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.
 

Details to block: social security number, photo, signature

Details that should stay visible: passport 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:


 


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 only share the copies of your documents (with blocked sensitive information) if the retailer or tax administration requires them.

Does my stamped receipt have an expiration date? /

Your goods should be exported before the end of the 3rd month after the month of purchase. Your customs stamp (or export documents in case you goods were exported by a shipping company) will prove your goods were exported on time.

If your goods have been exported on time, you can submit you receipt for a VAT refund until the end of the 5th year, after the year of purchase.


The expiration period 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: 
All receipts/invoices with UK purchases from 1 January 2021 onwards are no longer eligible for a refund. However, receipts/invoices from (web)retailers that have delivered outside the UK (via cargo) can simply 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.

- Log in to your account
- On your 'My account' page, scroll down to the section 'Preferred payment method'
- Select your preferred payment method
- Submit and check your details

After you have submitted your payment details, 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:


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) /

If you submit a claim for goods 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 for online and in-store purchases, if you meet the NEMS-requirements:

Other eligible groups include:


Please also check the requirements for purchase receipts.

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

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 / after opening hours: +31881583440

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

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 €46 per item (including VAT) 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.

What do I do with my receipts? /


  1. Create an account via our app or website
    We advise you to register your claims in advance. Via your account (app or website) you will receive important information like your refund amount and wether you will need to send in your receipts by post. Don't worry. Most claims can be submitted fully digitally. You can upload copies of your receipts after you have received a stamp from customs. 

  2. Get a customs stamp on your receipt or tax-free form at the airport 
    After passing by customs, always make photo's of your stamped receipts, even if you need to send them in via post

  3. Register your stamped receipt in your account
    If you haven't done so already, register your receipts in your account. Upload your photos so we can start processing your claims.
How does vatfree.com handle my data? /

Please read our full privacy statement here.

Is there a vatfree.com mailbox at the airport? /

To submit your request at the airport, please deposit your envelope with receipts in a mailbox of the national postal service. Make sure to register your receipts in the vatfree.com app or website first.

All airports have a general postal office or mailboxes of the national postal service in various locations. To be sure, check the airport website or contact customer services a day before your departure. You can also 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 use an envelope, a postal stamp, your contact details and registration numbers.

What is your address for postal mail? /

Our address for regular mail:

vatfree.com
att: Web
P.O. Box 37234
1030 AE Amsterdam
The Netherlands


Our address for courier mail:

Many couriers can not deliver to P.O. boxes because they require somebody to sign for delivery. Make sure to always ask your courier if they require somebody to sign for delivery. If the answer is yes, don't use the address mentioned above. Instead, use the address below:

vatfree.com / Smeenk
Nieuwendammerkade 28a14
1022 AB Amsterdam
The Netherlands

Telephone number: +3188 828 37 33

How can I avoid paying transaction costs? /

To avoid paying transaction costs you can:

What if customs is closed? /

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


  1. If the customs desk is closed, please call the customs 24/7 helpline
    Customs officers are usually present at the airport 24/7. Telephone numbers in case of closed desks are usually listed on the customs desk window or counter.

    Information about customs at Schiphol can be found here.

    If you think you will be at the airport before or after customs opening hours, we advise you to contact the airport a day before your departure. Ask them if there is a 24/7 customs service available. If yes, ask if they can provide the telephone number/location of this service. 


  2. Customs at your non-EU airport of arrival
    If you were not able to get a customs stamp for other reasons, please go to customs at your non-EU airport of arrival.

    a. go to the customs office where you can 'declare your goods'. These offices are located between the bagage claim belts and the exit.

    b. go to a customs office after the exit. Customs offices are often located in departure halls close to check in. Ask an airport employee to point you in the right direction.

    Please note; if there is no date included in the stamp, please ask the customs official providing the stamp to write the date of entry with a signature next to the stamp.


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 get a VAT refund from every store, but don't worry, most stores are more than happy to cooperate. 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.

Refunding VAT is not mandatory by law. EU law states that, i
f you meet the requirements for a VAT refund, you have the right to submit a claim. However, at the same time, EU law also states that stores are not legally obliged to cooperate. Stores may also pay the VAT to the government during their periodic tax returns instead. 

Furthermore, some stores don't allow you to choose your own preferred refund partner. The store will only refund VAT if you use the refund partner they exclusively work with. Don't worry. Most stores value your freedom of choice and let you choose; they work with multiple refund partners at the same time.

To make sure you'll be able to claim back the VAT via vatfree.com, shop at stores that guarantee a refund. These stores can be found in our
 shopping guideThe coloured logo's in our shopping guide will tell you wether a store cooperates with vatfree.com or not:







Partner store
This is a vatfree.com partner store.
Refund is guaranteed








Pledger store

This store cooperates on a regular basis, or has cooperated in the past and has pledged to participate in the future.
Refund is highly likely







New store

This store is new in our system. 
Another vatfree.com customer has recently registered their receipt from this store and is still waiting for their refund. We're not sure yet wether the store will cooperate in refunding their VAT. When the store decides to cooperate (or not), we'll update this status. 
We advise you to contact the store first to determine wether they have a preferred VAT refund process in place. Please ask them wether they would be willing to cooperate with refunding your VAT via vatfree.com. New stores are often more willing to cooperate if you let them know beforehand that you're going to submit a claim. Cooperation currently unknown






Non-cooperative store
This store has indicated to us in the past that they do not wish to cooperate with VAT refunds via vatfree.com. This means we probably can't process your claim for this store. You can still register your receipt and we can try to contact them again, but a refund is not guaranteed. Please don't send your original receipt to our office in the post. Instead, keep it safe with you at home. You might need it to request a VAT refund from them directly or via another refund agency.

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

Find out what to do if a store doesn't cooperate here

Refund is unlikely

What are your payment options? /


You may use any account, even one belonging to a family member or friend. The account you use to receive your refund does not have to be the same as the account you used to pay in the store.

What do the colored 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 cooperate with refunding your VAT. Unfortunately, stores are not obligated by EU law to do so. They may also choose to pay the VAT to the government during their periodic tax returns instead. Even though EU law states you have the right to claim back VAT, some stores choose not to be of service.

If the store where you shopped is not listed in our guide, you can add it yourself during the registration of your receipt. It will receive the status 'new' in our guide (read about new stores below).

To make sure you'll be able to claim back VAT, shop at stores that guarantee a refund. These stores can be found in our shopping guide (also available in our app for iOS and Android). The coloured logo's in our shopping guide will tell you wether a store cooperates with vatfree.com or not:






Partner store
This is a vatfree.com partner store.
Refund is guaranteed








Pledger store

This store cooperates on a regular basis, or has cooperated in the past and has pledged to participate in the future.
Refund is highly likely







New store

This store is new in our system. 
Another vatfree.com customer has recently registered their receipt from this store and is still waiting for their refund. We're not sure yet wether the store will cooperate in refunding their VAT. When the shop decides to cooperate (or not), we'll update this status. 
We advise you to contact the store first to determine wether they have a preferred VAT refund process in place. Please ask them wether they would be willing to cooperate with refunding your VAT via vatfree.com. New stores are often more willing to cooperate if you let them know beforehand that you're going to submit a claim. Cooperation currently unknown






Non-cooperative store
This store has indicated to us in the past that they do not wish to cooperate with VAT refunds via vatfree.com. This means we probably can't process your claim for this store. You can still register your receipt and we can try to contact them again, but a refund is not guaranteed. Please don't send your original receipt to our office in the post. Instead, keep it safe with you at home. You might need it to request a VAT refund from them directly or via another refund agency.

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

Find out what to do if a store doesn't cooperate here

Refund is unlikely

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 in your shopping guide? / If the store where you shopped is not listed in our guide, this means that this store has never worked with us for VAT refund before. You are welcome to register your receipt, however, a VAT refund is not guaranteed. We advise you to contact the store first to determine whether they have a preferred VAT refund process in place. Please ask them whether they would be willing to cooperate with refunding your VAT via vatfree.com. 

To register a claim for a new store, you can add the store to our shopping guide yourself. You need to be logged in to your account to add a new store. 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!

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.
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? /

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.

Our address for regular mail:

vatfree.com
P.O. Box 37234
1030 AE Amsterdam
The Netherlands


Our address for couriers (DHL, FedEx, etc.):

vatfree.com / Smeenk
Nieuwendammerkade 28a14
1022 AB Amsterdam
The Netherlands
Telephone number: +3188 828 37 33


Do you have a tracking number for your mail?
If yes, send it to us via email. We can mark your receipts as received and processed in advance. This will speed up your refund process.

 



 

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? / If your store has run out of tax free envelopes and forms, you can order a new batch by calling us or sending us an email at support. Please provide your store name and address. As soon as we have received your request we will send you a package in the post, or drop it off at your store.

I need to send in my receipt, 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 this is not the case, be sure to make a copy/photo of your purchase receipt for warranty matters, 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? /

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. 

Examples:

  1. Total purchase amount incl. VAT: €121,-
    VAT amount: €21,-
    Service fee (30% of the VAT, max. €80,-): €6,30-
    Refund: €14,70

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

Do I need to use a postal stamp? /

Yes, you need to use a postal stamp on your envelope.

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? /

Unfortunately we can not return your original receipt to you, or forward it to another party.

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 case they are not refunded by the store.

We therefore always advise you to check our shopping guide first, to determine wether a store will cooperate with refunding your VAT via vatfree.com, before you send your receipts to our office in the post.

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

Do you pay me automatically? /

No, we do not pay you automatically. When your refund has been paid by the store, we'll inform you via email and the app. You can then log in to your account to request payment. 

You can request payment via the receipts page in your account. Select the green 'payout refunds' button to start the payment process. 
The payment button will become visible after a store has processed your claim.


Please note; during the early Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, our system was renewed and updated. In some cases automatic emails were not sent to let you know payment could be requested. Check your receipt status in your account to see if your claim was processed. If your receipt status is 'paid by shop', you can now request payment via your receipts page.

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. 

Examples:

  1. Total purchase amount incl. VAT: €121,-
    VAT amount: €21,-
    Service fee (30% of the VAT, max. €80,-): €6,30-
    Refund: €14,70

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

Where can I get a customs stamp? - Airplane /

    Information about customs at Schiphol, Amsterdam airport can be found here.

    1. A customs office, at your EU airport of departure
      At most EU airports, customs offices are located at international departures, close to the check-in desks. Ask an airport employee to point you in the right direction. You can also check the airport website or contact their customer service before the day of your departure. 

      Please note that some European airports have digital tax free validation systems. These digital validation systems work only on receipts from stores from that specific country. To validate your receipts from other countries you can do two things: a. locate a customs office where they can provide a traditional customs stamp or b. go for option 2 mentioned below.

       
    2. A customs office, at your non-EU airport of arrival
      At your non-EU airport of arrival, you can get a stamp a the customs desk, often called 'declare your goods'. These offices are located between the bagage claim belts and the exit.

      You can also go to customs located in the departure halls close to check in. Ask an airport employee to point you in the right direction.

      Please note; if there is no date included in the stamp, please ask the customs official providing the stamp to write the date of entry with a signature next to the stamp.

     

    Can I join vatfree.com if I am affiliated with Global Blue, Premier Tax Free, Planet or Innova taxfree etc.? / Yes! We offer an inclusive service which means every merchant or shop is welcome to join, even if you have another partnership with a different VAT refund company. Offering our tax-free shopping service next to other refund partners will give your customers more choice as we are the fastest growing mobile option with the highest refund guaranteed to the most diverse traveler groups.







    What are the requirements for purchase receipts? /

    The following information must be visible on your receipt:

    If the store can't print your details on the receipt, you can write your address on your receipt by hand.  



    What if I have receipts (from a Dutch store) with a purchase amount lower than €50,-? /

    In general, we can not process a receipt for a VAT refund (from Dutch stores) if it has a total purchase amount of less than €50,-. The minimum spend threshold for receipts from Dutch stores is €50,-.
     

    There is one exception. If you have multiple receipts, from the same store, issued on the same day, you are allowed to add your receipt with a low purchase amount to the registration of another receipt from this store and day. The total purchase amount of the receipts combined must be over €50,-.
     

    You may add the receipt of lower than €50,- to one other receipt. Please register all other receipts from this store and day separately.
     

    If you wish to combine receipts to form one request, you can follow the steps below:

    What if a store does not wish to cooperate with refunding my VAT? /

    We also have a dedicated (English language) page about this topic.



    1. Contact the store
    If a store chooses not to cooperate with refunding your vat via vatfree.com we advise you to contact them directly, either via their customer service, or through social media.

    2. Help the store help you
    For the store's reference, add copies of your original stamped receipts to your email or customer service message. You can also ask us to email you our invoice for your VAT refund, which the store's payment department can use to process your request via vatfree.com.

    3. Include us in the conversation
    Cc-us in your message to the store so we can answer any questions if needed.

    4. Ask the store to make an exception
    Let the store know that you have submitted a VAT refund request via vatfree.com and ask them to make an exception for you.


    We encourage you to contact an uncooperative store directly because many stores decide to change their refund policy if they receive direct questions from customers to process VAT refund requests via vatfree.com.

    Please always check our shopping guide to see if a store cooperates, before you send your original receipts to our office in the post. If you have sent us original receipts from an uncooperative store, and it turns out the store does not wish to cooperate, we can not return your receipt to you or forward them to these stores, competitors or other claiming parties. We kindly ask for your understanding in this matter.

    Why do I need a customs stamp? /


    If you export items via airplane, car or train yourself, you need to get a stamp from customs to prove that you have exported the items to a country outside the EU. You have to export your items and get a stamp from customs before the end of the 3rd month, after the month of purchase. 
    Please check the full list of requirements here.


    Were your goods exported by a shipping company, via ocean freighter or via airmail (DHL, UPS, FedEx etc)? Then you don't need to get a customs stamp. Check the requirements for ocean here. Check the requirements for airmail here.

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

    If your goods were exported by a shipping company oversees, you need to provide 2 official customs documents. You may submit these documents digitally:

     

    1. 'EX-A'
      The EX-A document is an official document following specific guidelines, drawn up by your shipping company for customs, which describes the type and value of your goods. This allow's customs to determine wether the goods are suitable for export and if they need to be checked. 
       
    2. 'Confirmation of Exit' (aanzuivering) 
      After the goods have actually left the EU, your shipping company will automatically receive a Confirmation of Exit (aanzuivering) from customs. The Confirmation of Exit contains information like the date of exit and customs office details. 


    There are strict requirements regarding the information that should be present on your export documents.  You can read more about the requirements here.

    PLEASE NOTE: ask your shipping company to provide these documents before you ship your goods. These documents can no longer be provided by your shipping company after your goods have already been shipped.



    EXAMPLE EX-A + CONFIRMATION OF EXIT




     

    Where can I get a customs stamp? - Train /



    The information above can vary per train station. Please contact the station customer support well in advance before your departure date to find out where you have to go to get a stamp.


    I can't upload any documents to my app. What now? /

    1. Try updating you app. If the app is not updated, not all features will work the way they are supposed to. Please update your app by finding updates in the app store.

    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. 
    Use the same email address, password or login service.

    3. Let us know by email you're having trouble and add your documents in the attachments. We'll upload them 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 in our guide, you can add the store yourself. You need to be logged in to your account to add a new store. 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. If the map can't find the store name, use the address. Select the result. At the bottom of the page click the button 'Add shop.




    Click here to zoom


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


    Please note; If the store where you shopped is not listed in our guide, this means that this store has never worked with us for VAT refund before. You are most welcome to register your receipt, however, a VAT refund is not guaranteed. We advise you to contact the store first to determine whether they have a preferred VAT refund process in place. Please ask them whether they would be willing to cooperate with refunding your VAT via vatfree.com. If they confirm, please feel free to proceed with registering your receipt.

    If the store is part of a larger chain, and those stores are listed as cooperative, chances are high your store will cooperate too. 


     


     

    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:
    - Choose payment method 'IBAN/SEPA'
    - Bank holder name: Rode Kruis
    - Bank account: NL33 INGB 0000 0008 81


    Wildlife Protection WNF (Wereld Natuur Fonds):
    - Choose payment method 'IBAN/SEPA'
    - Bank holder name: Wereld Natuur Fonds
    Bank Account: NL31 RABO 030 0000 030


    When will you pay my refund? /

    Your (approximate) payment date is visible in your account:

    - Log in to your account
    - Go to your 'my receipts' page
    - Click on your receipt
    - Check the 'expected refund date'

    We expect to receive your refund from the store, the latest, on or around this date. As soon as we have received payment from the store we will notify you by email. You can then log in to your account to request a payment transfer.

    No expected refund date visible under your receipt? This can mean that:

    - We are still waiting for your original receipts to arrive at our office in the post
    - Your receipts are still in the process of being checked and approved
    - We are still waiting for/processing the copy of your passport

    Your expected refund date will become visible after these steps have been completed.

    Please note that we do not pay you automatically. You can find out how to request payment here.



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

    We'll let you know via your account (app and website) wether you need to submit your claims via post. Check your receipt status on your receipt page. Is your receipt status 'waiting for original'? Then we'll need to receive your receipts by post. Our address for postal mail can be found here. 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:


    Please note; you still need to keep your receipts in a safe place until the refund process is complete. If the store requests your original receipt for payment, you will need to send it to our office in the post.
    If you're not sure whether your receipt needs to be posted, please contact us by email ([email protected]). 

    Is there a vatfree.com mailbox at the airport? /

    Did you know you can submit most claims digitally? In most cases, you're not required to send in any documents by post. There are some exceptions which you can read about here

    We advise you to register your claims in advance. You can add upload photo's of your receipts after you have received a stamp from customs. Your account (via our app or website) will tell you wether you need to send in any documents by post.

    Always make photo's of your stamped receipts, even if you send them in by post.


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


    All airports have a general postal office or mailboxes of the national postal service in various locations. Ask an airport employee to point you in the right direction.

    Don't forget to use an envelope and a postal stamp. Always include your contact details and registration numbers.

    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 checks wether your customer has exported a purchase and is eligible for a VAT refund. A customs stamp is only provided if all criteria for eligibility have been met.

    You are eligible for a VAT refund if:

    1. You permanently live outside the European Union
    2. You have made purchases that amount to a minimum of € 50 per shop per day
    3. You take the purchases back home yourself, unused and within a 90 day period.


    To prove you are eligible and to receive a customs stamp, you must show customs the following:

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

    United Kingdom, including England, Gibraltar, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

     

    GBP

    Sweden

     

    SEK

    Switzerland

     

    CHF

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

    Yes, you can process requests for receipts issued in a previous fiscal year.

    If your customers receipt was stamped by customs within 3 months after the month of purchase, they are allowed to submit the receipt for a VAT refund until up to 5 years after the year of purchase. 

    Our invoice for your customers VAT refund will be issued in your current book year. This way you can still help your customer get a VAT refund for an old purchase.

    What if my customers invoice/purchase was billed/delivered to a Dutch/European address? /

    If your customers invoice was billed to a Dutch/European address, or if the purchase was delivered to a Dutch/European address, your customer can still get a VAT refund if the invoice has been stamped by customs. 

    If there is a customs stamp on your customers tax-free form or on his invoice from your store, the export of the goods and your customers non-EU residency has been checked by customs and you are allowed by the tax administration to process his VAT refund request.

    You can read more about the customs stamp and customs procedures to ensure your customer has exported the purchase here.

    What information should be present on my EX-A export document (ocean)? /

    Please note; these are strict requirements:


    Your EX-A document should refer clearly to you (not your business) and your items. Please make sure the following information is present on your export document:


    1. Your personal name (the same as on your purchase receipt)
    2. The name of the store 
    3. The invoice / receipt number from the store
    4. Your items purchase value

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

    EXAMPLE EX-A


    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 residence permit? /

    The tax administration obliges us to store a copy of your passport to prove that you are a non-EU resident and that you are eligible for a VAT refund. 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 here.

    Please note; if you have a EU passport, you are also required to provide a copy of your visa or residence permit for the non-EU country you are living in.

    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.

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

    If you wish to submit a claim for goods that have been exported by a shipping company (ocean freighter), please log in to your account and 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'

     



    How can I process your invoice for my administration? (non-Dutch stores) /

    Did you receive an invoice from vatfree.com, for a VAT refund claim from one of your customers?  You can process our invoice as follows:


    1. I
    n your bookkeeping system, correct (credit) the total sales amount of the customers original purchase (including VAT). Register the new sales amount; excluding VAT. 

    2. Transfer the amount of our invoice (VAT amount paid by your customer during the original purchase) to vatfree.com. You can find our bank details at the bottom of our invoice.


    Has your customer's claim been submitted after the periodic tax return for this purchase? In other words, have you already paid the VAT to your local government during a tax return in the past? If your government facilitates corrections of your past periodic tax returns, you can still use the above mentioned procedure. The correction will be processed by your local government and the overpaid amount will be settled according to your local tax administration procedures*.


    * For example, in the Netherlands, corrections of overpaid amounts during past tax returns are settled with the upcoming tax return amount due. 

    How do I process your invoice without paying the VAT twice? (Dutch stores) /

    You are required by the tax administration to pay the VAT collected over your sales during your periodic tax returns (OB-aangifte). Refunding VAT to your customers does not mean that you will pay the VAT twice. The Dutch tax administration allows you to process our invoice for your customers VAT refund as a 'purchase invoice' for your administration. This allows you to reclaim the VAT during your periodic tax returns so you do not pay the VAT twice.

    When submitting your tax returns you are permitted to submit our invoice amount (the VAT amount paid by your customer) in section 5b; 'voorbelasting'. 

    If you have any questions regarding this administrative procedure, please do not hesitate to contact us:

    E-mail: [email protected] Phone: +31 (0) 88 828 37 33 EXAMPLE:





    Madrid, Spain (Barajas) /

    TAX REFUND SYSTEM:
    Electronic: only for receipts from Spanish stores
    Manual: for receipts from other EU countries


    MINIMUM SPEND THRESHOLD:
    € 90,15 per store per day for Spanish stores
    Minimum spend threshold's for other countries can be found here


    CUSTOMS LOCATION + OPENING HOURS:
    Terminal T1, Floor 1 (Check-in)
    Open from 07.00 - 22.00
    Klik here for a map

    Terminal T4 Satellite, Floor 2 (Boarding area)
    Open 24 hours
    Klik here for a map

    Terminal T4, Floor 2 (Departures)
    Open from 07.00 - 22.00
    Klik here for a map


    TIPS:
    Don't forget to bring a tax free form to get your customs stamp
    Don't forget to post your stamped receipts and tax free form to our office, using a postal box of the national postal service (or from your home country).
    Our address details can be found here.


    DOWNLOAD:
    Tax-free form


    Paris, France (Charles de Gaulle) /

    TAX REFUND SYSTEM:
    Electronic: only for receipts from French stores
    Manual: for receipts from other EU countries

    MINIMUM SPEND THRESHOLD:

    € 175 per store per day for French stores
    Minimum spend threshold's for other countries can be found here

    CUSTOMS LOCATION + 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:
    0811 20 44 44 (within France) 
    +33172407850 (from abroad) 

    TIPS:
    Don't forget to bring a tax free form to get your customs stamp
    Don't forget to post your stamped receipts and tax free form to our office, using a postal box of the national postal service (or from your home country). 
    Our address details can be found here.

    DOWNLOAD:
    Tax-free formulier

    London, United Kingdom (Heathrow) /

    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 stores


    1. Give your customer a receipt 

    2. Give your customer a vatfree.com flyer. The flyer will explain what they need to do.

    3. Incase your customer still has questions, you can explain*



    Stores using our cash register solution

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

    2. Give your customer a vatfree.com flyer. The flyer will explain what they need to do. 

    3. Incase your customer still has questions, you can explain*



    Stores using our in-store app

    1. Print your customer’s receipt

    2. Open the in-store app to register your customer’s receipt. You’ll need your customer’s email address. We’ll send your customer an email explaining to them what to do.

    3. Incase your customer still has questions, you can explain*





    * INFORMATION FOR CUSTOMERS


















    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 and forms from other tax-free providers? /

    Other tax-free providers include Global Blue, Innova Tax Free, Planet Payment, Easy Tax Free, and many others. They're our colleagues in the tax-free market and provide similar services as vatfree.com.

    You can submit receipts and forms from all other tax-free providers via vatfree.com, if you prefer to use our services instead of those of our colleagues, as long as the stores where you bought your items cooperate with vatfree.com.

    To check if a store cooperates, please use our
    shopping guideThe coloured logo's that mark the stores in our guide will tell you wether the store will refund your VAT via vatfree.com. 

    If a store doesn't want to cooperate via vatfree.com (grey logo) we can't process your request. In that case we advise you to submit your VAT refund claim via the tax-free provider and form issued by the store.

    Please note that to process your request we need to receive your receipt with a customs stamp. If customs only stamped your VAT refund form, we'll need to receive both the receipt and the form. 



    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!

    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? /

    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.

    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 on your receipt page, during/after the registration of your receipt. You may also upload a copy of your flight itinerary instead.

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


    If your receipt has been rejected because of an issue with your boarding pass, go to the receipt in your account and click the blue button 're-open receipt for submission'. You will then be able to upload a copy of your boarding pass to your receipt. 

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

    No. Companies can not submit a VAT refund claim via vatfree.com. The tax administration does not allow us to process claims and invoices made out to a business. If you want to submit a VAT refund claim via vatfree.com you can only do so as a private person.

    Find out how to submit a VAT refund claim as a business owner:

    - EU-companies

    - Non-EU companies

    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.

    Can I download a tax free form? /

    Click the link to download your form:

    Digital tax-free form 2020.pdf

    https://vatfree-public.s3-eu-central-1.amazonaws.com/faq/NTFfxQpZyAjtzgmTJ-Digital%20tax-free%20form%202020.pdf






    Amsterdam Central Train Station, The Netherlands /

    If you are leaving the Netherlands by train directly to a non-EU country, customs officers will be present on the platform your train is departing from.

    We advise you to be present at your designated platform, 60 minutes before departure. Customs officers shifts end around 30 or 20 minutes before  departure time.

    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 a tax-free form? /

    A certificate of VAT exemption is needed from the EU member state where the goods have been purchased, in order to prove to the supplier and to the tax authorities of the state in question that entitlement to exemption from VAT exists. The tax authorities of the EU member state in which the supplier is located decide whether a diplomatic mission or consular post is eligible for a tax exemption or a tax refund in that member state. 

      • Goods purchased in the Netherlands:
        Certificates for VAT exemption for goods purchased in the Netherlands can be obtained from Team IFB. Email: [email protected] 

      • Goods purchased in Belgium:
        Certificates for VAT exemption for goods purchased in Belgium can be obtained from the department 'General Administration of Taxes'.
        Email: [email protected]


      For goods purchased in other EU member states, we advise you to contact your embassy in that country where the goods were purchased. They can refer you to the appropriate department of the tax authorities in that country.

      Amsterdam, The Netherlands (Schiphol) /

      TAX REFUND SYSTEM:
      Manual, customs office.

      MINIMUM SPEND THRESHOLD:

      € 50 per store per day for Dutch stores
      Minimum spend threshold's for other countries can be found here

      CUSTOMS LOCATION + OPENING HOURS:

      Departure hall 3 (before check-in and security)
      Open from 
      06:00 – 22:00

      CONTACT DETAILS:
      +31881583440

      TIPS:
      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 / after opening hours: +31881583440


      DOWNLOAD:
      Tax-free form (not mandatory for customs at Schiphol airport)

      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.


      EU DELIVERY - self arranged export via air or ocean /

      Some online stores can’t ship to non-EU countries. Or you might prefer to arrange shipping yourself for other reasons. If this is the case, you can use choose a shipping company yourself and have them ship the items to your non-EU address for you.

      Step 1: Order your items
      Order your items online and, during the checkout of your shopping cart, submit your non-EU address as the billing address. Can’t add a billing address in addition to the delivery address? No problem. You can also write your non-EU billing address on your invoice by hand.


      Step 2: Choose a shipping company

      Choose a shipping company to deliver your goods to your non-EU address. Need help with shipping and export documents from the Netherlands? Find out about our partner shipper here.

      Step 3: Collect the required export documents

      Step 4: Submit your VAT refund claim
      Register your invoice in your vatfree.com account so we can start the refund process. We’ll ask you to upload copies of your invoice and required export documents during the registration of your claim.

      EU DELIVERY - self arranged export via airplane, car or train /

      The online store delivers you items to an address inside the EU first. You then export the goods yourself, via airplane, train or car.

      NON-EU DELIVERY - store arranged export via air (DHL, FedEX, PostNL) /

      The store delivers your items to an address outside the EU directly, by air (DHL, FedEx, PostNL, etc)

      NON-EU DELIVERY - store arranged export via ocean /

      The store delivers your items to an address outside the EU directly, via ocean freighter.

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

        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:

        1. Copy of your purchase invoice from the store

        2. Commercial Invoice (shipping document for customs)
          A commercial invoice is a customs document. It is created by the shipper (DHL, UPS, FedEx, etc) for customs. When a sender (store or individual exporting the goods) submits items for shipment, the shipper will ask the sender to fill in some details so they can create this document (commercial invoice) for customs.

          Find out how to get a commercial invoice here.


        3. Proof of delivery (POD)
          The proof of delivery can be found on your couriers website by using your tracking number. It is a confirmation containing the delivery information; the recipient's name, the tracking number, the delivery date and an image of the recipient's signature.

          Find out how to get a POD here.


        EXAMPLES 

        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 market. We'll explain how fees came about. To do that, we need to take a little dive into the history of shopping tax-free!
        Once upon a time, tax authorities gave stores the following choice; 'either you refund the VAT to your customer, or you pay the VAT to us, like you normally do’. 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 (digital) environments to store customer's data and ID documents. Most stores don’t know how to do this themselves and don't want to invest time and money to internalise the required know-how. Back in the day, this lack of knowledge gave birth to (you guessed it); tax-free providers like vatfree.com. To help as many customers as possible, all stores had to join the movement. To convince as many stores as possible to cooperate, providers offered stores the following solution: ‘outsource your administration to us, free of charge. Let your customers pay the fees'. Most stores thought that was a good idea. For customers, it was better than nothing. Rather some VAT returns, than none at all. This fee structure has remained a standard in the current tax-free market of today.
        One of vatfree.coms' 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 /

        This article applies to NATO military employees stationed in the EU, buying at EU stores, except:


        NATO military employees stationed in the Netherlands and buying items at Dutch stores. Please follow instructions here.

        If you are stationed in the Netherlands and buying in stores outside the Netherlands you can follow the steps below.

         



        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 the 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 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 - Required documents /




        Detailed instructions here




        Detailed instructions here




                  Detailed instructions here


        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? /

        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 'Proof of Delivery' (POD) is one (1) of them.

        The POD is a document which the receiver signs when receiving a shipment 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 status of my claim? /

        You can find your receipt status in your account.

        Log in to your account → go to ‘My Receipts’ → select a receipt → check the status Statuses and meanings:


        Your receipt needs to be double-checked by a member of our staff. Your receipt will be checked within 24 hours.



        Do you have a printer at the airport? (Schiphol, Amsterdam) /

        If you need to use a printer you can do so at the following location (before security):

        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.