport (these are deleted after blocking) and we only share the blocked versions of your documents if the retailer or tax administration requires them. 


Details you can blockdate of birth, place of birth, sex, height, social security number, photo, signature, date of issue, name of spouse (unless you have an invoice for which you used your spouse's surname)                                                            
Details that should stay visiblepassport number, name, country, expiration date

The specimen below is an example of a Dutch passport. Your own passport and the position of sensitive details may differ. 
 

Example:



What's the deadline / expiration date for submitting a claim? /

If you export items in your hand luggage via airplane, car or train, your items must be exported before the end of the 3rd month after the month of purchase. For example; if you buy items in January, they must be exported before the end of April. After your items have been exported on time, you can submit your claim until the end of the 5th year, after the year of purchase.

If you export via ocean freighter or courier this deadline does not apply.


The expiration period after getting proof of export varies per country. Check the guidelines in the overview below.

AU Austria 3 years / 1095 days 
BE Belgium* 3 years / 1095 days
BG Bulgaria 5 years / 1825 days 
CR Croatia 5 years / 1825 days 
CY Cyprus 5 years / 1825 days 
CZ Czech Rpblk 5 years / 1825 days 
DE Germany 4 years / 1825 days 
DK Denmark 1 year / 365 days 
ES Spain 5 years / 1825 days 
ET Estonia 5 years / 1825 days 
FI Finland 5 months / 150 days 
FR France 6 months / 180 days 
GR Greece 90 days 
HU Hungary 5 years / 1825 days 
IR Ireland 5 years / 1825 days 
IT Italy 3 months / 90 days 
LI Lithuania 5 years / 1825 days 
LU Luxembourg 5 years / 1825 days 
LV Latvia 5 years / 1825 days 
MT Malta 5 years / 1825 days 
NL Netherlands 5 years / 1825 days 
PL Poland 7 months / 210 days 
PT Portugal 5 years / 1825 days 
RO Roemania 5 years / 1825 days 
SE Sweden 1 year / 365 days 
SK Slovakia 5 years / 1825 days 
SV Slovenia 5 years / 1825 days 
UK United Kingdom 1 year / 365 days,  
NOTE: a
ll receipts/invoices from UK businesses issued after 1 January 2021 can no longer be submitted for a VAT refund. However, receipts/invoices from (web)retailers that have delivered outside the UK (via ocean freighter or courier) can still be submitted. Read More

*Stamped receipts for purchases made in Belgium are valid until December 31st of the third year after purchase date.

 

Where can I submit my payment details? /

You can submit you payment details in your account. 


After you have submitted your payment details, we'll ask you to confirm them again when you submit a payment request. find out how to request payment here.





Can I submit a claim for online purchases? /

Yes, you can submit claims for items bought online.

There are different online shopping and delivery situations that will determine which procedures you must follow to claim back the VAT:

  1. Store delivers to EU address You export the items yourself via air, car or train
  2. Store delivers to EU address A shipping company exports the items for you (ocean and air)
  3. Store delivers to non-EU address directly via air courier (DHL, FedEX, PostNL)
  4. Store delivers to non-EU address directly →  via ocean freighter
Why do I need to send my original receipts by post? /

Don't worry! In most cases you don't need to send your receipts by post. There are some exceptions. You might need to post your receipt if:


Your receipt status will show wether you need to send a receipt by post. Our address for postal mail can be found here.

Do I need to send my documents by post? (ocean export) /

If you submit a claim for items that have been exported via ocean freighter you don't need to send your original documents to our office in the post. Instead, you can submit all your documents digitally.

Your shipping company submits and receives digital export documents from harbour customs. 
These export documents are sufficient to prove that your goods have been exported to a non-EU country. 

Please keep your original receipts safe at home until after the store has processed your claim.

Where is your office located? / Our office is located in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.Can I submit a claim for items exported via ocean freighter? /

Yes, you can submit a claim for goods that have been exported by a shipping company oversees.

You can read about what documents you will need to provide here.

A detailed guide on how to register your claim in your account can be found
here.

Do you need my original documents? (NATO) /

No. If you are a NATO employee you don't have to send your original documents to our office in the post. You may submit your claims digitally. 

Am I eligible for a VAT refund? /
You're eligible for a VAT refund if you meet the NEMS-requirements:

NYou're a non-EU resident and you purchase items in the EU for personal use in your non-EU homecountry
EYou export the goods to your non-EU homecountry before the end of the third month, after the month of purchase
M

    You spend a minimum amount per store, per day

    SYou receive a stamp from customs on a valid receipt (or other digital export confirmation)

    Digital export documents are always accepted if you export via courier (DHL, FedEX, UPS) or ocean freighter

    Other eligible groups include:

    Where can I get a customs stamp at Schiphol, Amsterdam airport? /


    Customs desk locations
    Opening hoursDesk open from 06:00 – 22:00

    Customs officers are present at the airport 24/7

    If the desk is closed, y
    ou can contact customs via the numbers mentioned above (also displayed on the customs desk). A customs officer will come down to the desk to stamp your receipts.
    Contact
    • During the day (06:00 - 22:30): +31881583900
    • At night (22:30 - 06:00): +31881583440
    How can I reset my password? /

    1. Go to the login page via our website or app and select the white/grey button 'Click here to reset your password'. It's located towards the bottom of the page.

    2. On the next page, fill in the email address you used to create an account and click the button 'Send password reset code'

    3. On the next page you can enter your 'Reset code'. IMPORTANT: Please leave this page open. Your reset code is sent to you by email. Go to your inbox, find our email which contains your reset code. Copy your code. 

    4. Go back to the page you left open and fill in your code to enter a new password. 



    Which documents do I need to bring to customs? - Airplane, car, train /

    To get a customs stamp you will need to show/provide customs:


    * In case you have a EU-passport, you will need show a visa or residence permit for a non-EU country


    NATO Netherlands - Shopping at Dutch stores /

    This article applies to NATO military employees stationed in the Netherlands, buying at Dutch stores. If you're stationed inside the Netherlands and buying from stores located outside the Netherlands (but inside the EU), please follow instructions here. To request a VAT refund, please follow the steps below:


    1. At the moment of purchase, ask for a Customs Tax Invoice
      Store employees are required to fill in your CTI. A minimum purchase amount of €45 (per CTI) applies.

    2. After visiting the store and receiving a CTI, go to your NATO base administration for a wet stamp / seal of approval.

    3. Create an account via our app or website


    4. On your account page, set your 'account type' to the correct NATO base; Brunssum


    1. On your receipt page, register your receipt and Customs Tax Invoice 


    When this process has been completed, we’ll check your documents and contact the store for your refund. You’ll be notified by email when a store has processed your claim. After receiving notification, payment can be requested by logging in to your account.



    Additional remarks:




    Do I need to pay import duties? /

    Each country has an import free threshold. This threshold varies per country. If your purchase amount exceeds this threshold, you will be required to declare your goods and pay import duties upon arrival in your country of destination.


    The thresholds of most countries can be found here.


    For more specific information on import duties for the country you are exporting too, please visit their government website for more information.

    Declaring goods is a responsibility every traveler has, whether the VAT is reclaimed or not. Once you leave the EU, it is up to customs in your non-EU home country to check that travellers declare their goods.

    How do I submit a VAT refund claim? /


    1. Create an account
      You can download our 
      app (Google Play | Apple Store) or create an account via our website.

      happn - Find the people you've crossed paths with Submit your tvOS apps to the App Store - Apple Developer


    2. Get proof of export or VAT exemption
      Find out where to get proof of export or VAT exemption here.

      Exporting yourself via airplane, car or train and don't have a receipt that meets all necessary 
      requirementsDownload and bring a tax-free form to customs in addition to your receipt.

      After getting proof of export or VAT exemption, always make photos/scans of all your documents, especially if you need to send them in via 
      post.


    3. Register your receipt/invoice in your account
      Register your receipt in your account. We’ll ask you to upload copies of your documents.

      Tip: you can make high quality scans using the Scannable app (Ios Iphone) for free.


    After completing this process we'll keep you updated by email automatically. We'll provide a time-frame for your refund and we'll notify you when your VAT has come in from the store. Information about payment methods can be found here.

    How does vatfree.com handle my data? /

    Please read our full privacy statement here.

    Where is the vatfree.com mailbox at the airport? /

    Vatfree.com does not have special tax-free mailboxes at the airport. If we have asked you to mail your documents and you want to do so from the airport, please use a mailbox of the national regular postal service. Regular mailboxes and shops from national postal services can be found at different locations at the airport. If you are having difficulty finding a mailbox please ask an airport employee to point you in the right direction.

    At Schiphol, Amsterdam airport you can use the orange mailboxes. There is an orange mailbox located across the hall from customs. 

    Don't forget to include your contact details and registration numbers. Use a proper envelope and a postal stamp.

    Instead of wasting paper and trees, and to cut costs for lower service fees, we prefer to work completely digitally. We therefore don't have desks and mailboxes at the airport. In return, our partner stores generally no longer require you to submit original documents via post which means less hassle for you! They therefor no longer provide envelopes in-store. 



    What is your address for postal mail? /

    Please find out which mailboxes to use here.

    Before you send your receipt in the post; don't forget to write your vatfree.com receipt registration number on your receipt by hand. If you don't have a registration number yet, please register your receipt in your account first.

    How can I avoid paying transaction costs? /

    Transaction costs can be 0 to 2 euros, depending on the payment method you choose. Please find a list of payment methods and transaction costs here.

    To avoid paying transaction costs you can:

    What if customs is closed? /

    If customs is closed:

    1. Call the customs 24/7 helpline
      Customs officers are present at the airport 24/7. Most customs desks show a telephone number which you can call outside of opening hours. Customs officers will come down to stamp your receipts. If you're not sure, ask the airport information desk for more information.

      Information about customs at Schiphol can be found here.

    2. Declare your goods at your non-EU airport of arrival
      You can 'declare your goods' and get a stamp which proves your items have been imported into a country outside the EU. These offices are located between the bagage claim belts and the exit. You might be asked to pay import taxes and duties.

    3. Visit an embassy or consulate in your non-EU country of arrival
      You can go to the embassy of the EU country you departed from or the embassy of the country where you bought your goods. Call the embassy first to ask if they can help. Some embassies will direct you to a customs department. Bring the following with you:

      • tax-free form
      • purchase receipt
      • purchased items
      • flight itinerary showing when you exited the EU
      • passport
      • if you have an EU passport; another non-EU official government document proving you life outside the EU (visa, work-permit, residence-permit, etc)


    Please note that without a stamp from customs, we can't process your claim. No stamp = No refundThe tax-administration does not allow us to process claims without proof of export from customs, no matter what the reason was if you were not able to get a stamp. Processing a claim without a stamp can result in high fines for our company and the store. We kindly ask for your understanding in this matter.

    Where can I get a customs stamp? - Cruise / If you leave the EU by ship, you should be able to get a customs stamp at a customs office at the harbour (when leaving the EU or arriving in a non-EU country). Please be aware that not all harbours have a customs office. If you do not know whether the harbour has a customs office, contact the harbour customer service or your ocean liner to ask this. Can I get a VAT refund from any store? /

    No, you can't.

    Most stores are more than happy to cooperate but 
    some stores don't. In our shopping guide you'll find more than 55.000 stores in the neighbourhood and online, that are willing to refund your VAT via vatfree.com. The coloured logos in our guide will tell you wether a store cooperates with vatfree.com or not.






    Partner store
    Refund is guaranteed

    This is an official vatfree.com partner store.





    Pledger store
    Refund is highly likely but not guaranteed

    This store cooperates on a regular basis, or has cooperated in the past and has indicated they plan to keep doing so in the future. 





    New store
    Refund is unknown / not guaranteed


    This store has recently been added to our system. We've never worked with them before so we don't know wether they'll refund your VAT. Don't worry. Most stores are more than happy to cooperate.

    If a store is new we advise you to contact them directly first. 
    Cc us in you message to the store so we can assist. A short message is sufficient, just to let them know you wish to submit a claim via vatfree.com. New stores are often more willing to cooperate if you let them know personally beforehand that you want to submit a claim. 

    If you register a receipt for this store we'll contact them for more information and negotiate a refund on your behalf. If they don't want to cooperate we won't charge a fee. 

    Don't send your original receipt to our office in the post. Instead, submit your claim with a photo or scan.





    Non-cooperative store
    Refund is not likely / not guaranteed


    This store has indicated to us in the past that they don't want to cooperate with VAT refunds via vatfree.com. There is a high chance they won't process your claim if you submit it via our company. We advise you to contact the store directly for more information about how to get a VAT refund. 

    If you still choose to submit your claim via vatfree.com for an uncooperative store, don't send your original receipt to our office in the post. Instead, submit your claim with a photo or scan first. Don't worry. If a store doesn't want to cooperate we won't charge a fee.

    A store can be listed as ‘uncooperative’ for various reasons:

    • the store works exclusively with an airport cash refund company
    • the store is only willing to refund the VAT to you directly
    • the store has never responded positively (or at all) to our emails and/or calls in the past
    • the store can't/doesn't want to process VAT refund claims at all due to administrative costs
    • the store has gone bankrupt or has permanently closed for other reasons



    What are your payment options? /
    Creditcard (VISA and Mastercard)European IBAN/SEPAPayPalAlipayWechat
    €2 transaction costs
    If you have a multi-currency card, our payment in EUR may be subject to conversion to the main currency of your card
    No transaction costs€2 transaction costs
    No transaction costs
    No transaction costs

    Supporting Visa and Mastercard


    ! Russian accounts are not accepted until further notice due to current sanctions !

    Please check whether your country and bank account are supported for the SEPA/IBAN payment method. A list of supported EU countries can be found here.

    Your PayPal account must be set to accept Euro payments.

    In your PayPal account, go to Settings --> Money, banks and cards --> Add a Currency.

    Once you've received our payment in Euro, Euro's will be converted to your local currency when you transfer the amount to your local bankaccount.


    ! Russian accounts are not accepted until further notice due to current sanctions !



    The account you use for refund does not have to be equal to the account you used to pay. 

    What do the coloured logo's in the shopping guide mean? /

    The coloured logos in our shopping guide tell you wether a store will refund your VAT via vatfree.com.

    Most stores are more than happy to refund your VAT but some stores don't. In our shopping guide you'll find more than 55.000 stores in the neighbourhood and online, that are willing to refund your VAT via vatfree.com. The coloured logos in our guide will tell you wether a store cooperates with vatfree.com or not.





    Partner store
    Refund is guaranteed

    This is an official vatfree.com partner store.





    Pledger store
    Refund is highly likely / not guaranteed

    This store cooperates on a regular basis, or has cooperated in the past and has indicated they plan to keep doing so in the future.





    New store
    Refund is unknown / not guaranteed


    This store has recently been added to our system. We've never worked with them before so we don't know wether they'll refund your VATDon't worry. Most stores are more than happy to cooperate.

    If a store is new we advise you to contact them directly first. A short message is sufficient, just to let them know you wish to submit a claim via vatfree.com. New stores are often more willing to cooperate if you let them know personally beforehand that you want to submit a claim. Feel free to cc us so we can assist.

    If you register a receipt for this store we'll contact them for more information and negotiate a refund on your behalf. If they don't want to cooperate we won't charge a fee. 

    Don't send your original receipt to our office in the post. Instead, submit your claim with a photo or scan.





    Non-cooperative store
    Refund is not likely / not guaranteed


    This store has indicated to us in the past that they don't want to cooperate with VAT refunds via vatfree.com. There is a high chance they won't process your claim submitted via vatfree.com. Contact the store for more information about how to get a VAT refund. 

    If you still want to submit a claim via vatfree.com, don't send your original receipt to our office in the post. Instead, submit your claim with a photo or scan. If they don't want to cooperate we won't charge a fee.

    A store can be listed as ‘uncooperative’ for various reasons:

    • the store works exclusively with an airport cash refund company
    • the store is only willing to refund the VAT to you directly
    • the store did not respond to our emails and/or calls
    • the store can't/doesn't want to process VAT refund claims due to administrative costs
    • the store has gone bankrupt
    Where can I get a customs stamp? - Car /

    If you leave the EU by car, you can get a customs stamp at a EU/non-EU border control office. Get a stamp at the last EU-country, when you cross the border out of the EU.

     

    What if a store is not listed or listed as 'new' in your shopping guide? /

    If the store where you shopped is not listed or has a white logo in our guide, this means that they have never refunded VAT via vatfree.com before. Feel free to register the new store and your receipt. We'll then continue to contact them and negotiate a refund on your behalf. If they don't want to cooperate we won't charge a fee. 

    We advise you to contact new stores directly first. Cc us in your message to the store so we can assist. A short message is sufficient, just to let them know you wish to submit a claim via vatfree.com. New stores are often more willing to cooperate if you let them know personally beforehand that you want to submit a claim. 

    What is tax-free shopping? / Shopping tax-free is, in essence, claiming a VAT refund after you have paid the VAT in-store.

    VAT (
    value added tax)  is a consumer tax and varies between 4% and 27% in the EU. It is included in all prices you pay for goods and services.

    You are eligible for a VAT refund if you live outside the EU and if you export the goods to your country of origin. A VAT refund is only possible over goods, not services.

    The VAT is included in the purchase price. You therefore pay it in the store when you buy goods and you claim it back afterwards.
    What if I was not able to get a stamp? /

    If you are/were not able to get a stamp:

    1. Call the customs 24/7 helpline
      Customs officers are present at the airport 24/7. Most customs desks show a telephone number which you can call outside of opening hours. Customs officers will come down to stamp your receipts. If you're not sure, ask the airport information desk for more information.

      Information about customs at Schiphol can be found here.

    2. Declare your goods at your non-EU airport of arrival
      You can 'declare your goods' and get a stamp which proves your items have been imported into a country outside the EU. These offices are located between the bagage claim belts and the exit. You might be asked to pay import taxes and duties.

    3. Visit an embassy or consulate in your non-EU country of arrival
      You can go to the embassy of the EU country you departed from or the embassy of the country where you bought your goods. Call the embassy first to ask if they can help. Some embassies will direct you to a customs department. Bring the following with you:

      • tax-free form
      • purchase receipt
      • purchased items
      • flight itinerary showing when you exited the EU
      • passport
      • if you have an EU passport; another non-EU official government document proving you life outside the EU (visa, work-permit, residence-permit, etc)


    Please note that without a stamp from customs, we can't process your claim. No stamp = No refundThe tax-administration does not allow us to process claims without proof of export from customs, no matter what the reason was if you were not able to get a stamp. Processing a claim without a stamp can result in high fines for our company and the store. We kindly ask for your understanding in this matter.

    How do I know you have received my receipts? /

    When we have received and processed your original stamped receipts at our office, we will notify you in the message center of the app and by email.

    You can also keep an eye on the status of your receipts by logging in to your account and going to the 'my receipts' page. When we have received and processed your original receipts, your receipt status will change from 'waiting for originals' to 'waiting for visual validation'. This means we are in the process of checking and approving your receipt.

    What is your address for postal mail? /

    Please find out which mailboxes to use here.

    Always make high quality pictures/scans of your receipts and other tax-free documents with the customs stamp clearly visible before sending them to our office in the post. Tip: you can make high quality scans using the Scannable app for free.


    Don't forget to write your vatfree.com receipt registration number on your receipt by hand. If you don't have a registration number yet, please register your receipt in your account first.


    Address for regular mail / national postal services

    Address for courier mail (DHL, FedEx, UPS, etc.)
    vatfree.com
    att: Web
    P.O. Box 37234
    1030 AE Amsterdam
    The Netherlands
    vatfree.com / Smeenk
    Nieuwendammerkade 28a14
    1022 AB Amsterdam
    The Netherlands
    Telephone number: +3188 828 37 33


     

    Where can I find copies of my customers receipts? /

    In every invoice email we send you, you can find a link to your personal store portal. In your personal shop portal you can find an overview of all your open and paid invoices.

    On every invoice page you will find two PDF files:

    1. Your invoice

    2. Image scans of your customers original receipts and their tax-free forms

    We advise you to bookmark your shop portal so you can access your documents at all times.

    What if my store has run out of tax-free envelopes and forms? /

    Tax-free forms can be downloaded here:

    Information leaflets and window stickers can be ordered free of cost via email:

    Please provide your store name and address. As soon as we have received your request your order will be packed and mailed or dropped off at your store.

    I need to send my receipt by post, but what if my receipt is also my warranty? /

    Many shops will print a different warranty receipt that it is not part of the purchase receipt. If you don't receive a second warranty receipt from the store, please make a copy/photo of the receipt or have a copy of the receipt stamped at EU-Customs so you can keep the original (customs will only stamp a copy if you can show them the original at the same time).

    What is your service fee? /

    We charge a service fee of 30% of the VAT on your receipt, with a minimum of €2,50 and a maximum of €80,- per receipt. 


    Example1Example 2
    Total purchase amount
    (incl. VAT)
    €121,-
     €2500,-
    VAT amount€21,-
    €433,88
    Service fee
    (30% of the VAT, max. €80,-)


    €6,30-
    €80,-
    Refund€14,70
    353,88

    Please note; an additional transaction fee might be charged depending on which payment option you choose.

    We guarantee the highest refund in the market as our service fees are the lowest. And we are proud of it! If you find a lower service fee somewhere else, let us know and we will adjust the refund amount for you.

    We work on a no-cure no-pay basis; we only charge a fee if our work pays off and the store refunds your VAT. If the store does not want to cooperate we won't charge a fee.

    Do I need to use a postal stamp? /

    Yes, please always use a postal stamp on your envelope.

    You can find our address here.

    International students and expats living in the EU /

    If you're an international student or expat staying in the EU for six months or less, you are eligible for a VAT refund.

    If you are staying in the EU longer than six months you can get a refund when you permanently leave the EU. To get a VAT refund you need to de-register from city hall. You will receive a confirmation of your de-registration for customs, to get proof of export.

    Please note;

    Can you return/forward my receipt to me? /

    We can not return your original receipt or forward it to another company.

    Please only send your receipts in the post if the app tells you to do so. Not sure? Contact us: [email protected]

    Before you send your receipts in the post, please 
    check our shopping guide first to determine wether a store will cooperate with refunding your VAT via vatfree.com.

    Our
    terms and conditions (article 8) and our shopping guide mention that we are unable to return or forward original receipts to customers, uncooperative stores or competitors. This would become very costly and time consuming, especially since we do not charge a service fee for receipts and the corresponding VAT amount in when they are not refunded by the store.

    If you need your receipt for warranty reasons, ask the store to print a copy of the receipt which you can use for that purpose. Often they will provide this automatically during purchase. Always ask to be sure.

    Do you pay me automatically? /

    Information about your payment date can be found here.

    We do not pay you automatically. When your refund has been paid by the store, we'll inform you via email and the app. 
    The payment option will become available after a store has processed your claim.

    You can request payment via the 'My receipts' page in your account. Select the green 'Payout refunds' button to start the payment process. 


    What is your service fee? /

    At vatfree.com, we charge a service fee of 30% of the VAT on your purchase receipt, with a minimum of €2,50 and a maximum of €80,- per receipt. 


    Example1Example 2
    Total purchase amount
    (incl. VAT)
    €121,-
     €2500,-
    VAT amount€21,-
    €433,88
    Service fee
    (30% of the VAT, max. €80,-)


    €6,30-
    €80,-
    Refund€14,70
    353,88

    Please note; an additional transaction fee might be charged depending on which payment option you choose.

    We guarantee the highest refund in the market as our service fees are the lowest. And we are proud of it! If you find a lower service fee somewhere else, let us know and we will adjust the refund amount for you.

    We work on a no-cure no-pay basis; we only charge a fee if our work pays off and the store refunds your VAT. If the store does not want to cooperate we won't charge a fee.

    Where can I get a customs stamp? - Airplane /


    1. At your EU airport of departure
      Customs desks are available at all EU airports 24/7. Follow the signs for customs or ask an airport employee to point you in the right direction. If the customs desk is closed there is usually a telephone number displayed on the desk which you can call outside of opening hours. A customs employee will come down to the desk to stamp your receipts.

      You can also view our airports and customs guide here. 


    2. Declare your goods at your non-EU airport of arrival
      You can 'declare your goods' and get a stamp which proves your items have been imported into a country outside the EU. These offices are located between the bagage claim belts and the exit. You might be asked to pay import taxes and duties.

    3. Visit an embassy or consulate in your non-EU country of arrival
      You can go to the embassy of the EU country you departed from or the embassy of the country where you bought your goods. Call the embassy first to ask if they can help. Some embassies will direct you to a customs department. Bring the following with you:

      • tax-free form
      • purchase receipt
      • purchased items
      • flight itinerary showing when you exited the EU
      • passport
      • if you have an EU passport; another non-EU official government document proving you life outside the EU (visa, work-permit, residence-permit, etc)


    Please note that without a stamp from customs, we can't process your claim. No stamp = No refundThe tax-administration does not allow us to process claims without proof of export from customs, no matter what the reason was if you were not able to get a stamp. Processing a claim without a stamp can result in high fines for our company and the store. We kindly ask for your understanding in this matter.

    Can I work with vatfree.com if I am already partnered with a different tax-free company? /

    Yes, you can and we encourage you to do so!

    Processing claims via vatfree.com is easy. We don’t require you to sign any contracts or to promote us in stores, potentially violating existing contracts with another tax-free company you’re currently partnered with.

    Most importantly, by processing your customers' claims via multiple different tax-free companies, you respect your customers freedom of choice and protect their consumer rights. Why?

    When a customer uses a tax-refund companies’ services, he or she pays a processing fee. Customers should therefore be able to choose which tax-free company they want to use. EU laws protecting consumer rights dictate that you can not force customers to buy a secondary product which is being offered equally by competitors. This is called tying and forbidden in the EU. Tying practices result in higher consumer prices and hampers innovation resulting in lower quality of products and services.

    There are multiple different tax-free companies operating in the market offering the same service in different and unique ways. Since for you as a retailer participating in the tax-refund scheme is free, it's only fair to let your customers choose where they want to spend hard earned money that is rightfully theirs.

    What are the requirements for purchase receipts? /

    You must provide a proper invoice or receipt to submit a VAT-refund claim. The following information must be visible on your proof of purchase:




    If the store can't print your details (name, passport number, your non-EU billing address) on the receipt, an additional tax-free form is mandatory (not required for ocean and air export). 


    Pro-forma invoices and quotes are not accepted. 





    What if I have receipts with a purchase amount lower than the minimum spend amount? /

    In general, we can not process receipts if the minimum spend threshold has not been met.


    There is one exception:

    If you have multiple receipts, from the same store and same day, you are allowed to combine your receipt with a low purchase amount with your other receipt from the same store and same day. The total purchase amount of the receipts combined must be higher than the minimum spend amount.


    What if a store does not want to cooperate? /

    By law, sales outside the EU and certain other transactions are tax-exempt if the export has been confirmed by customs (tax-administration sub-department). If you meet the requirements and ask for a VAT refund the store should refund your VAT.

    Unfortunately, some stores don't cooperate. Either because they don't understand the law, the administrative procedures involved or because they have a contract with another tax-free company. These are not valid reasons to reject your claim. 

    If you meet all requirements and the store does not want to cooperate you can continue with the steps below:

    1. Contact the store directly
      They might be willing to help out if you contact them personally. Reach out via email or through social media. Ask us for an address if you can't find one.

    2. Include us in the conversation
      Cc-us in your message to the store so we can assist you in case they ask any questions you can't answer

    3. Forward your documents
      Add copies of your receipts, you proof of VAT exemption and a copy of your passport
    Why do I need a customs stamp/proof of export? /

    Having proof of export/VAT exemption provided by a customs or tax department is a legal requirement for submitting and processing VAT refund claims. This requirement has been set by EU government(s) and is enforced by tax administrations in all EU countries.

    Please note that without proof of export provided by a customs or tax department, we can't process your claim. No proof of export = No refundTax administrations do not allow us and stores to process claims without proof of export, no matter what the circumstances were. Processing a claim without proof of export from customs can result in high fines for our company and the store. We kindly ask for your understanding in this matter.

    What documents do I need for items exported via ocean freighter? /

    Your name and an invoice/order/transaction number from the store is mandatory information and must be included on your documents. Without this information we can not process your claim. Contact your shipper and ask them to include this information. They do not always do so automatically. Tip: send a list of invoice/order/transaction numbers + store names to your shipper to help them avoid making mistakes.


    Mandatory documents

    Notes

    1. EX-A document 

    2. Confirmation of Exit

    These are official customs documents and are required as proof of export. Without these documents we can not process your claim

    Mandatory details

    Notes

    • Your name

    • Receipt/invoice number from the store


    These details prove that your specific items were exported. Without these details on your customs documents we can not process your claim.

    If your details are not visible on the customs documents mentioned above you can submit the following documents from your shipper as extra support:

    Supporting documents (not mandatory)

    Notes

    1. Non-EU customs (import) documents

    2. Bill of lading from your shipper

    3. Invoice from your shipper

    4. Packing list from your shipper

    If your customs documents (mentioned above) are incomplete, you can submit these documents as additional support.

    Mandatory details

    Notes

    • Your name

    • Receipt/invoice number from the store


    These details prove that your specific items were exported. Without these details on (at least 1) of your supporting documents we can not process your claim.


     

    Where can I get a customs stamp? - Train /

    Information about Amsterdam Central Station can be found here.

    The locations of customs desks and officers can vary per train station and are frequently subject to change.

    Customs can be present;

    Please contact the station and customer support of your train operator well in advance before your departure date to find out where you have to go to get a stamp. We also accept stamps from your non-EU station of arrival and European embassies.

    Please note; without a stamp from customs we can't process your claim.

    I receive an error while trying to upload documents in the app. What now? /

    If you're having trouble uploading images/documents to the app you can try the following:

    1. Update your app (look for updates in your app-store). If the app is not updated some features don't the way they are supposed to. 

    2. Log in to your account via a browser on your computer instead of via the app. Often, if a feature is not working properly in the app, it will work in a browser. When logging in via the website instead of via app, make sure to use the same email address, password or login service you used to login via the app.

    3. Let us know by email ([email protected]) that you're having trouble and add your documents in the attachments. We'll upload them to your account for you.
    Do you have an office at Schiphol airport? / As a fully digital company, we can no longer justify the high operational costs of having an office in Schiphol (rent, concession costs, staff, safety etc.). This translates into faster and safer handling of your receipts, fewer queues and a higher refund amount for you!

    If you wish to submit your receipts for a VAT refund from Schiphol airport, please deposit your envelope with original stamped receipts in the orange mailbox located across the hall from customs. This is a mailbox belonging to the Dutch national postal (Postnl) service. If (in departure hall 3) you deposit your envelope with receipts in this mailbox, your receipts will arrive at our office in safe and good order.

    Read more on our page about Schiphol How do I register a new store in your shopping guide? /

    If the store where you shopped is not listed or has a white logo in our guide, this means that they have never refunded VAT via vatfree.com before. Feel free to register the new store (instructions below) and your receipt. We'll contact them and negotiate a refund on your behalf. If they don't want to cooperate we won't charge a fee. 

    We advise you to contact new stores directly first. Cc us in your message to the store so we can assist. A short message is sufficient, just to let them know you wish to submit a claim via vatfree.com. New stores are often more willing to cooperate if you let them know personally beforehand that you want to submit a claim. 


     

    You need to be logged in to your account to add a new store to our system. When logged in, follow the steps below:

    1. At the bottom of the screen, select the round button 'add receipt'

    2. Select the button 'Click here to search shop'

    3. In the search bar, enter the store name and address. When no store is found, select the lower option; 'Add new shop'

    4. In the search bar above the map, enter the store name and address. Select the store in the results. At the bottom of the page click the button 'Add shop.


    Congratulations! You've added the store to our shopping guide!

    How long before my receipts arrive at your office? /

    We get our mail delivered to our office once a week. Afterward, it can take up to two weeks to register all receipts we have received. Therefore, it can sometimes take up to three (3) weeks in total before your receipts are marked as 'received' in your account

    When we have received and processed your original stamped receipts at our office, we will notify you in the message center of the app and by email.

    You can also keep an eye on the status of your receipts by logging in to your account and going to the 'my receipts' page. 

    When we have received and processed your original receipts, your receipt status will change from 'waiting for originals' to 'waiting for visual validation'. This means we are in the process of checking and approving your received receipt.

    If you still haven't heard from us 3 weeks after your receipts should have arrived, please let us know.

    Do I have to use my own bank account? /

    No, you do not need to use your own bank account to receive your refund. You can also use the bank account of a family member or friend, or you can donate your refund to an NGO

    Can you donate my refund to an NGO? /

    Yes, we are more than happy to transfer your refund as a donation to an NGO like the Red Cross, Wildlife Protection (WNF) or a project of your choice. 

    If you are interested in donating, you can simply fill in the details below during the request of your payment. To donate to a project of your choice, find their bank details online and submit them during the request of your payment.


    Red Cross:

    Wildlife Protection WNF (Wereld Natuur Fonds):

    When will you pay my refund? /

    Your expected refund date is visible in your account (see image below).

    The expected timeframe for your refund will become visible in your account after your receipts and documents have been received, registered, checked and approved. We will notify you via email and the app automatically when this is the case. 

    Please note that the refund date in your account is an approximation and not guaranteed. The payment date in your account is a prediction based on the average amount of days it takes cooperative stores (pink and blue logos in our guide) to process claims. Refunds can come in earlier and later than expected. Especially for new stores (white logo) and uncooperative stores (grey logo), the payment process can take longer than usual. As soon as we have received your VAT we will notify you by email automatically.





    You can find out how to request payment
    here.

    Do I need to send my receipts in the post? /

    Don't worry! In most cases you don't need to send your receipts by post. There are some exceptions.

    We'll let you know via your account (app and website) wether you need to post your receipts. Check your receipt status on your receipt page. Is your receipt status 'waiting for original'? Then we need to receive your originals in the mail.

    Always make photos/scans of your receipts before you send them in the post.

    Our address for postal mail can be found here.

    If you're not sure whether your receipt needs to be posted, please contact us by email ([email protected]). 

    Where is the vatfree.com mailbox at the airport? /

    Vatfree.com does not have special tax-free mailboxes at the airport. If we have asked you to mail your documents and you want to do so from the airport, please use a mailbox of the national regular postal service. Mailboxes of regular postal services can be found at different locations at the airport. If you are having difficulty finding a mailbox please ask an airport employee to point you in the right direction.

    At Schiphol, Amsterdam airport you can use the orange mailboxes. There is an orange mailbox located across the hall from customs. 

    Don't forget to include your contact details and registration numbers. Use a proper envelope and a postal stamp.

    Instead of wasting paper and trees, and to cut costs for lower service fees, we prefer to work completely digitally. We therefore don't have desks and mailboxes at the airport. In return, our partner stores generally no longer require you to submit original documents via post which means less hassle for you! They therefor no longer provide envelopes in-store. 

    What if I don't want to share a copy of my passport? /

    The Dutch tax administration obligates us to store a copy of your passport. If we do not store a copy of your passport we (and the store) risk receiving large fines due to an incomplete administration. We kindly ask for your understanding in this matter.

    If you don't want to share a copy of your passport we can make an exception for you if you file a complaint against the Dutch tax administration. You can file a complaint here. Don't forget to send us your complaint form by email ([email protected]) so we can verify your account.

    Filing a complaint against the tax administration does not effect you as a traveller to the Netherlands or Europe. It is standard and accepted procedure.

    Don't want to file a complaint against the tax administration? Check out our guide on how to safely share the copy of your passport. We give you tips on how to block your sensitive information. This makes identity theft with the copy of your passport extremely difficult and unlikely to occur.

    What is your fee for becoming a vatfree.com retail partner? /

    Becoming a vatfree.com retail partner doesn't cost you a thing! We don't ask a registration fee and our core services are free. 

    Our core services (free of charge) include: 

    Paid services include:

    How can I become a vatfree.com retail partner? /

    Registering to become a vatfree.com retail partner is easy and in most cases for free. You can do so by filling in our online registration form here. 

    Have any questions? Don't hesitate to contact us for more information:

    Email - [email protected] 
    Telephone - +31 (0) 88 828 37 33

     

    What is your service fee for my customers? /

    At vatfree.com, we charge a service fee of 30% of the VAT on your purchase receipt, with a minimum of €2,50 and a maximum of €80,- per receipt. 


    Our service fee's are the lowest in the market and we are proud of it! If you find lower service fee's for your customers somewhere else, let us know and we'll lower our service fee's for you!

    I have a question about my invoice! /

    For questions about your invoice, please contact:

    Email | [email protected]

    Telephone | +31 (0) 88 828 37 33

    How do I know my customer has exported his/her goods? /

    Customs departments are responsible for verifying export and eligibility for a VAT refund. When all requirements are met, a customer receives confirmation from customs that the items have been exported. Depending on the export method, confirmation is provided bij customs in the form of a stamp or digital export documents. Vatfree.com receives and verifies all documents for confirmation that the customer is eligible and the goods have been exported.

    Customers are eligible for a VAT refund if:

    1. They are permanent resident of a non-EU country (only applicable in case of exports via hand luggage)
    2. They have bought items for a minimum amount per invoice/receipt (or per shop per day)
    3. They export the items unused and within a 90 day period
    4. They can provide confirmation of export in the form of a customs issued stamp or digital export documents


    To prove eligibility and to receive proof of export, customers must show customs the following:

    * If customers have an EU-passport, they are required to show a visa or residence permit for the non-EU country they are living in

    Which bank accounts can be submitted for the IBAN/SEPA payment method? /

    IBAN/SEPA bank accounts from the below mentioned countries can be submitted for our IBAN/SEPA payment method. If your country is not included in the below mentioned list, please select a different payment method.

    Country

     

    Currency

    Belgium

     

    EUR

    Bulgaria

     

    BGN

    Cyprus

     

    EUR

    Denmark

     

    DKK

    Germany

     

    EUR

    Estonia

     

    EUR

    Finland

     

    EUR

    France, including French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Réunion

     

    EUR

    Greece

     

    EUR

    Guernsey

     

    GBP

    Hungary

     

    HUF

    Ireland

     

    EUR

    Iceland

     

    ISK

    Isle of Man

     

    GBP

    Itally

     

    EUR

    Jersey

     

    GBP

    Croatia

     

    HRK

    latvia

     

    EUR

    Liechtenstein

     

    CHF

    Lithuania

     

    EUR

    Luxembourg

     

    EUR

    Malta

     

    EUR

    Monaco

     

    EUR

    Netherlands

     

    EUR

    Norway

     

    NOK

    Austria

     

    EUR

    Poland

     

    PLN

    Portugal, including the Azores and Madeira

     

    EUR

    Romania

     

    RON

    San Marino

     

    EUR

    Slovenia

     

    EUR

    Slovakia

     

    EUR

    Spain, including the Canary Islands, Ceuta en Melilla

     

    EUR

    Czech Republic

     

    CZK


    Sweden

     

    SEK

    Switzerland

     

    CHF

    Can I process claims for receipts issued in a previous fiscal year? /

    Yes, you can. Information and instructions for admin and VAT-return / tax-administrative processes can be found here:


    Netherlands

    English / Dutch                           

    Ireland

    English

    What if my customers items were delivered to an EU address? /

    The delivery address of your customers items is irrelevant for a VAT refund. Relevant for refunding VAT is proof of export to a country outside the EU or the presence of a certificate of VAT exemption bij an authorised government body.

    If the export of the goods and your customers non-EU residency has been checked by customsyou are allowed by the tax administration to refund VAT. 

    You can read more about export and customs procedures here.

    Is there a minimum amount I need to spend? /

    In most European countries, there is a minimum spend requirement for receipts, to be eligible for a VAT refund. This minimum spend threshold differs per country. You can check the list of EU-countries with their minimum spend thresholds below to determine if your receipt can be submitted for a VAT refund:
     

    Country Minimum spend threshold
    in local currency
       
    Belgium 125,01 EUR
    Bulgaria  0
    Cyprus 50,- CYP
    Denmark 300,- DDK
    Germany 25,- EUR
    Estonia 38,- EUR
    Finland 40,- EUR
    France 175,01 EUR
    Greece 50,- EUR
    Hungary 50000 HUF
    Ireland -
    Italy 154.94 EUR
    Croatia 500 HRK
    Latvia 30,26 LVL
    Lithuania 200,- LTL
    Luxembourg 74,- EUR
    Malta -
    The Netherlands 50,- EUR
    Austria 75,01 EUR
    Poland 200,- PLN
    Portugal 60,- EUR
    Romania 250,- RON
    Slovakia 175,- EUR
    Slovenia 50,- EUR
    Spain 90,50 EUR
    Czech Republic -
    Sweden 200,- SEK
     
    Why do you need a copy of my passport and/or visa? /

    The tax administration obliges us to store a copy of your passport. Without the copy of your passport we are not allowed to process your claim. After we have received and checked the copy of your passport we are allowed to continue processing your claim.

    You can read about how to safely share a copy of your passport and how we protect your identity here.

    Please note; if you have a EU passport, you are also required to provide a copy of your visa for the non-EU country you are living in. If you don't have a visa you can upload another document issued by a non-EU government proving your long-stay residence; residence permits, work permits, ID cards etc are accepted instead of visas.

    How can I find my Alipay ID? /

    1. Go to 'Me' on your home screen


    2. Go to 'Settings' in your 'Me' screen



    3. Go to 'Security setting' on your 'Settings' page



    4. Check your phone number on your 'Security setting' page. Your phone number is your Alipay ID.

    Where do I submit a claim for items exported via ocean freighter? /

    You can find out which documents you need to submit here.

    In your account, please register your claim as items that have been exported by a shipping company (ocean freighter). Follow the steps below:


    1. Go to the 'My receipts' page in your account

     


    2. Click the green button 'Add new receipt'


     
     

    3. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the blue text 'Click here to start the CARGO process'


     

    4. Select the icon 'By a shipping company'

     



    VAT refunds - admin and tax-returns /

    Information and instructions for admin and VAT-return / tax-administrative processes can be found here:


    Netherlands

    English / Dutch                           

    Ireland

    English

    Madrid Barajas Airport, Spain /


    Customs system
    • Manual, wet stamp, customs desk (Spanish and other EU stores)
    • Digital terminal (DIVA), barcode scan
    Minimum Spend threshold0 / no minimum for Spanish stores
    Minimum spend threshold's for other countries can be found here
    Customs locations and opening hoursTerminal T1, Floor 1 (Check-in)
    Open from 07.00 - 22.00

    Terminal T4 Satellite, Floor 2 (Boarding area)
    Open 24 hours

    Terminal T4, Floor 2 (Departures)
    Open from 07.00 - 22.00
    Contact details                             
    Information points (staff members with green jackets)

    Phone: +34 91 321 10 00 / +34 902 404 704

    Email: [email protected]

    Required documentation for customs
    • A complete purchase invoice containing the name and address of the store, quantity and description of the exported goods, identity of the purchaser (name, passport number and non-EU address)
    • If you don't have a complete invoice an additional tax-free form is mandatory
    • Purchased items
    • Passport
    • If you have an EU passport; proof of residence outside the EU
    • Boarding pass


    Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, France /
    Customs system
    • Manual, wet stamp, customs desk (French and other EU stores)
    • Digital terminal (PABLO), barcode scan (French stores)
    Minimum Spend threshold€ 175 per store per day
    Minimum spend threshold's for other countries can be found here
    Customs locations and opening hours

    Terminal 1 (CDGVAL Level, Hall 6)
    Open during flight operation hours

    Terminal 2E (Departures Level, Exit 8)
    Open during flight operation hours

    Terminal 2F (Arrivals Level, Exit 10)
    Open during flight operation hours

    Terminal 3 (Departures, after passport control)
    Open during flight operation hours

    Contact details                             

    Phone: +33 172 407 850 

    Required documentation for customs
    • A complete purchase invoice containing the name and address of the store, quantity and description of the exported goods, identity of the purchaser (name, passport number and non-EU address)
    • If you don't have a complete invoice an additional tax-free form is mandatory
    • Purchased items
    • Passport
    • If you have an EU passport; proof of residence outside the EU
    • Boarding pass
    London Heathrow Airport, United Kingdom /

    CUSTOMS SYSTEM:
    Manual

    MINIMUM SPEND THRESHOLD:

    £30 per store per day for UK stores
    Minimum spend threshold's for other countries can be found here


    CUSTOMS LOCATIONS:
    There are Travelex refund desks in every terminal, at check-in and after security in the departure halls.
    Follow the ‘VAT refunds’ signs. 
    If you don’t know which way to go, just ask one of Heathrow’s purple-uniformed multilingual Passenger Ambassadors.

    Terminal 2
    Check-in: Level 5, check-in zone A

    Departures: Level 5, between the shops called 'Hamleys' and 'Dixons Travel' 

    Terminal 3
    Check-in: Ground floor, between check-in zone D and E
    Departures: Level 1, between the shops called 'WHSmith' and 'World Duty Free' 

    Terminal 4 
    Check-in: Level 2. Two refund desks. 1. between check-in zone D and E. 2. via the lift at check-in zone G
    Departures: Level 2, next to the shop 'WHSmith' and the restaurant 'Caviar House & Prunier Seafood Bar'

    Terminal 5
    Check-in: Level 3, check-in zone G
    Departures: Level 2. Two refund desks. 1. Next to 'The Harry Potter Shop'. 2. Between the shops 'Dixons Travel' and 'WHSmith'

    Find detailed maps here.


    CONTACT DETAILS:

    +44 845 872 7627

    TIPS:
    Don't forget to bring a tax free form to get your customs stamp
    The refund desks in the departure halls are usually less busy and have shorter queues
    To skip queues you can also book an appointment in advance (£15)

    GOOD TO KNOW:

    Travelex will stamp your form on behalf of UK customs and will collect it from you. They will forward your documents to our company in the post. 
    Ask customs if you can make photo's of your stamped form and receipts for safety reasons, in case something happens with the post.

    DOWNLOAD:
    Tax-free formulier

    How does tax-free shopping work in my store? /

    REGULAR CASH REGISTER SYSTEM

    Step 1

    Just like you always do, give your customer a regular receipt or purchase invoice

    Step 2

    Give your customer a vatfree.com information folder. The folder will explain to them what to do.

    Step 3

    Incase your customer still has questions feel free to take a look at our Frequently Asked questions or provide our contact details:



    STORES USING THE VATFREE.COM CASH REGISTER INTEGRATION (POPR)

    Step 1

    On your cash register system, select the option to print a tax-free receipt.

    Step 2

    Give your customer a vatfree.com information folder. The folder will explain to them what to do.

    Step 3

    Incase your customer still has questions feel free to take a look at our Frequently Asked questions or provide our contact details:



    STORES USING THE VATFREE.COM IN-STORE APP

    Step 1

    On your cash register system, select the option to print a tax-free receipt.

    Step 2

    Give your customer a vatfree.com information folder. The folder will explain to them what to do.

    Step 3

    Incase your customer still has questions feel free to take a look at our Frequently Asked questions or provide our contact details:




    Customer Frequently Asked Questions:



    Where is the post office at Schiphol airport? /

    Post office:
    You can buy envelopes and postal stamps in the shop 'Service Point Schiphol Plaza'.

    Find 'Service Point Schiphol Plaza' on the map here.
    Service Point is located at the arrivals level, between arrivals 3 and 4, next to the shop 'Rituals'.
    Open 7.00-22.00 daily.


    Mail Drops (orange postal boxes):


    Can I submit receipts/forms from other tax-free companies (Global Blue, Innova, Premier, etc)? /

    In most cases, yes! Most stores value your freedom of choice. If stores have a blue and pink logo in our shopping guide they will refund your VAT via vatfree.com, even if you received documents from another VAT refund company in-store. 

    We advise you to always check our guide before submitting a claim to discover if the store will refund your VAT via vatfree.com

    If a store doesn't want to cooperate via vatfree.com (grey logo in our guide) we can't process your claim. In that case we advise you to submit your claim via the tax-free company mentioned on the receipt/form which you received from the store. If you didn't receive any information about tax-free shopping in the store it could be the case they simply forgot to tell you or that they don't cooperate with VAT refunds at all. We advise you to contact them for more information.

    If a store is new in our guide (has a white logo or you can't find it in the list) that means we have never worked with them before or a very long time ago. We can't guarantee a refund at this moment because we don't know their policies surrounding VAT refunds. If you submit a claim we'll contact them to find out on your behalf. Don't worry. Most stores are more than happy to cooperate. If they don't want to, we won't charge a fee. Tip: it always helps to talk to somebody in the store or contact their customer service to ask if they will cooperate via vatfree.com. Most new stores will gladly cooperate if you ask them first.


    Brexit: can I shop tax-free in the EU as a UK citizen? /

    Yes! As of 1-1-2021 you are eligible for a VAT refund when shopping in the EU. Welcome to vatfree.com!

    When importing goods into the UK, you might need to pay import duties.

    You can import goods up to £390 (or up to £270 if you arrive by private plane or boat). If you go over this allowance you pay tax and duty on the total value of the goods, not just the value above the allowance. You may have to pay import VAT and customs duty if you exceed your allowance.

    For more information, including about alcohol and tobacco imports, please read this article here.

    Where can I find a copy of my customer's passport? /

    Vatfree.com can share copies of your customer's ID documents on request. Requests for ID documents can be submitted via [email protected]

    Vatfree.com can only share your customer's ID documents if you need them to process a VAT refund claim or in case of fiscal checks by the tax administration. We advise you to only request ID documents in case of fiscal checks. Vatfree.com stores your customers ID document copies in a safe digital environment that protects their privacy. 

    Passport information that is required by the tax administration to process a VAT refund claim (name, country, passport number) is shared with you automatically on your customer's digital tax free form. You can find your customer's digital tax free form in your invoice portal.

    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Vatfree.com is required by the tax-administration to receive and store copies of your customer's ID documents to prove they reside outside the EU and are eligible for a VAT refund. Without a copy of your customer's ID documents, vatfree.com can not send you an invoice for a VAT refund claim.

    During registration with vatfree.com, customers are required to provide the following documents:

    Please note that, in line with GDPR privacy laws, we are obligated to block sensitive details (photo, social security number, signature).

    Where can I find my invoice? /

    Invoices are sent to you via email. In every invoice email you can find a link to your personal invoice portal. Your invoice portal shows an overview of all your open and paid invoices and includes your customers information and documents.

    On every invoice page you can find two PDF files:

    1. Your invoice

    2. Image scans of your customers original receipts and their tax-free forms


    In accordance with privacy laws and regulations, your customers ID documents are not included in your invoice portal. These are stored in a safe environment and can be sent to you on request: [email protected]

    How do I register a claim for goods exported by air (DHL, FedEx, PostNL etc)? /

    If your goods have been exported via air courier (DHL, FedEx, PostNL etc) please register your receipt as a 'cargo' receipt.

    Information about required export documents can be found here.


    1. Add a receipt and choose the option 'register a CARGO receipt'



    2. After filling in your receipt details, choose the option 'By post, sent by the (online) shop'



    3. Upload your 'Confirmation of shipment' and 'POD'. You can find more information about these documents here.



    Corona: is customs still open at Schiphol airport? /

    Currently the customs desk at Schiphol airport is still operating as usual.

    Location: 
    departure hall 3, before the check in desks and passport control.

    Opening hours:
     06:00 – 22:00

    If there is nobody at the desk during opening hours you can call the following number: +31
    881583900

    If you visit the customs after opening hours, you can call the night shift. 
    A customs officer will come down to the customs desk to stamp you receipts. Please call 15 minutes in advance. This service is available 24/7.


    Telephone number for the night shift: +31881583440

    You can also go to customs at the airport in your non-EU homecountry of arrival.


    Last updated 7 Augustus 2020

    Corona: can I still submit a VAT refund claim? /

    Yes, you can still submit a VAT refund claim. However, please note that due to the Coronavirus outbreak there can be a delay in payment and some VAT refunds are no longer guaranteed. For more detailed information please read our Covid-19 statement here.

    Last updated 9 May 2020


    Corona: will I still receive my refund? /
    If the store processes your VAT refund claim you will also receive payment from vatfree.com. However, please note that due to the Coronavirus outbreak there can be a delay in payment from the store and some VAT refunds are no longer guaranteed. For more detailed information please read our Covid-19 statement here.

    Last updated 10 May 2020


    Corona: I'm stuck in the EU and can't get a customs stamp. Now what? /

    Some individuals are currently stuck in the EU due to the Coronavirus outbreak and this prevents them from getting the customs stamp on time

    Currently it is not yet clear wether customs and tax administrations will provide exceptions for these cases. We have contacted the Dutch customs and tax administration and they are aware of the situation. The issue will be discussed internally.

    Currently you are advised to go to customs at your earliest convenience, also if you are already late, and explain your situation to the customs officer. If you have a flight itinerary that shows a booked and missed flight due to flight restrictions please bring this with you to customs.


    My cash register system is not working properly. Now what? /

    Are you unable to print vatfree.com receipts or are you experiencing other problems with your vatfree.com cash register application? Please contact your cash register provider:

    Eijsink088 055 66 77

    - SRS036 548 70 31 

    - ACA040 880 07 00

    - SW Retail052 820 00 27

    Where can I upload a copy of my passport? /

    To upload a copy of your passport, you need to be logged in to your account. You can upload a copy of your passport on your account page. 

    When you are logged in via the app and on your account page, scroll down to upload a copy of your passport:



    When you are logged in via the website and on your account page, you can upload a copy of your passport on the right side of the page:



    My receipt has been rejected. What now? /

    First, check the email we sent you to let you know your receipt has been rejected. In this email we let you know why your receipt has been rejected and what you can do to fix it.

    If your receipt can be re-opened for submission you will see a blue button on your receipt page 're-open receipt for submission'. Click this button to re-open your receipt, to add any missing documents.



    If you do not see any button to re-open your receipt for submission, let us know by email and we will check if we can help you further.

    Where can I add a copy of my boarding pass? /

    You can add a copy of your boarding pass when you're registering a receipt. You will see an option to upload the copy of your boarding pass. You can also upload a copy of your flight itinerary instead.

    Make sure your name and date of exit from the EU are clearly visible.


    Can I submit a VAT refund claim for my company? /

    No. Companies can not submit VAT refund claims via vatfree.com. If you want to submit a VAT refund claim via vatfree.com you can only do so as a private person. 

    The tax administration does not allow us to process business claims. To comply fully with tax-administration requirements we therefor can not process receipts and invoices showing company names and/or VAT numbers (other than those of the seller). 

    Are you buying for a European business? More information about VAT refunds for European businesses can be found here:

    You may also contact your local tax-administration, tax-advisor and/or accountant for help and information about how to submit a claim.  

    Why vatfree.com? /

    Our mission is to help travellers easily shop tax-free at stores and brands that love them back.

    To do that we offer the easiest online and mobile service, to the most diverse group of customers, for the highest refund guaranteed.

    Why mobile?
     With airports requesting travellers to show up at least three hours before their flight, and safety procedures taking up a lot of time, most travellers have little time left to arrange getting a Customs validation stamp on their receipts. Standing in line at Customs may take up to half an hour or more. Being required to then stand in line at a desk for a cash refund, can increase the time of this entire process to an hour or more. Time is spare so we built the first ever tax-free shopping app in 2016, so travellers can finalise the refund claim once they find a spare moment, on the plane home or in the comfort of their own house.

    Why diverse? We are the first and only tax-free shopping service founded by travellers, specifically for travellers, with a main focus on travellers' needs. Our service therefore ranges from helping a range of travellers from tourists, cruise passengers, military staff, expats and international students. We also are able to help travellers get back VAT over shopping made online, offline, cross border, over purchases charged with low as well as high VAT rates at shops that are either listed in our shopping guide as well as not listed and new to us.

    Why the highest refund guaranteed? The most common feedback we get from travellers is that they feel uncomfortable being subjected to high fees for claiming back Value Added Tax they are entitled to. Especially after having to go through so much effort to arrange the refund. We get that. Regulation states that when exporting goods to a non-EU country, you do not have to pay VAT. For travellers to claim back the initial paid VAT, they have to stand in line at Customs, before flying back home, to get proof of the export. This can be quite stressful, take up quite some time and in some occasions even lead to missing out if queues are long and you have to catch a plane. Once the stamp is collected, the only way to claim back VAT is to contact the shop. If the shop is unwilling to cooperate, charges high fees (with or without a tax-free partner) or just takes a long time to process it all, this leads to disappointment and a feeling of dispair. Traditional tax-free shopping companies charge fees varying from 35% to 50% of the VAT amount and are only an option if shops are affiliated. We decided to use today's technology to create an open platform for all shops to easily join, without necessary contracts, and to minimise costs in such a way that we can continue to offer the highest possible refund. Our service fee starts at €2,50 per receipt with a maximum of €80. With this we hope to have helped retailers and shops as well as we believe a happy customer is a customer for life.

    We would love you to join us and list your shop(s) in our shopping guide free of charge: click here to join.

    Download - TAX-FREE FORM /

    Select the pdf below to download and print your form:


    Also available via the following link:


    Tax-free forms are not required at Schiphol airport. For all other European airports we advise you to download and print a tax-free form for every receipt.






    Amsterdam Central Train Station, The Netherlands /

    At Amsterdam Central Station, you can get a stamp when going though security/passport control on the Eurostar Amsterdam-London platform 15b.

    After arriving on platform 15b, go to the Eurostar Departures building on the far end of the platform for a ticket check. After your ticket has been checked you can get a customs stamp at security/passport check. Ask an employee to point you in the right direction.

    We advise you to be present at platform 15b around 60 minutes before departure. Ticket checks close 30 minutes before departure. 







    Can I get a cash refund at the airport? /

    Our service is fully digital which means we can't pay your refund in cash.

    You can find our list of payment options here.

    EU-based diplomats: where can I get proof of VAT exemption / a tax-free form? /

    If you are a member of a diplomatic mission or consular post based in the EU, you need a certificate of VAT exemption (151 form) to get a VAT refund. Please contact your institution's tax department for more information about where to get a form.

      • Items purchased in the Netherlands:
        Certificates for VAT exemption for individuals working at VAT-exempt institutions in the Netherlands can be obtained from Team IFB. Email: [email protected] 

      • Items purchased in Belgium:
        Certificates for VAT exemption for individuals working at VAT-exempt institutions in Belgium can be obtained from the department 'General Administration of Taxes'.
        Email: [email protected]
      Amsterdam Airport, The Netherlands /


      Customs system
      • Manual, wet stamp, customs desk (Dutch and other EU stores)
      • Digital terminal, barcode scan (Dutch stores)
      Minimum Spend threshold€50,- per store per day
      Minimum spend threshold's for other countries can be found here
      Customs locations and opening hours

      Departure hall 3 (before check-in and security)
      Desk open from 06:00 – 22:00 Customs officers are present at the airport 24/7 If the desk is closed, you can contact customs via the numbers mentioned below (also displayed on the customs desk). A customs officer will come down to the desk to stamp your receipts.

      Contact details                             

      Phone: +31881583900 (during the day - 06:00 - 22:30)
                 +31881583440 (at night - 22:30 - 06:00) 

      Required documentation for customs
      • A complete purchase invoice containing the name and address of the store, quantity and description of the exported goods, identity of the purchaser (name, passport number and non-EU address)
      • If you don't have a complete invoice an additional tax-free form is mandatory
      • Purchased items
      • Passport
      • If you have an EU passport; proof of residence outside the EU
      • Boarding pass
      Where do I go customs if I have an EU layover? /

      Please pay attention to your layover time. If you have a layover of 2 hours or more at another EU airport before exiting the EU, customs at Schiphol will not stamp your receipts. They will redirect you to customs at your layover destination.

      You can get a stamp at Schiphol airport if your luggage can be checked in to your final non-EU destination directly. Go to customs before checking in your luggage. A customs employee will accompany you to check in your goods and luggage before stamping your receipts.


      ONLINE → store delivers to EU address → you export via ocean freighter /

      If the online store delivers your items to an address inside the EU first and you then export the items yourself via ocean freighter:

      1. Get a correct receipt from the store Your receipt from the store should show your name and non-EU address. Don't forget to add these details to your payment information when checking out your shopping cart and paying online. 

      2. Get proof of export
        Find out which documents you need here.


      3. Create an account and register your claim
        You can download our app (Google Play | Apple Store) or create an account via our website.

        Register your receipt in your account. We’ll ask you to upload copies of your documents.

        Tip: if you need to make scans, you can do so with the Scannable app for free.

      After completing this process we'll keep you updated by email automatically. We'll provide a time-frame for your refund and we'll notify you when your VAT has come in from the store. Information about payment methods can be found here.

      ONLINE → store delivers to EU address → you export via airplane, car or train /

      If the online store delivers your items to an address inside the EU and you export the items yourself, via airplane, train or car:

      1. Print your invoice from the store Most online stores send your invoice via email after you have paid.

        If you did not receive an invoice that meets the requirements for a VAT refund, in addition, please fill in a tax-free form.

      2. Get proof of export
        Find out where to get proof of export here.

        After getting 
        proof of export, always make photos/scans of all your documents, especially if you need to send them in via post.

      3. Create an account and register your claim
        You can download our app (Google Play | Apple Store) or create an account via our website.

        Register your receipt in your account. We’ll ask you to upload copies of your documents.

        Tip: you can make high quality scans using the Scannable app (Ios Iphone) for free.

      After completing this process we'll keep you updated by email automatically. We'll provide a time-frame for your refund and we'll notify you when your VAT has come in from the store. Information about payment methods can be found here.

      ONLINE → store delivers directly to non-EU address → exported via ocean freighter /

      If the online store organised delivery and export of your items to an address outside the EU:

      1. Get a correct receipt from the store Your receipt from the store should show your name and non-EU address. Don't forget to add these details to your payment information when checking out your shopping cart and paying online. 

      2. Get proof of export
        Find out which documents you need here. You might need to contact the store to get copies of your export documents.


      3. Create an account and register your claim
        You can download our app (Google Play | Apple Store) or create an account via our website.

        Register your receipt in your account. We’ll ask you to upload copies of your documents.

        Tip: if you need to make scans, you can do so with the Scannable app for free.

      After completing this process we'll keep you updated by email automatically. We'll provide a time-frame for your refund and we'll notify you when your VAT has come in from the store. Information about payment methods can be found here.

      ONLINE → store delivers directly to non-EU address → exported via courier (DHL, UPS, FedEX etc) /

      If the online store delivers your items to an address inside the EU first and you then export the items yourself via courier like DHL, UPS, FedEX or another postal forwarding company;

      1. Get a correct receipt from the store Your receipt from the store should show your name and non-EU address. Don't forget to add these details to your payment information when checking out your shopping cart and paying online. 

      2. Get proof of export
        Find out which documents you need here.
        You might need to contact the store to get copies of your export documents.

      3. Create an account and register your claim
        You can download our app (Google Play | Apple Store) or create an account via our website.

        Register your receipt in your account. We’ll ask you to upload copies of your documents.

        Tip: if you need to make scans, you can do so with the Scannable app for free.

      After completing this process we'll keep you updated by email automatically. We'll provide a time-frame for your refund and we'll notify you when your VAT has come in from the store. Information about payment methods can be found here.

      What documents do I need for items exported by air (DHL, FedEx, PostNL etc) /

        Your shipping documents must be issued by your shipping company and show sufficient information about your purchase from the store:

        DOCUMENT TYPEMANDAORY INFORMATION

        Commercial invoice

        or

        Customs documents showing the import duties/taxes paid


        The following information must be visible:

        1. Your name
        2. Tracking/waybill number
        3. Invoice/receipt/transaction number from the store
        4. Purchase amount, VAT amount or import taxes and duties paid
        5. Detailed description of the items bought (as shown on receipt)

        Proof of Delivery (POD)

        1. Tracking/waybill number (same as on commercial invoice or confirmation of shipment)

          The proof of delivery can be found on your couriers website with your tracking number. Find out how to get a POD here.


        Non-EU residents /

        You are eligible for a VAT refund if you meet the NEMS-requirements:


        Please note; there are also requirements for purchase receipts.

        How can I connect my cash register to your platform for a faster refund? /

        You can connect to our digital refund system if your sales processor is partnered with vatfree.com. Sales processors partnered with vatfree.com include:

        Your sales processor will charge a small fee for adding our application to your existing system. Contact your sales processor for an exact amount. 

        Is your sales processor not included? Send us an email address of your contact within your sales processor organisation. We'll get in touch with them for a solution.


        Can I submit my claim directly to the store? /

        Yes, you can, but most stores won't process your individual claim. Many stores that do process individual claims charge a fee, just like vatfree.com. Why? Because, in order to process VAT refund claims submitted by consumers, stores need to carry out administrative procedures that are more complicated than usual. They also need secure environments to store customer's data and ID documents. Many stores don't know how to do this themselves and don't want to invest time and money into internalising the required know-how. Instead, they prefer to outsource this administration to (you guessed it); tax-free providers like vatfree.com.  Processing claims submitted via vatfree.com isn't only easier for stores, it's also easier for you. After all, it takes a lot of your precious time to submit claims to each individual store and keep track of all that communication. Vatfree.com offers the highest refund in the market. So why not outsource your admin to us, instead of doing it all yourself!

        Why do I pay a service fee? /

        Service fees are standard in the tax-free market. 

        Most stores outsource VAT refund procedures to companies like vatfree.com. Why?

        To process a VAT refund claim stores and companies need to:

        For most stores and companies the costs of human resources and information infrastructure required for these processes are too high in light of the small % of customers requesting back VAT. Most stores therefore outsource this process to VAT refund companies like vatfree.com.

        These processes require funds from our side too and this is reflected in our fees. Because we are specialised in these processes our fees are still lower than the fees of many stores that process refunds directly.

        One of our top goals is to lower service fee's dramatically and get them close to zero. We know you have the right to receive a full refund and we aim to offer our customers close to full refunds in the future. We plan to do that through digitalisation so manual administrative checks are no longer needed. Developing the tech requires funds and getting all stores and customs departments on board takes time. We're working on it!

        In the mean time, we try to offer the lowest service fee's as possible and we're proud of that. If you find a lower fee somewhere else, please let us know. We'll adjust our service fee's for you.

        NATO Netherlands - Shopping at non-Dutch stores /

        This article applies to NATO military employees stationed in the Netherlands that have bought items in stores outside the Netherlands (but inside the EU)

         

        To submit a VAT refund claim, please follow the steps below:

         

        1. Get a purchase receipt or invoice from the store

        2. Print and fill a 'VAT and Excise Duty Exemption Certificate 151',  two (2) times. One (1) for yourself and one (1) for the tax office. The tax office will not make copies; you have to have both copies with you. Download: GENERAL 151 FORM

          Download: BRUNSSUM 151 FORM

          1. Box 1: Fill in YOUR name & YOUR Netherlands' residence address (ignore Brunssum address)

          2. Box 5: Fill in the store details, description of your items (like on your purchase invoice) and item amounts excluding VAT

          3. Box 2, 3, 4, 6, and 7: will be completed and stamped by an employee at the tax office.

        3. Download our app or create an account via our website and register your receipt. We’ll ask you to upload copies of your documents.




        When this process has been completed, we’ll check your documents and contact the store for your refund. You’ll be notified by email when a store has processed your claim. After receiving notification, payment can be requested by logging in to your account.

         

        Additional remarks:

         

        NATO - Shopping at EU stores /

        If you are stationed in the Netherlands and buying at Dutch stores, please follow instructions here.

         

        To submit a VAT refund claim, please follow the steps below:

         

        1. Get a purchase receipt or invoice from the store

        2. Print and fill a 'VAT and Excise Duty Exemption Certificate 151',  two times.

          One (1) for yourself and one (1) for your NATO base admin/tax office. The tax office will not make copies; you have to have both copies with you.

          Download: GENERAL 151 FORM


          1. Box 1: Fill in YOUR name & YOUR residential address in the EU

          2. Box 5: Fill in the store details, description of your items (like on your purchase invoice) and item amounts excluding VAT

          3. Box 2, 3, 4, 6, and 7: will be completed and stamped by an employee at your NATO base admin/tax office.

        3. Download our app or create an account via our website and register your receipt. We’ll ask you to upload copies of your documents.




        When this process has been completed, we’ll check your documents and contact the store for your refund. You’ll be notified by email when a store has processed your claim. After receiving notification, payment can be requested by logging in to your account.

          

        Additional remarks:

        NATO - Required documents /

        Which documents are required from you will depend on the country and the base you are stationed in/at. Please confirm with your NATO base tax office for more information about the required documents.


        NATO BASE/COMMANDREQUIRED DOCUMENTS

        JFC Brunssum, Netherlands


        Detailed instructions here                                                                                                             

        Most other NATO bases in the EU

        (please contact your NATO base tax office to confirm)

        What is a commercial invoice and where can I get one? /

        To submit a claim for items exported by post (DHL, FedEx, PostNL etc) you don't need a stamp from customs. Instead you'll need to provide three (3) documents. The 'commercial invoice' is one (1) of them.



        EXAMPLE:


        Information about other required documents can be found here.

        What is a Proof of Delivery (POD) and where can I get one? /

        A Proof of Delivery (POD) is a document which the receiver signs when a shipment is delivered in good order and condition. The POD usually contains:

        The POD can be found on your shippers website by using your tracking number. Track your shipment to download your POD here; 


        EXAMPLE:


        Can vatfree.com arrange shipment to a country outside the EU? /

        For shipments from the Netherlands to countries outside the EU, we advise you to contact Morends Logistics.

        Morends is a professional logistics company offering international shipping via sea freighter and air courier (DHL, UPS, FedEx, etc). They w
        ill provide all the required documents for export via ocean and air.


        Please contact Morends for information about shipping costs. Shipping costs are to be paid separately to Morends and are not included in the Vatfree.com service fee. 



        What is the (meaning of the) status of my claim? /

        You can find your receipt status in your account by going to your 'my receipts' page and selecting a receipt. The status of your claim is visible in the receipt summary:




        Refund StatusMeaning
        Waiting for customs stamp
        You still need to mark your receipt as ‘stamped by customs’. Select your receipt → upload a photo of your receipt with the customs stamp visible → click the blue button ‘stamped by customs’
        Waiting for traveller verification
        We still need copies of your ID documents before we can continue processing your claim, or your ID documents are still being checked. You can upload your ID documents on your account page. Your ID documents will be checked within 24 hours.
        Send original receipt by post
        We need to receive your original receipt by post in order to process your claim. You can find our postal address here.
        Waiting for visual validation
        We have received and accepted your receipt. It’s now being checked by a member of our staff. Your receipt will be checked within 24 hours.
        Waiting for double-check
        Your receipt needs to be double-checked by a member of our staff. Your receipt will be checked within 24 hours.
        RejectedYour receipt can (currently) not be processed for a VAT refund claim. We will let you know why your receipt was rejected via email. The reject reason will also be visible under the receipt status in your account. Go to your 'my receipts' page and select the receipt to see the reject reason.
        Waiting for shop validation
        The store where you bought your items is new in our system or needs to be updated because it hasn't received a claim in a very long time. We’re in the process of contacting them to receive information about how to submit your claim to their administration.
        Ready for invoicing
        Your account and receipt details have been checked and approved. We’re ready to send your claim to the store. We send invoices for VAT refund claims to stores two (2) times a month.
        Waiting for payment from shop
        We’ve sent your claim to the store for processing. Most stores process claims within 30 business days. You can find your expected payment date in your account.
        Paid by shop
        The store has processed your claim and transferred the VAT to vatfree.com. You can now request payment.
        Payout requested
        We’ve received your payment request. The amount will be transferred to your account during our first upcoming payment-run. You’ll receive a notification via email when payment has been transferred to your account.
        Fully paid
        We’ve transferred your refund amount to your account. You should have received an email from us to let you know that we've paid.

        Depreciated

        If your receipt has the status 'depreciated' this means your claim has expired in our system and can no longer be paid (due to bookkeeping and accounting reasons). Claims expire in our system if you do not request payment within 2 years after the store has processed your claim. Please keep a close eye on your email inbox and the receipt status in your account. As soon as a store has processed your claim we let you know automatically via email (and in your account) that you can log in to request payment. Please request payment on time so your claim does not expire.
        Do I need to show items to customs in their original packaging? /

        Yes. Officially, purchased items must be presented to customs in their original packaging. If, for whatever reason, you need to use your purchases before leaving the EU (like a new phone or laptop) please bring the original packaging with you to customs.

        We advise you to always leave price tags on clothing and to leave food items in their original packaging until after you have arrived back in your non-EU homecountry.

        Germany /



        Minimum spend amount
        €50 per store per day
        VAT rates

        Standard: 19%

        Low: 7% (food and books) 

        Time limit to export
        Before the end of the 3rd month, after the month of purchase
        Required documentation for customs
        • Passport
        • If you have an EU passport; other proof of residence outside the EU
        • Boarding pass
        • Purchased items
        • Complete purchase invoice stating the name and address of the store, quantity and description of the exported goods, identity of the buyer (name, passport number and full non-EU address)
        • Don't have a complete purchase invoice? Then a "Ausfuhr und Abnehmerbestätigung im nichtkommerziellen Reiseverkehr" or vatfree.com tax-free form is mandatory
        Airports

        Berlin Tegel Airport, Germany



        France /

        Standard VAT rate: 20%

        Low VAT rate: 5% - food and books


        Minimum spend amount: €125,01 in the same store on the same day


        Time limit to export: before the end of the 3rd month, after the month of purchase


        Required documentation for customs: 




        Belgium /

        Standard VAT rate: 21%

        Low VAT rate: 6% - food and books


        Minimum spend amount: €125,01 per invoice or in the same store on the same day


        Time limit to export: before the end of the 3rd month, after the month of purchase


        Required documentation for customs: 



        Spain /



        Minimum spend amount
        0 - No minimum
        VAT rates

        Standard: 21%

        Low: 10% (food and some optical products) 

        Low: 4% (medicines, pharmaceutical goods, books, magazines)

        Time limit to export
        Before the end of the 3rd month, after the month of purchase
        Required documentation for customs
        • Passport
        • If you have an EU passport; other proof of residence outside the EU
        • Boarding pass
        • Purchased items
        • Purchase invoice/receipt 
        • Spanish stores: tax-free form provided by the store
        • Stores from other countries: standard tax-free form
        AirportsMadrid Barajas Airport, Spain
        Barcelona airport, Spain
        Malaga Airport, Spain



        Italy /

        Standard VAT rate: 22%

        Low VAT rate: 10% - food (meat and other food items)
        Low VAT rate: 5% - herbs (basil, oregano and sage)

        Low VAT rate: 4% - milk, fruit, vegetables, bread and prescription glasses

        Minimum spend amount: €154,95 per invoice or in the same store on the same day


        Time limit to export: before the end of the 3rd month, after the month of purchase


        Required documentation for customs: 



        Greece /

        Standard VAT rate: 24%
        Standard VAT rate on Chios, Kos, Mytilini and Samos Islands: 17%

        Low VAT rate: 13% - fresh food, some basic foods, infant and child nutrition, diapers, child seats


        Minimum spend amount: €50 per invoice or in the same store on the same day


        Time limit to export: before the end of the 3rd month, after the month of purchase


        Required documentation for customs: 



        Portugal /

        Standard VAT rate mainland: 23%
        Standard VAT rate Madeira: 22% 

        Standard VAT rate Azores: 18%

        Low VAT rate: 13% - wine, musical instruments

        Low VAT rate: 6% - medicines, books, optical lenses


        Minimum spend amount mainland 23%: €61,50 per invoice or in the same store on the same day
        Minimum spend amount mainland 13%: €56,50 per invoice or in the same store on the same day
        Minimum spend amount mainland 6%: €53 per invoice or in the same store on the same day


        Minimum spend amount Madeira 22%: €61 per invoice or in the same store on the same day
        Minimum spend amount Azores 18%: €59 per invoice or in the same store on the same day


        Time limit to export: before the end of the 3rd month, after the month of purchase


        Required documentation for customs: 



        Austria /

        Standard VAT rate: 20%

        Low VAT rate: 13% - wine

        Low VAT rate: 10% -  food, books and pharmaceutical products


        Minimum spend amount: €75,01 per invoice or in the same store on the same day


        Time limit to export: before the end of the 3rd month, after the month of purchase


        Required documentation for customs: 



        Denmark /

        Standard VAT rate: 25%


        Minimum spend amount: 300.01 DKK on the same day and in the same store


        Time limit to export: before the end of the 3rd month, after the month of purchase


        Required documentation for customs: 



        Ireland /

        Standard VAT rate: 23%

        Low VAT rate: 13% - food supplements


        Minimum spend amount: €75 per invoice or in the same store on the same day


        Time limit to export: before the end of the 3rd month, after the month of purchase


        Required documentation for customs: 



        How can I verify my account? /

        Your account needs to be verified so we can start processing your claims. You can verify your account by submitting all required fields (*) on your account page. 

        In some cases (non-EU residents, EU-based diplomats, exports via ocean freighter) you are required to upload a copy of your identity documentsYou can find out how to safely share a copy of your identity document here.

        After you have submitted all required details they will be checked by a member of your team. You will receive a confirmation via email when your account has been verified.



        Where can I get proof of export / VAT exemption? /

        Choose a situation below for more information about where to get proof of export / VAT exemption:

        1. Non-EU residents exporting via hand luggage/airplane

        2. Non-EU residents exporting via car 

        3. Non-EU residents exporting via train

        4. Individuals exporting via ocean freighter (cargo)

        5. Individuals exporting via air courier; DHL, UPS, FedEx et. (cargo)

        6. Individuals working at NATO

        7. EU-based diplomats
        Frankfurt Airport, Germany /


        Customs systemManual, customs stamp
        Minimum Spend threshold€50 per invoice/receipt
        Customs locations and opening hoursOn the way to your gate, after passport control, 24/7.
        Contact details

        Phone: +49 180 6372 4636

        Email: [email protected]


        For immediate assistance at the airport you can also use an InfoGate.
        Required documentation for German customs and German stores
        • A complete purchase invoice containing the name and address of the store, quantity and description of the exported goods, identity of the purchaser (name, passport number and non-EU address)
        • If you don't have a complete invoice an additional tax-free form is mandatory
        • Purchased items
        • Passport
        • If you have an EU passport; proof of residence outside the EU
        • Boarding pass
        More informationFrankfurt airport website - VAT refunds


        Munich Airport, Germany /


        Customs systemManual, customs stamp
        Minimum Spend threshold€50 per invoice/receipt
        Customs locations and opening hoursAll Munich airport customs locations and opening hours can be found here.
        Contact details

        Phone: +49 89 975 00

        Email: [email protected]

        Required documentation for German customs and German stores
        • A complete purchase invoice containing the name and address of the store, quantity and description of the exported goods, identity of the purchaser (name, passport number and non-EU address)
        • If you don't have a complete invoice an additional tax-free form is mandatory
        • Purchased items
        • Passport
        • If you have an EU passport; proof of residence outside the EU
        • Boarding pass
        More information

        Munich airport website - Customs Offices


        Düsseldorf Airport, Germany /


        Customs systemManual, customs stamp
        Minimum Spend threshold€50 per invoice/receipt
        Customs locations and opening hoursNext to check-in counter 190. 
        Contact details

        Phone: +492114216666

        Email: [email protected]

        Required documentation for German customs and German stores
        • A complete purchase invoice containing the name and address of the store, quantity and description of the exported goods, identity of the purchaser (name, passport number and non-EU address)
        • If you don't have a complete invoice an additional tax-free form is mandatory
        • Purchased items
        • Passport
        • If you have an EU passport; proof of residence outside the EU
        • Boarding pass
        More informationDüsseldorf airport website - VAT refunds


        Berlin Tegel Airport, Germany /


        Customs systemManual, customs stamp
        Minimum Spend threshold€50 per invoice/receipt
        Customs locations and opening hoursTerminal 1, check-in island 7

        Transfer passengers leaving the EU can go to the customs office in the gallery in the main hall if they did not receive a customs certificate at their departure airport.
        Contact details

        Phone: +49 30 6091 6091 0

        Email: [email protected]

        Required documentation for German customs and German stores
        • A complete purchase invoice containing the name and address of the store, quantity and description of the exported goods, identity of the purchaser (name, passport number and non-EU address)
        • If you don't have a complete invoice an additional tax-free form is mandatory
        • Purchased items
        • Passport
        • If you have an EU passport; proof of residence outside the EU
        • Boarding pass
        More informationBerlin Tegel airport website - VAT refunds


        VAT refunds - laws and regulations /

        EU law states certain types of customers are exempt from paying VAT over items bought in the EU. Local national laws on VAT and exemptions are based on and correspond to EU law.

        For more information about corresponding national laws in your EU country, please contact us via [email protected]

        The list below includes customers and situations in which vatfree.com can help:


        Situation, customers and items exemptLaw
        Items transported to a destination outside the EU by or on behalf of the vendor
        Article 146(1)(a) VAT Directive
        Items transported to a destination outside the EU by or on behalf of the customerArticle 146(1)(b) VAT Directive
        Items transported to a destination outside the EU by a non-EU resident in their personal luggage
        Article 147 VAT Directive
        Items bought by staff of an embassy, permanent representation, consulate and other international bodies and their membersArticle 151(1)(a)(b) VAT Directive
        Armed forces of a NATO country and the civilian staff accompanying them
        Article 151(1)(c) and (d) VAT Directive




        Barcelona Airport, Spain /

        

        Customs system
        • Manual, wet stamp, customs desk (Spanish and other EU stores)
        • Digital terminal (DIVA), barcode scan (Spanish stores)
        Minimum Spend threshold0 / no minimum for Spanish stores
        Minimum spend threshold's for other countries can be found here
        Customs locations and opening hours

        Terminal T1, Floor 3 (Check-in hall)
        Open 24 hours

        Terminal T2 B, Floor 0, Departures hall
        Open from 07.00 - 22.00

        Contact details                             

        Phone: +34 91 321 10 00

        Email: [email protected]

        Required documentation for customs
        • A complete purchase invoice containing the name and address of the store, quantity and description of the exported goods, identity of the purchaser (name, passport number and non-EU address)
        • If you don't have a complete invoice an additional tax-free form is mandatory
        • Purchased items
        • Passport
        • If you have an EU passport; proof of residence outside the EU
        • Boarding pass
        More InformationBarcelona airport website - VAT refunds


        Malaga airport, Spain /


        Customs system
        • Manual, wet stamp, customs desk (Spanish and other EU stores)
        • Digital terminal (DIVA), barcode scan
        Minimum Spend threshold0 / no minimum for Spanish stores
        Minimum spend threshold's for other countries can be found here
        Customs locations and opening hours

        Terminal T3, Floor 1 (Check-in hall)
        To the left of the check-in area counters 363-386
        Open from 07.00 - 22.00

        Contact details                             

        Phone: +34 952 792 935

        Email: [email protected]

        Required documentation for customs
        • A complete purchase invoice containing the name and address of the store, quantity and description of the exported goods, identity of the purchaser (name, passport number and non-EU address)
        • If you don't have a complete invoice an additional tax-free form is mandatory
        • Purchased items
        • Passport
        • If you have an EU passport; proof of residence outside the EU
        • Boarding pass
        More Information

        Malaga airport website - VAT refunds


        ONLINE → store delivers to EU address → you export via courier (DHL, UPS, FedEX etc) /

        If the online store delivers your items to an address inside the EU first and you then export the items yourself via courier like DHL, UPS, FedEX or another postal forwarding company;

        1. Get a correct receipt from the store Your receipt from the store should show your name and non-EU address. Don't forget to add these details to your payment information when checking out your shopping cart and paying online. 

        2. Get proof of export
          Find out which documents you need here.


        3. Create an account and register your claim
          You can download our app (Google Play | Apple Store) or create an account via our website.

          Register your receipt in your account. We’ll ask you to upload copies of your documents.

          Tip: if you need to make scans, you can do so with the Scannable app for free.

        After completing this process we'll keep you updated by email automatically. We'll provide a time-frame for your refund and we'll notify you when your VAT has come in from the store. Information about payment methods can be found here.

        Where can I submit a payment request? /

        You can request payment via the 'My receipts' page in your account. Select the green 'Payout refunds' button to start the payment process. 

        The payment option will become available after a store has processed your claim.



        Information about your payment date can be found here.

        Do Russian sanctions effect my payment? /

        Due to current sanctions the PayPal and Creditcard payment options are no longer available for Russian accounts. Payments to Russian creditcard accounts and PayPal accounts connected to Russian cards will be blocked and sent back to our bank. If you live in Russia please choose a different payment option or use the creditcard or PayPal account of a family member or friend based in a country other than Russia.  

        I can’t see the 'payout refunds' payment button in my account, now what? /

        You can find out where you should be able to find the payment button here.   

        If we sent you an email to let you know the store has processed your claim but you can't find the payment button when logged into your account, the following might be happening:


        You have logged into a duplicate account

        Go to your 'my receipts' page and check if your claim is visible there. If your claim isn't visible on your 'my receipts' page you might have logged into the wrong account. You might have logged into an account that you created a long time ago with a different email address or you might have used a social button (Google, Facebook, Linkedin, WeChat) to log in instead of your email address and password.

        Check the email we sent you to determine to which of your accounts it was sent. You need to use that account/login method to log into the correct account and see your claim and the payment button.

        If you used the correct email address/login method but still can't see your claim and the payment button in your account, please contact us via [email protected] We might need to merge your accounts if you have more than 1 so you can see all your claims in one place.

        The store reversed paymentIf your claim is visible on the 'my receipts' page in your account and you received an email about payment your receipt status should be 'paid by shop' (the store has processed your claim). If you received an email from us to let you know the store has paid, but your receipt status is still 'waiting for payment from shop', this means payment from the store was reversed or there is another payment issue playing in the background. Please contact us via [email protected]
        I have a receipt without store details and can’t remember the store name and address, now what? /

        We need the store name and address to find the store's contact details and the correct department to send your VAT refund claim for payment.

        If you remember the store name and address please let us know via [email protected]

        If you don't remember the store name and/or address you can check your payments in your banking system. The name of the store might be visible in the transaction details. Search on/around the purchase date and the amount mentioned on your receipt. Let us know the store name via [email protected]

        If you haven't received proof of export yet and because you don't have a receipt with store name and address (officially required information), we advise you to bring a tax-free form to customs. You can also contact the store and ask for an official invoice.


        What if my customs stamp is unclear/smudged? /

        If your customs stamp is a bit or very unclear/smudged you can upload a copy of your boarding pass/flight itinerary as extra proof for the store that your items were exported. Your name and exit date from the EU (corresponding to the date on your customs stamp) should be clearly visible.

        Eindhoven, The Netherlands /


        Customs system
        • Manual, wet stamp, customs desk (Dutch and other EU stores)
        • Digital terminal, barcode scan (Dutch stores)
        Minimum Spend threshold€50,- per store per day
        Minimum spend threshold's for other countries can be found here
        Customs locations and opening hours

        The customs desk at Eindhoven Airport is located on 1ste floor. Before check-in and passport control, in the main hall, take the elevator up to the 1ste floor. When arriving on the first floor with the elevator, turn right. At the end of the hall you can find the customs desk. The yellow signs will point you in the right direction.
        Desk open from 06:00 – 22:00 Customs officers are present at the airport 24/7 If the desk is closed, you can contact customs via the numbers displayed on the customs desk. A customs officer will come down to the desk to stamp your receipts. If you can not find the number, please ask an airport employee for help.

        Contact details                             

        Eindhoven Airport general contact number: +35227000767 (a customer service agent can connect you to the customs department)

        Required documentation for customs
        • A complete purchase invoice containing the name and address of the store, quantity and description of the exported goods, identity of the purchaser (name, passport number and non-EU address)
        • If you don't have a complete invoice an additional tax-free form is mandatory
        • Purchased items
        • Passport
        • If you have an EU passport; proof of residence outside the EU
        • Boarding pass
        Rotterdam airport, The Netherlands /
        Customs system
        • Manual, wet stamp, customs desk (Dutch and other EU stores)
        • Digital terminal, barcode scan (Dutch stores)
        Minimum Spend threshold€50,- per store per day
        Minimum spend threshold's for other countries can be found here
        Customs locations and opening hours

        The customs desk at Rotterdam Airport is located on 1ste floor. When arriving via the main entrance of the airport, turn right and take the stairs up. Signs will direct you to the customs desk. If you're not sure, please ask an airport employee to point you in the right direction

        Customs officers are present at the airport 24/7 If the desk is closed, you can contact customs via the numbers displayed on the customs desk (and below). A customs officer will come down to the desk to stamp your receipts. If you can not find the number, please ask an airport employee for help.

        Contact details                             

        Rotterdam Airport general contact number: +35227000767 Rotterdam Airport Customs: +31881538300

        Required documentation for customs
        • A complete purchase invoice containing the name and address of the store, quantity and description of the exported goods, identity of the purchaser (name, passport number and non-EU address)
        • If you don't have a complete invoice an additional tax-free form is mandatory
        • Purchased items
        • Passport
        • If you have an EU passport; proof of residence outside the EU
        • Boarding pass


        Why is my VAT refund payment delayed? /

        Please note that the expected refund date in your account is an approximation and not guaranteed.


        If your payment has not come in within 2 weeks after the expected refund date in your account and you have not heard from us yet, please contact us via [email protected]


        In general, reasons for payment delays can be the following and will vary depending on the partnership status of the store:


        The finance department of the store only processes payments once a month and/or has longer than usual payment terms

        A store employee responsible for payments is on holiday

        A store employee responsible for payments is sick

        The store has changed their contact address, bank account or other billing details and did not communicate this to us

        The store has changed their refund policy and did not communicate this to us


        The store is not sure our request is legitimate because you did not contact them beforehand (and therefore unfortunately did not respond and pay)

        The store has never received a VAT refund claim before and is still waiting for information about the VAT refund process from the tax administration and/or their accountant/tax-analyst

        The store is already working with a different VAT refund company (and therefore unfortunately did not respond and pay)

        The store prefers to refund the VAT to you directly (and therefore unfortunately did not respond and pay)

        The store never refunds VAT (and therefore unfortunately did not respond and pay)




        Why has my refund in Euro been subject to conversion into US dollars (or another currency)? /

        Due to VISA and MasterCard (CreditCard) processes which lie out of our control, our payment in euro's might be subject to conversion to the default currency of your card. These processes are determined by VISA and MasterCard, not vatfree.com. We apologise in advance for any inconvenience this might cause and kindly ask for your understanding if this is the case. 

        If you want to avoid conversion, please choose a different payment option: