In Belgium, goods are subject to Value Added Tax (VAT) which is included in the sales price. This represents 21% of the price of your purchase.* As a non-EU resident, you can reclaim any VAT paid on goods intended for personal use and taken home with you, provided the claim is made within 3 months of the purchase and the goods are exported by the end of the third month after the month in which the goods were purchased.**
VAT REFUND IN THREE SIMPLE STEPS
1. Ask for a VAT refund form in the boutique when making a purchase valued over €50.00 (including VAT) per invoice.
2. Complete the form including your name (as it appears on your passport), passport number and address.
3. Take your completed VAT refund form, receipts, passport and goods to the customs office at your point of departure from the EU, where your form will be validated.
- For goods that are transported as hold luggage (i.e. the luggage that is checked-in) the following applies:
a) Prior to check-in, report to the customs office with the following documents:
• Passport/ identity card;
• Airline ticket;
• VAT refund form;
• The goods for which you request a VAT refund.
b) Check-in your hold luggage and make sure you receive luggage labels.
c) After check-in of the hold luggage, report to the customs office once again, with the following documents:
• Boarding pass;
• VAT refund form;
• The luggage labels.
d) The customs officer shall stamp the invoice or the VAT refund form for transport.
- For goods that are transported as hand luggage (i.e. the luggage you carry with you onto the airplane), please report to the customs office after passing border control, with the same documents as listed above. The customs officer will then stamp the invoice or the VAT refund form for transport.
If you are on a connecting flight to another EU destination before leaving the EU, please report to the local customs office in the airport through which the goods will leave the EU. For hand luggage, this is the transit airport. For hold luggage, this is the airport of first departure.
If you fly to Norway, Switzerland or Iceland you must always report to the customs office in the airport before check in, regardless of whether the goods art transported as hold luggage or as hand luggage.
Tip: Queues at customs in airports can be long, ensure you allow enough time to process your forms.
OTHER OPTIONS FOR VAT REFUNDS
Immediate Cash Refunds
For an immediate VAT cash refund, visit a local refund company (usually located at the airport), which can be found on the Global Blue & Premier Tax Free websites:
1. Follow steps 1 and 2, as per the VAT refund process above.
2. Present your completed forms, passport and a credit card (with six months’ validity and registered in your name).
3. Receive your cash VAT refund, usually on payment of administrative fees.
4. Have your VAT refund form certified at your final point of departure from the EU within 21 days.
You may also return the stamped invoice to the Belgian vendor who will subsequently reimburse the VAT. In order to obtain this stamp, please follow steps 1 to 3 as per the VAT refund process above.
*Some items in Belgium are subject to different VAT rates: Food & Books - 6%
If you are unsure of a VAT rate on a type of item, please check either the Global Blue or Premier Tax Free website.
** Please note that importing goods into non-EU countries may be subject to country-specific reporting obligations or import obligations. If you are unsure whether such obligations apply, please contact your local customs office.