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Tax Free Shopping FAQs

The Tax Free Shopping FAQ section answers most of your questions about Global Blue Tax Free Shopping. If you can’t find the answer here, or by using one of our tools to the right, contact directly Global Blue Customer Service. Check contact details here. You can also check questions and answers about Global Blue Tax Free Shopping here.

  • How do I get my refund with Global Blue Tax Free Shopping?

    1.1 How do I get my refund with Global Blue Tax Free Shopping?

    Follow these 3 simple steps to enjoy shopping abroad with Global Blue.

  • Does Global Blue Tax Free Shopping apply to services (car rental, hotel stay, restaurant bills, etc.)?

    1.2 Does Global Blue Tax Free Shopping apply to services (car rental, hotel stay, restaurant bills, etc.)?

    No. Taxable services are not eligible for VAT refund through Global Blue. Refer to other companies, which deal with reclaim of business taxes on services.

  • Does Global Blue Tax Free Shopping apply to goods that are shipped, sent by courier or purchased online?

    1.3 Does Global Blue Tax Free Shopping apply to goods that are shipped, sent by courier or purchased online?

    No. In general, Global Blue Tax Free Shopping applies only to goods, which are purchased at affiliated Stores and exported in your luggage.
    You can consult local Rules and Regulations by clicking links on our Tax Free Shopping map and learn, where shipping and online purchases are allowed.

  • How can I benefit from Global Blue CURRENCY CHOICE BEST RATE service?

    1.4 How can I benefit from Global Blue CURRENCY CHOICE BEST RATE service?

    CURRENCY CHOICE BEST RATE service allows you to pay in your home currency when travelling abroad. Global Blue provides you with possibility to have control over your spendings abroad.
    Consult our webpage to learn more about CURRENCY CHOICE BEST RATE service.
    For your convenience you can use our web search WHERE CAN I USE CURRENCY CHOICE to look for affiliated Stores.

  • I sent original receipt from a Store to Global Blue. Can I request a witness copy?

    1.5 I sent original receipt from a Store to Global Blue. Can I request a witness copy?

    Global Blue can provide you with a witness copy in case the original receipt was issued in these countries: Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherland, Norway, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden.
    Contact Global Blue Customer Service for further support by submitting Contact Us form Enquires regarding Tax Free Shopping.
    Don’t forget to indicate DOC ID number of your Tax Free Form in Your request field when composing your message. You can find it under the barcode on your Form.

  • How can I learn about Tax Free Shopping rules?

    2.1 How can I learn about Tax Free Shopping rules?

    Each country has its specific Rules and Regulations. Click simply the links on our Tax Free Shopping map to learn more.

  • Can I use the purchased goods before export?

    2.2 Can I use the purchased goods before export?

    No. Purchased goods must be available for Customs Authorities in original package. Otherwise they can refuse to provide you with customs stamp.

  • How does Global Blue manage the personal information I provide?

    2.3 How does Global Blue manage the personal information I provide?

    We are committed to protecting your personal data held in Global Blue’s database, to prevent unauthorised access or disclosure. Global Blue has implemented appropriate physical, electronic and managerial resources to protect your personal data and to prevent unauthorised access or disclosure of such data.
    Consult Global Blue Privacy Policy for more details.

  • How do I fill in my Tax Free Form?

    2.4 How do I fill in my Tax Free Form?

    Request Tax Free Form at affiliated Stores at the time of purchase. Follow our instructions to complete your Form with all the required information.
    To simplify filling in your Form, register for SHOP TAX FREE Card.
    Enter properly your profile details (name, address, passport number / ID Card details) and refund method (credit card). Look for affiliated Stores accepting SHOP TAX FREE Card by using our web search WHERE CAN I USE MY SHOP TAX FREE CARD. Ask the staff to use your SHOP TAX FREE Card before issuing your Tax Free Form and all the necessary details will be filled out automatically.

  • I paid for my purchases by credit card. Will my credit card information be automatically printed on Tax Free Form?

    2.5 I paid for my purchases by credit card. Will my credit card information be automatically printed on Tax Free Form?

    No. The credit card you used at affiliated Stores is not made available automatically on Tax Free Form.
    Write your credit card number as your preferable refund option on your Form directly.

  • What is DOC ID and where can I find it?

    2.6 What is DOC ID and where can I find it?

    DOC ID is an identification number of your Tax Free Form. It is composed of 16 or 20 digits. You can find it under the barcode on your Form.
    DOC ID helps you to track status of your refund online via Refund Tracker once you obtained customs stamp and submitted your Tax Free Form.

  • How do I obtain customs stamp?

    2.7 How do I obtain customs stamp?

    When travelling back to your home country, or when continuing your journey, present your duly completed Tax Free Form, receipts, passport and purchased goods at Customs to obtain customs stamp.
    Consult local Rules and Regulations to learn more about obtaining customs stamp.

  • I purchased goods in an EU member state and I am having transit / connecting flight to my home country from another EU member state. How do I obtain customs stamp?

    2.8 I purchased goods in an EU member state and I am having transit / connecting flight to my home country from another EU member state. How do I obtain customs stamp?

    For goods in your hold baggage get customs stamp at the airport, where you initially check in for your flight.
    For goods in your hand baggage receive customs stamp at your final point of departure from the EU.

  • How do I receive my refund if I didn’t manage to obtain customs stamp?

    2.9 How do I receive my refund if I didn’t manage to obtain customs stamp?

    Customs stamp is obligatory to get refund with Global Blue Tax Free Shopping. It proves that the purchased goods were exported from the country of purchase to your home country.
    However, Rules and Regulations in certain countries offer the possibility to obtain additional customs stamp:

    • For Tax Free Form issued in the EU, it is necessary to go through the EU Customs again. You must re - export your goods and get customs stamp according to local Rules and Regulations;
    • For Tax Free Form issued in any other country, you must receive customs stamp according to Rules and Regulations of the country of purchase.

  • Where to send my Tax Free Form?

    2.10 Where to send my Tax Free Form?

    Your Tax Free Form shall be sent to Global Blue Processing Centre:

    Standard and registered mail:
    Global Blue
    P.O.BOX 363
    810 00 Bratislava
    Slovakia
    Europe

    Courier delivery:
    Global Blue
    Prievozska 4D/Block E
    821 09 Bratislava
    Slovakia
    Europe

  • How to send my Tax Free Form?

    2.11 How to send my Tax Free Form?

    You can send your Tax Free Form using a prepaid envelope available at affiliated Stores, or in an ordinary envelope.
    Registered mail and courier delivery are recommended as safer mail service.
    Before sending out your Form make sure that:

    • It is duly completed according to our instructions;
    • All necessary documents are enclosed and customs stamp is obtained according to local Rules and Regulations.

    After sending out your Form, you can track status of your refund online via Refund Tracker by using its DOC ID.

  • In which countries can I purchase goods with Global Blue Tax Free Shopping?

    3.1 In which countries can I purchase goods with Global Blue Tax Free Shopping?

    Global Blue Tax Free Shopping is available in the following countries: Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom and Uruguay.
    Only persons who don’t reside in the respective country are eligible for VAT refund.
    For EU countries, only persons who reside outside of EU are eligible for VAT refund.
    EU residents can purchase goods with Global Blue Tax Free Shopping in non – EU countries, e.g. Norway and Switzerland.
    Consult local Rules and Regulations by clicking links on our Tax Free Shopping map and learn more about Global Blue Tax Free Shopping.

  • I am resident in a territory that is outside EU VAT regime and therefore I am eligible for VAT refund from EU countries. How can I get my refund with Global Blue Tax Free Shopping?

    3.2 I am resident in a territory that is outside EU VAT regime and therefore I am eligible for VAT refund from EU countries. How can I get my refund with Global Blue Tax Free Shopping?

    If you are resident in one of  the following territories: Agio Oros/Mount Athos (Greece), Busingen (Germany), Campione d'Italia (Italy), Canary Islands (Spain), Ceuta (Spain), Gibraltar (United Kingdom), Channel Islands-Jersey & Guernse (United Kingdom), Heligoland (Germany), Livigno (Italy), Melilla (Spain) Faroe Islands (Denmark),  Greenland (Denmark), Netherlands Antilles, Andorra (Spain), San Marino (Italy), Vatican State (Italy), Liechtenstein,  French Oversea Territories ( French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Wallis and Futuna, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Mayotte Island),  make sure the name of the territory is indicated in your Tax Free Form under your address.
    Follow local Rules and Regulations to get your refund.
    If you are resident of Canary Islands, Melilla or Ceuta don’t forget to get customs stamps from your local Customs Authorities.

  • How do I know which stores cooperate with Global Blue?

    3.3 How do I know which stores cooperate with Global Blue?

    Look for stores displaying Global Blue Shop Tax Free sign in their windows, or at till. You can also ask the staff whether they offer Global Blue Tax Free Shopping.
    For your convenience you can check details about affiliated Stores online. Simply use Store Locator on our website.

  • How do I calculate my refund?

    4.1 How do I calculate my refund?

    Your refund is equal to the amount of VAT (value added tax) paid at affiliated Stores minus service fee of Global Blue.

    Example:

    You purchased a dress. The price of the dress including VAT is displayed as 100€ (EUR). VAT rate is displayed as 20%.
    The price of the dress is read as 83.50€ (EUR) plus VAT 16.50€ (EUR).
    Your refund is equal to 16.50€ (EUR) minus service fee of Global Blue.

    For more details use Refund Calculator on our website.

  • I want to collect my cash refund at Refund Office. In which currency will I get my cash refund?

    4.2 I want to collect my cash refund at Refund Office. In which currency will I get my cash refund?

    You will always get your cash refund in the currency of the country where the Refund Office is located.
    In case you select another currency, the current ”we buy” rate of a recognized Bureau de Change at the same location as where the Refund Office is located will be applied for the currency conversion.
    Global Blue reserves the right of choosing the appropriate refund method in exceptional cases at its reasonable discretion.
    At some Refund Offices an additional fixed fee per Tax Free Form may be applied in case of collecting cash refund.
    Please be informed that a handling fee will be charged per Tax Free Form for cash refunds at some Refund Offices.

  • I want to choose credit card as preferable refund method. In which currency will I receive my refund?

    4.3 I want to choose credit card as preferable refund method. In which currency will I receive my refund?

    Global Blue supports these credit cards – Mastercard, Visa, Diners, Amex, JCB, CUP.
    If you want to receive your refund to Mastercard, Visa, and Diners, your credit card will be credited in the currency, in which CC is issued.
    If you want to receive your refund to JCB and CUP, your credit card account will be credited in your local currency.
    In case of AMEX credit card, it will be credited in British Pounds (GBP). AMEX will make conversion to the currency in which your credit card is issued.
    If currency of your bank account differs from the currency in which Tax Free Form is issued, the current “we sell” rates of a recognized European Retail Bank plus 3 - 5% will be implied for the currency conversion.

  • I want to receive my refund in the form of bank cheque. In which currency will my bank cheque be issued?

    4.4 I want to receive my refund in the form of bank cheque. In which currency will my bank cheque be issued?

    Global Blue can issue bank cheques in the following currencies: EUR, DKK, USD, HKD, JPY, GBP, SGD and CHF.
    The currency of your bank cheque is determined by your residence country. Residents of countries, where the currency is not supported will receive bank cheques issued in USD.

  • I want to receive my refund on bank account. In which currency will I receive my refund then?

    4.5 I want to receive my refund on bank account. In which currency will I receive my refund then?

    Global Blue processes refund payments to bank accounts issued in euro area and Denmark, Norway, Switzerland and United Kingdom.
    Your bank account will be credited in your local currency.
    If your local currency differs from the currency in which Tax Free Form is issued, the current “we sell” rates of a recognized European Retail Bank plus 3 - 5% will be implied for the currency conversion.

  • Why was a currency conversion fee applied to my refund?

    4.6 Why was a currency conversion fee applied to my refund?

    If you choose bank account transfer as a preferable refund method, your account will be credited in your local currency.
    If you want to receive your refund to Mastercard, Visa, and Diners, your credit card will be credited in the currency, in which credit card is issued.
    If you want to receive your refund to JCB and CUP, your credit card account will be credited in your local currency.
    In case of AMEX credit card, it will be credited in British Pounds (GBP). AMEX will make conversion to the currency in which your credit card is issued.
    If currency of your bank account differs from the currency in which Tax Free Form is issued, the current “we sell” rates of a recognized European Retail Bank plus 3 - 5% will be implied for the currency conversion.

  • How can I get my refund with Global Blue Tax Free Shopping?

    4.7 How can I get my refund with Global Blue Tax Free Shopping?

    You can collect your refund at one of our global Refund Offices.
    Alternatively, you can send your Tax Free Form to Global Blue Processing Centre and get your refund according to your preferable refund method.

    Before sending out your Form make sure that:

    • It is duly completed according to our instructions;
    • All necessary documents are enclosed and customs stamp is obtained according to local Rules and Regulations.

    After sending out your Form, you can track status of your refund online via Refund Tracker by using its DOC ID.

  • Can I change my refund option?

    4.8 Can I change my refund option?

    Yes. If you have already submitted your Tax Free Form to Global Blue Processing Centre but it has not yet been processed, it is still possible to change your original refund method.
    Contact Global Blue Customer Service for further support by submitting Contact Us form Enquires regarding refund status.
    Don’t forget to indicate necessary details in the following fields:

    Tax Free Form number: indicate DOC ID of your Tax Free Form;
    Refund option as stated on the Tax Free Form: indicate the original refund option to be changed;
    Your request: indicate details about new refund option when composing your message.

    Don’t forget to attach scanned copy of passport / ID Card instead of Tax Free Form copy under the field “In case you have a copy of the Tax free form, please attach it”.

  • I received info letter with payment reference instead of bank cheque. How can I get my refund?

    4.9 I received info letter with payment reference instead of bank cheque. How can I get my refund?

    Global Blue sends info letters instead of bank cheques to the following countries: Nigeria, Congo and Switzerland.
    To get your refund, fill in questionnaire attached to info letter:

    1. Indicate your personal information (name, email address, telephone number);
    2. Indicate your preferable refund method (credit card, or bank account).

    Send the duly filled in questionnaire to Global Blue Processing Centre along with copy of your passport. Check our contact details here.

  • I want to receive my refund on credit card. Does it have to be the same credit card I used to pay for a purchase?

    4.10 I want to receive my refund on credit card. Does it have to be the same credit card I used to pay for a purchase?

    No. You can receive your refund on a different credit card as well. You  don’t need to be credit card’s holder.
    The only country, which doesn’t accept 3rd party credit card for receiving refund is Singapore.
    Register for SHOP TAX FREE Card, enter properly your credit card as your preferable refund method during registration process and your refund will be sent to this credit card.

  • I want to know more about getting Downtown Cash Refund. What are the benefits and conditions?

    4.11 I want to know more about getting Downtown Cash Refund. What are the benefits and conditions?

    Downtown Cash Refund Service is currently available in these countries: Austria, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom.
    Global Blue offers to get your refund before exporting your goods outside the country of purchase at Downtown Refund Office.
    Our Downtown Refund Office will ask you for your credit card as guarantee,  which is needed in case your goods are not exported within 21 days of the refund, or you don’t get customs stamp when you depart.
    After getting your cash refund you will be obliged to:

    • Obtain customs stamp according to local Rules and Regulations;
    • Deliver your duly completed Tax Free Form to Global Blue within 21 days of the cash refund date.

    For your convenience, you can check Global Blue contact details online.
    If the procedure is delayed past 21 days or not completed, your guaranteed credit card will be debited the refund amount, plus 15% of your refund as debit fee.
    Debit fee can’t be paid back.
    The terms and conditions on the Traveller Declaration you will receive to sign at our Downtown Office provide this information in detail.

  • I want to know more about getting Fast Refund. What are the benefits and conditions?

    4.12 I want to know more about getting Fast Refund. What are the benefits and conditions?

    Fast Refund Service is currently available in these countries: Austria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom.
    Global Blue provides your refund onto your credit card before exporting your goods outside the country of purchase directly in affiliated Stores.
    Your refund will be paid to your credit card within 5 days of your purchase. Your Tax Free Form will be printed at the time of purchase, and that form will confirm your refund to credit card.
    The refund is paid to any valid Mastercard or Visa credit card, regardless of how you pay for your purchases. After getting your cash refund you will be obliged to:

    • Obtain customs stamp according to local Rules and Regulations;
    • Return your duly completed Tax Free Form to Global Blue within 14 days of the date when made your purchase and received your Tax Free Form showing your Fast Refund to credit card.

    For your convenience, you can check Global Blue contact details online.
    If the procedure is delayed past 27 days or not completed, your credit card will be debited the refund amount. The refund will be repaid only after the procedure is duly completed.

  • I am a frequent shopper and I want to know more about Cash in Store Service. What are the benefits and conditions?

    4.13 I am a frequent shopper and I want to know more about Cash in Store Service. What are the benefits and conditions?

    Cash in Store is currently available in in France.
    Global Blue offers your refund in cash in affiliated Stores, where you made your purchases with Global Blue Tax Free Shopping. The refund is paid in person after your goods are exported, when you return to the store on a later trip.
    At the time of purchase, you will be provided with a Tax Free Form and then you just need to complete two steps:

    • Obtain customs stamp according to local Rules and Regulations;
    • Return your duly completed Tax Free Form to Global Blue Processing Centre using the pre - addressed envelope provided in store.

    For your convenience, you can check Global Blue contact details online.
    Your refund will be paid to you during the next visit to the same store.
    Contact the store in advance to check the status of your Tax Free Form and to arrange collecting of your refund in cash.

  • I want to know more about getting VAT OFF in Store. What are the benefits and conditions?

    4.14 I want to know more about getting VAT OFF in Store. What are the benefits and conditions?

    VAT OFF Service is currently available in Bahamas, France, Italy, Japan and United Kingdom.
    Global Blue offers you the option to purchase your goods less VAT at affiliated Stores. The deducted VAT is your refund. It is automatically deducted from the purchase amount.
    You will be asked for your credit card as a guarantee in the store at the time of purchase, which is needed in case your goods are not exported within 21 days of the refund, or you don’t get customs stamp when you depart.
    After getting your refund deducted from your purchase, you will be provided with a Tax Free Form and pre - addressed envelope. With these, you will need to take just two steps:

    • Obtain customs stamp according to local Rules and Regulations;
    • Return your duly completed Tax Free Form to Global Blue within 21 days of the purchase date using the pre - addressed envelope provided at time of purchase.

    If the procedure is delayed past 21 days or not completed, your guaranteed credit card will be debited the refund amount. A debit fee will be implied as well and it  can’t be paid back.

  • What information do I need to track my refund?

    4.15 What information do I need to track my refund?

    For tracking your refund you need to know:

    1. Identification number of your Tax Free Form (DOC ID) indicated under the barcode on your Form;
    2. Country of purchase;
    3. Name of the buyer indicated on your Form;
    4. Credit card number indicated on your Form.

    You can track status of your refund online via Refund Tracker.

  • I want to track my refund. Is it possible to track refund online?

    4.16 I want to track my refund. Is it possible to track refund online?

    Yes. Once you obtained customs stamp and submitted your Tax Free Form, you can track status of your refund online via Refund Tracker:

    1. Enter Tax Free Form Number (DOC ID);
    2. Select Country of purchase from dropdown list;
    3. Click Submit.

    You can also contact Global Blue Customer Service for further support by submitting Contact Us form Enquires regarding refund status

  • What is the difference between Tax Free Form and Customer Receipt?

    4.17 What is the difference between Tax Free Form and Customer Receipt?

    Customer Receipt can be obtained at Refund Office. It is a confirmation about collecting your refund, or a confirmation about submitting your Tax Free Form.
    Tax Free Form is an official export document. It can be obtained at affiliated Stores only after having purchased goods with Global Blue Tax Free Shopping.
    Tax Free Form has its unique DOC ID – identification number, which can be found under barcode.
    You can track status of your refund online by using DOC ID via Refund Tracker once you obtained customs stamp and submitted your Tax Free Form.

  • How can I track refund payment on my bank statement?

    4.18 How can I track refund payment on my bank statement?

    In case you choose to receive your refund onto your bank account, the refund payment appears as “Tax Refund” on your bank statement.
    If you choose to receive your refund onto your credit card, the refund payment appears as “Global Blue Tax Free” on your bank statement.
    Once you have already received a confirmation of your refund payment from Global Blue Customer Service and you are unable to track your refund, contact directly your bank.

  • I have collected cash refund at Downtown Office and my credit card was debited afterwards. How can I get my refund?

    4.19 I have collected cash refund at Downtown Office and my credit card was debited afterwards. How can I get my refund?

    You got your refund before exporting your goods outside the country of purchase. You were obliged to:

    • Obtain customs stamp according to local Rules and Regulations;
    • Deliver your duly completed Tax Free Form to Global Blue within 21 days of the cash refund date.

    The refund will be paid back to your credit card if Global Blue receives your Form with customs stamp within its validity.
    Global Blue applied debit fee to cover additional administration. Debit fee can’t be paid back.
    Refer to the terms and conditions on the Traveller Declaration that you received and signed at the Downtown Office.

  • When will I receive my refund?

    4.20 When will I receive my refund?

    If you visit Refund Office and choose credit card as a preferable refund method, you will receive your refund within 5 days.
    Once you send your duly completed Tax Free Form to Global Blue, you will receive your refund within the following time frames after receipt of the Form:

    3 weeks for refunds sent to credit card, or bank account;
    3 weeks for refunds sent in the form of bank cheque;
    10 days for refunds sent to Alipay account.

    Processing time for a credit card company or bank is excluded.
    After sending out your Form, you can track status of your refund online via Refund Tracker.
    If you send your Tax Free Form via standard mail, delivery takes 2 – 3 weeks. Check your refund after 6 weeks following Form’s submission.

  • How can I cash bank cheque?

    4.21 How can I cash bank cheque?

    Global Blue issues bank cheques with the clause ”account payee only”. This means that a bank cheque must be presented to your bank and it shall be deposited to your personal bank account.
    Bank cheques issued by Global Blue don’t state any expiry date. Validity of bank cheques may vary depending on the bank and the country where they should be deposited.
    Any bank fees or minimum deposit amount for cashing bank cheques are beyond sphere of Global Blue influence.

  • What can I do if the bank cheque I received from Global Blue is not valid for refunding or my bank refused it?

    4.22 What can I do if the bank cheque I received from Global Blue is not valid for refunding or my bank refused it?

    Follow these steps:

    1. Download and fill in Reissue Request from our website;
    2. Send bank cheque, filled in Reissue Request and copy of your passport to Global Blue Processing Centre:

    Standard and registered mail:
    Global Blue
    P.O.BOX 363
    810 00 Bratislava
    Slovakia
    Europe

    Courier delivery:
    Global Blue
    Prievozska 4D/Block E
    821 09 Bratislava
    Slovakia
    Europe

    Registered mail and courier delivery are recommended as safer mail service.

  • Can I authorize a 3rd party to collect my refund at Refund Office?

    4.23 Can I authorize a 3rd party to collect my refund at Refund Office?

    Yes. The 3rd party (claimant) must present the following documents:

    1. Original Tax Free Form;
    2. Passport of 3rd party (claimant);
    3. Copy of authorisor’s (buyer’s) passport;
    4. Duly filled in Proxy.

    Proxy must be signed by authorisor (buyer).
    Refund Offices reserve the right not to pay refund to a 3rd party.

  • What should I do if I have issues with Global Blue App / Global Blue website?

    5.1 What should I do if I have issues with Global Blue App / Global Blue website?

    Contact Global Blue Customer Service for further assistance.