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Tax free shopping FAQs

Frequently asked questions about how to shop tax free

Who is entitled to shop tax free?
When shopping overseas you can claim a tax refund on purchases that you personally export from that country. To obtain a refund within the European Union (EU) you have to reside outside the Union. The following countries are members of the EU: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

In which countries can I shop tax free?
Tax Free Shopping for overseas tourists is available in Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Korea, Latvia, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, Morocco, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

How do I know if a store is offering Tax Free Shopping, Currency Choice, or both?
Look out for the Global Blue logo; if you cannot see it, please ask the shop staff if they provide the service. Over 270,000 locations worldwide offer Global Blue services, so the logo should be easy to find.

Do I always need to validate the export of my goods?
Yes. In order to obtain a refund on purchased goods you have to prove exportation with a customs stamp on your Tax Refund Cheque. Show your purchases, receipts, and the Tax Refund Cheque to customs officials before leaving the country, and have your cheque stamped. When travelling within the EU, show your purchases and documents to customs officials in the last EU country you visit before leaving Europe. When leaving by train, road or sea, show your purchases and documents to customs officials at the border or when you board the ship.

Is a minimum spend required for entitlement to a tax refund?
Yes. This is subject to national rules and the minimum spend required varies between countries and even between stores.

Where and how can I obtain my refund?
You can receive your refund in the way that’s most convenient. We can pay in cash, refund directly to your credit card, make a direct bank transfer, or send you a bank cheque. Please, be advised that Global Blue can only refund to international credit cards, ie.: Visa, MasterCard, Amex, Diners, JCB and CUP but not to debit cards.
You can choose to receive an Immediate Refund, either to your credit card or in cash at the airport of departure, or collect your refund later in one of the 200 international Global Blue Refund Points. If you want the refund on your credit card, or a bank cheque sent to your home address, please fill in your contact details on your Tax Refund Cheque and mail it to the Global Blue address on your Tax Refund Cheque, using the designated envelope.

How to cash the bank cheque?
The international bank cheque is issued with the clause ”account payee only”, which means it must be presented to your bank and deposited with your personal bank account.
Global Blue bank cheques do not state any expiry date. It depends on each bank in each country whether it accepts to deposit the cheque.

How do you calculate my refund amount?
The VAT (or GST in some countries) is a percentage added on top of list prices. For example: if the VAT rate is 20% and a dress is displayed at €100, including VAT, the VAT amounts to €16.50. (Dress price: €83.5 + 20% VAT = €100.) The refund amount will thus be €16.50, minus a handling fee.

Does Tax Free Shopping apply to goods that are shipped, sent by courier or bought on the internet?
No. Global Blue Tax Free Shopping only applies to goods that are bought at an affiliated retailer and exported in your luggage.

Does Tax Free Shopping apply for services (hotel stay, restaurant bills, etc)?
Services although vatable are not eligible for VAT refunds through Global Blue. There are other companies that deal with Business Tax Reclaim, which allows to reclaim tax on car hire, restaurant and hotel bills etc.

Currency Conversion Fee – explanation of fee 3%-5%
Under the article REFUND RULES there is stated:
For a Non-Cash Refund in a currency different than the currency in which the Cheque is issued, the current "we sell" rates of a recognized European retail Bank, plus 3-5%, will be applied for the currency conversion.
Credit card account will always be credit in customer's local currency or in the currency in which is the Credit Card issued.

What can I do if my name is misspelled on the cheque/the cheque has expired/the bank does not accept the cheque?
Please return the cheque to the postal address stated below along with a letter detailing how you would like the payment to be made and we will gladly have this refund reissued. Kindly note that we can refund to:


  • VISA
  • JCB
  • CUP

- Denmark, UK, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, France, Norway
(requested information regarding bank accounts: account number, bank code and name of the account holder)

BANK CHEQUE in the following currencies:
- Canadian Dollar, Swiss Franc, EURO, Pound Sterling, Hong Kong Dollar, Japanese Yen, US Dollar

Centralised Services Center
P.O.BOX 363
810 00 Bratislava 1



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