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Digital validation of VAT refunds now possible in Madrid


• Global Blue announces pilot of digital validation for Tax Free Shopping transactions in Madrid Airport

• New scheme removes the need to physically check and stamp Tax Free Forms, meaning form validation can be completed in just over a minute

• The implementation in Madrid precedes national roll-out - every port and Aena airport in Spain expected to have digital validation kiosks available by the end of the year


Eysins, Switzerland – Global Blue today announces the pilot of a new Digital VAT Validation System (DIVA) for Tax Free Shopping at Madrid Airport.

Launched in collaboration with the Spanish Tax Authority (AEAT) and piloted with leading Spanish luxury brand Loewe, the new system enables travellers to validate their Tax Free transactions using a self-serve kiosk at Madrid Airport Terminal.

Previously, travellers’ Tax Free forms had to be physically checked and stamped by Customs but the new self-validation system will make the process easier and faster, reducing queuing times and enabling travellers to have their forms validated in just over a minute.

Global Blue is the first operator to participate in this project in Spain. The system is one of the key elements of the Shopping Tourism Plan, launched in late 2014 by the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism, the Ministry of Public Works, the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, the Ministry of Finance and Public Administration, and the Ministry of Cooperation and Foreign Affairs.

Luis Llorca, Managing Director of Global Blue Spain said: “The aim of this scheme is to attract high-value travellers to build a more sustainable tourism model, one that will result in more spending through our retail partners and an increase in jobs and wealth. Moreover, the profile of these travellers, who are keen on off-season travelling, reduces Spain’s dependency on traditional peak holiday periods.”

Every port and airport is expected to have operating digital validation kiosks available by the end of the year, ultimately resulting in two to three million travellers benefitting from this service annually. Global Blue will act as a link between the AEAT, merchants and travellers, promoting the scheme to holidaymakers and working with retailers to transition to the new digital system.

This public-private partnership model already exists in leading shopping tourism destinations such as France and Italy. This pilot represents a significant step in Spain's journey towards becoming a world class shopping destination.

Luis Llorca continued: “By digitalising and speeding up the VAT refund process, the travellers' shopping experience is improved. It’s hugely beneficial to the Tax and Customs Authority, strengthening the security of the entire tax refund process by preventing potential frauds resulting from the use of paper forms and rubber stamps. Digital validation helps improve controls on merchandise crossing Spain borders it also reduces costs by fostering digital initiatives within the public service sector”.

For more information on Global Blue, visit: corporate.globalblue.com


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Media contact

E: pressenquiries@globalblue.com

T: Duncan Skehens or Ella Collier (+44) 7909 513 301


About Global Blue

Global Blue invented the concept of Tax Free Shopping more than 35 years ago and is now the worldwide industry leader, delivering Globe Shoppers the best shopping experience and creating value for retailers and partners through a range of products and services:

- Global Blue’s Tax Free Shopping solutions allow thousands of retailers, including most of the world’s best luxury, fast fashion and department store brands, to quickly and safely offer Globe Shoppers savings of up to 19% when shopping in nearly 300,000 stores around the world

- Global Blue’s Dynamic Currency Conversion solutions allow merchants in more than 60,000 outlets around the world to offer foreign customers a simple and cost efficient way to pay in their domestic currency

- Global Blue’s SHOP is a targeted print and online media platform, enabling merchants to speak directly to Globe Shoppers and attract more international visitors through their doors

Global Blue operates in 51 countries, employing over 1,800 people worldwide. In 2015, Global Blue powered more than 27 million Tax Free Shopping and 22 million Dynamic Currency Conversion transactions. These totalled €19 billion worth of sales.

In addition, through the publication of over nine million SHOP magazines and maps, and the creation of a wide range of online content, Global Blue helps its retail partners reach and engage with more than 30 million Globe Shoppers annually.


For more information visit www.corporate.globalblue.com