VAT returns

Foreign nationals not residing in the UK or established in the EU can claim VAT returns on goods purchase in the EU.

Qualifications:

Visitors not established in the European Union if:

The place of residence is not in the EU

The visitor will leave UK for a destination outside of EU

Visitor provides the goods, their receipts and the VAT refund documents to the Customs upon departure.

Non-EU residents studying or working in the UK or EU residents, if:

  • They will leave the EU for at least 12 months
  • The goods being exported have been bought no earlier than three months prior to departure.
  • Provides the goods, their receipts and the VAT refund documents to the Customs upon departure.

Goods that qualify for a VAT refund

All goods except:

  • New or used motor cars;
  • A boat for sail to a destination outside the EU;
  • Stocks over £600 in value exported for business purposes;
  • Goods that will be exported as freight;
  • Goods requiring an export licence (except antiques);
  • Unmounted gemstones;
  • Bullion (over 125g, 2.75 troy ounces or 10 Tolas);
  • Mail order goods including Internet sales;
  • Goods that have been and used or partly used within the EU;
  • Service charges for services obtained within the EU.

Documents required for the VAT refund

All goods except:

  • An official Customs Form VAT 407; or
  • A shop or refund company’s own version of the VAT 407 form ; or
  • A VAT Retail Export Scheme sales invoice.

The forms should be completed during the purchase with the retailer in presence. At the time of the purchase the full price of the goods must be paid. The refund will not be received if the information on the form is not fully completed. You will receive the refund once the goods are exported outside the EU. It can be received from the retailer, refund company, or at the cash refund booth at the airport.