I am writing to update you now that the government has confirmed the changes to tax-free shopping in Ireland that they made with effect from 1st January 2021.
Minimum Purchase Amount (MPA)
There is now a Minimum Purchase Amount of €75 in order to qualify for tax-free shopping. Global Blue’s systems have been automatically updated if you are issuing forms through our technology. However, if you’re using a book of tax free forms, please ensure you only do so for values in excess of €75.
Eligible Tax Free Shoppers
There is also a change to those who qualify for Tax Free Shopping. Tourists or travellers visiting the State from countries outside the European Union (EU) can take advantage of this scheme. This includes persons visiting from Great Britain but does not include persons who reside in Northern Ireland.
Import Duties into Great Britain
When offering the service to a traveller from Great Britain (not including Northern Ireland), any import taxes / duties will need to be paid by the traveller if the value of the goods they have purchased exceed the personal allowance of £390 (approx. €440) before a VAT refund can be authorised.
To facilitate this, you will need to instruct these customers to pay import duties before, or upon, arriving in the UK. Passengers with goods to declare can do so using an online platform (owned by HMRC) in advance of travel and up to 72 hours beforehand. The link is https://www.gov.uk/duty-free-goods/declaring-goods.
Upon the declaration they will pay any Duty/VAT due and will be emailed a receipt, which they would need to print at home and post, along with their forms to our processing centre in Bratislava via the post-paid envelope we provide.
Anyone who doesn’t use the online platform and presents themselves in the Red Channel would be issued with a paper receipt upon payment (again on behalf of HMRC) and would also need to post this receipt along with their forms to our processing centre in Bratislava via the post-paid envelope we provide. Please call the follow number if you require more envelopes: 0870 766 6789.
High Valued Goods
There are also special procedures for high value goods. For an individual purchase costing €2,000 or more (including VAT), the goods must be presented to a Customs Officer with the related tax-free form, so the form can be certified. This is necessary before a VAT refund can be processed. Please ensure you make your customers aware of this and that they should not leave these forms in any ‘drop-box’ without a Customs validation. Please note that where forms for such goods are not stamped by Customs, it will not be possible for us to process a VAT refund.
The only exception is if the traveller is leaving from an airport or port where Customs are not present. In this instance, we have been advised that the traveller does not need to comply with this rule, as it would not be possible, and that a completed tax free shopping form with evidence of the import duties being paid will be valid for a refund.
In the case of transit passengers departing the EU via another airport within 24 hours, Irish Customs will stamp the export vouchers for goods valued at €2,000 or more (including VAT). In all other instances involving high value goods, certification of the export voucher will take place at the point of departure from the EU.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate in contacting Mark Cox firstname.lastname@example.org . We will work with you in the coming weeks and months to help disseminate this information to your teams along with updated collateral to be given to your travellers.