FAQ

BEFORE MY TRIP

  1. WHAT IS VAT, VAT REFUND … AND TAX-FREE SHOPPING?

VAT stands for V alue A dded T ax. It is a consumption or sales tax applied on the purchase of goods and services in the 28 countries of the European Union (EU). VAT rates vary  across the EU states but they average around 20% of the value of the goods.

So, if you buy something in a store in Paris, where the VAT rate is 20%, for say € 1.200:

  • The price excluding VAT is € 1.000 (€ 1.200 divided by 1,20)
  • The VAT amount is € 200 (or 20% of € 1.000)
  • The price including VAT (the retail price) is € 1.200

Travelers who are not resident of the European Union (EU) can reclaim the VAT paid on the goods they purchase in the EU. Travelers first pay the goods in full in store and can request a refund when leaving the EU with these goods.

  1. HOW MUCH CAN I GAIN BY SHOPPING TAX-FREE?

Quite a lot!

ZAPPTAX helps you get the VAT amount you paid on the goods you purchased in the EU refunded. We will subtract from this amount a handling fee for taking care of everything for you (forms, refunds…).

Example:

  • Product retail price mentioned on receipt, VAT included: 1.000 €
  • VAT rate: 20%
  • VAT amount = 166,66 €

(being 833,33 € excluding VAT + 20% VAT or 166,66 € = 1.000 € VAT included)

  • VAT to be refunded (before handling fee) = 166,66 €

(being 16,66% of 1.000 €, the price VAT included)

So, in countries with VAT rates of 20%, the value of your refund (before handling fee) will be 16,66% of the retail price you paid. In countries with VAT rates of 21%, the value of your refund (before handling fee) will be 17,35% of the retail price you paid. Only in countries with VAT rates of about 23-24% - like Finland - can the value of your refund go up to 19% (always before handling fee).

Our handling fee varies in function of the VAT rate and the value of the goods you purchase. The higher the value, the lower the handling fee. On average, it hovers around 20%.

Our handling fees are the lowest on the market… which means we provide the highest refund percentages!

  1. AM I ELIGIBLE FOR TAX-FREE SHOPPING?

Yes, if you fulfill the following 3 conditions:

  1. You have your permanent residency  in a country outside of the European Union.

Example: a Chinese residing in China, a US citizen residing in the US… but also a French citizen residing in China or in the US, an Italian national living permanently in Mexico, etc.

The important criteria here is not nationality but residency.

Your country of permanent residence is the country where you have your permanent home or principal establishment and to where, whenever you are absent, you intend to return.

  1. The goods you purchase are meant for personal use  (not for commercial purposes)

  1. The good must be ‘ exported’ outside the EU  within 3 months… which means you need to take them with you when you leave the EU.

  1. HOW DO I SHOP TAX FREE WITH ZAPPTAX?

With ZAPPTAX, very simple.

Download the ZAPPTAX app and follow these 5 steps:

  1. Enjoy your shopping : make purchases at any store  and collect receipts with VAT.

  1. Upload your receipts : take pictures of your receipts and upload them on the ZAPPTAX app.

  1. Get your tax-free form stamped at customs : at your final point of exit of the European Union, get your tax-free form validated by Customs (stamp or barcode reading)

  1. Upload your stamped form : take a picture of your tax-free form after validation and upload it on the ZAPPTAX app.

  1. Get your refund : get confirmation of your refund within minutes of uploading your customs-validated tax-free form.

  1. IN WHICH COUNTRIES CAN I SHOP TAX-FREE WITH ZAPPTAX?

ZAPPTAX is currently available for purchases made in France, Spain, the UK and Belgium.

More countries will follow soon.

  1. HOW CAN I LEARN MORE ABOUT SPECIFIC LOCAL TAX-FREE SHOPPING RULES IN EACH COUNTRY?

Although tax-free shopping is defined under EU VAT law, each country has implemented this overall framework in its own body of rules and regulations. This has led to small variations in the way the scheme operates across member states.

Select your tax-free shopping destination below, in the Country Specifics  section, and find out what the specific rules are for the countries you will visit.

  1. WHAT HAPPENS IF I SHOP IN DIFFERENT COUNTRIES DURING MY TRIP?

ZAPPTAX will provide you with one separate tax-free form for each country where you make purchases.

All these tax-free forms must be validated (stamp or barcode reading) at once at your final point of exit of the EU.

  1. WHERE CAN I DOWNLOAD THE ZAPPTAX APP?

ZAPPTAX is a mobile app for iPhone and Android devices. You can download the iPhone app from the App Store  and the Android app from Google Play .

  1. IS ZAPPTAX WORKING ON ALL MOBILE PHONES?

The iPhone app is compatible with devices running versions 9 and above of iOS.

The Android app is compatible with version 4.1 of Android and above.

The ZAPPTAX app is free.

  1. IS ZAPPTAX A PAID SERVICE?

No.

ZAPPTAX can be downloaded for free and you don’t need to pay to register to the service.

Our business model is based on a handling fee that is being subtracted from your refund.

  1. WHAT DO I NEED TO DO BEFORE I CAN USE ZAPPTAX?

Download the app and create an account by providing a valid email address.

Later in the process we will ask you the following information:

  • A colored scan/copy/photo of the main page of your passport in a two-page spread. This is necessary so that we can confirm that you are residing outside of the EU. In some instances – for example for EU nationals residing outside of the EU- we may ask you for additional proof of your residency (such as consular card, driver’s license…).

  • A refund option (bank account, credit or debit card, PayPal, UnionPay, Alipay…) to which we will transfer your tax refund.

  1. IS THE PERSONAL INFORMATION I PROVIDE SAFE?

We are serious about preserving the security of our data and your personal information. All information you provide is stored on our secure servers. These servers are hosted in Europe and ZAPPTAX operates under EU law.

ZAPPTAX has implemented appropriate physical, electronic and managerial resources to prevent unauthorized access or disclosure of such data.

For more information, check our privacy policy .

  1. WHAT ARE THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THE SERVICE?

Our terms and conditions can be accessed here .

  1. HOW CAN I CONTACT ZAPPTAX IF I HAVE ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS?

Because the tax-free process can at times be a bit confusing and complicated (there are small variations of the rules across EU countries, you are in a rush, out of your comfort zone…), we want to make sure we can assist you in a flexible way all along your shopping journey.

You have multiple options to contact us 24/7.

  1. In-app Chat : you can chat with us 24/7 through the live chat functionality built within the app and on the zapptax.com website.

  1. Email : contact us anytime by email at [email protected] .

  1. Phone : call us anytime at one of the local numbers we provide

  • France: +33 (0)1 78 90 04 42
  • Spain: +34 910 607 358
  • United Kingdom: +44 207 04 82 473
  • Belgium: +32 (0)2 880 59 12
  • China: +86 (0)10 8783 3233

DURING MY TRIP

  1. IN WHICH STORES CAN I SHOP TAX-FREE?

With ZAPPTAX, you can shop at any store , as long as they provide receipts with VAT (meaning where the VAT rate and amount are mentioned as a separate line on your receipt).

  1. CAN I GET TAX REFUND ON ANY TYPE OF GOODS?

Most goods are eligible for tax-free shopping, as long as they are exported in your personal luggage.

However, there are some exceptions like firearms, endangered species, etc. Please check the Country Specifics section   to see what categories of goods are not eligible for tax-free shopping in each country.

  1. CAN I GET TAX REFUND FOR THE PURCHASE OF SERVICES (HOTEL, RESTAURANTS, CAR RENTAL…)?

No. Services like hotel accommodation, meals at restaurants, car hire… are not eligible for tax refunds.

  1. WHAT TYPE OF RECEIPTS CAN I USE WITH ZAPPTAX?

You should make sure the receipts you collect at the cash register hold the following information:

  • Store name
  • Receipt number
  • Address and contact details of the store
  • Short description of the goods purchased
  • Amount excluding VAT (€ or £)
  • VAT rate (%)
  • Amount including VAT (€ or £)

  1. HOW DO I UPLOAD MY RECEIPTS ON ZAPPTAX?

Follow the upload procedure on the app by taking a separate picture of each of your receipts.

Pictures must be of good quality. They should hold all the necessary info (see question 18) and not show any indistinct or blurred areas. Texts should be readable.

  1. CAN I ALSO USE ZAPPTAX FOR GOODS THAT ARE SHIPPED, SENT BY COURIER OR PURCHASED ONLINE?

Yes, but under certain conditions!

The goods must be delivered to you in the relevant EU country (and not in your country of residence).

And you must ask an invoice addressed to ZAPPTAX (a delivery note or invoice addressed at your name will work!).

  • For France, request an invoice addressed to ZAPPTAX FRANCE with VAT number FR 35.830.041.844
  • For Spain, request an invoice addressed to ZAPPTAX SPAIN with VAT number N0173919B
  • For Belgium, request an invoice addressed to ZAPPTAX BELGIUM with VAT number BE 0670.776.774

However, VAT refunds are not available for e-commerce purchases in the UK.

  1. CAN I USE THE PURCHASED GOODS BEFORE LEAVING THE EU?

No, goods should remain unused and sealed until you get your tax-free form stamped by Customs.

Customs could refuse to stamp your tax-free form in case the goods have been used.

  1. CAN I TRACK MY PURCHASES AND REFUNDS ON ZAPPTAX?

Yes, you can track the status of your purchases and refunds through the app.

  1. CAN I CLAIM VAT REFUND ON BEHALF OF SOMEONE ELSE?

The person exporting the goods must be the person who registered on ZAPPTAX.

But the goods can be paid by someone else.

  1. UNTIL WHAT TIME BEFORE LEAVING THE EU CAN I KEEP SHOPPING WHEN USING ZAPPTAX?

You can shop tax-free with ZAPPTAX up to 18 hours before your departure from the EU.

At that time at the latest (18 hours before departure) you should press the button “Process your tax-free forms” in the app. This will leave us the necessary time to edit your tax-free form and deliver it to you.

DURING MY TRIP

  1. WHAT DO I NEED TO DO AT THE END OF MY TRIP?

At the end of your trip we will edit one tax-free form for each country where you made purchases. Each tax-free form will summarize all the tax-free purchases you made in each country.

Before departure, if possible, print your tax-free form(s). Alternatively, we can get them delivered to you, either at your hotel or at your point of exit (airport).

All tax-free forms must be validated by Customs (meaning stamped or barcode read) to qualify for a refund.  In most cases, this validation takes the form of a stamp affixed by Customs on your tax-free form. The relevant Customs officials or airport agents will check that you are eligible and meet all the requirements to get your VAT refund. You will need to present your tax-free form, passport and travel documents. The customs agent may also ask you to present the goods. In some countries, customs authorities require that you attached your receipts to the tax-free form.

Please note that at French airports and points of exits, tax-free forms relating to purchases made in France will be validated at dedicated electronic kiosks or terminals by reading a unique barcode printed on your form (this is called the PABLO procedure). Be aware that this special procedure is only valid for purchases made in France. For tax-free forms relating to purchases made in other EU member states, you will need to obtain a stamp from a customs officer.

Make sure you show up at the airport well ahead of your departure time to complete the validation process.

  1. WHERE DO I GET MY TAX-FREE FORMS VALIDATED BEFORE LEAVING THE EU?

You must get validation at your last point of exit from the European Union. Most of the time it will be an international airport.

  1. Leaving the EU for an immediate destination outside the EU (for example direct flight London-Beijing)

If you are taking a direct flight back home (like for example London-Beijing), your last point of exit will be your airport of departure (i.e. London). That is where you should get your tax-free forms validated by Customs.

  1. Leaving the EU on a through (transit) flight via another EU airport (for example flight London-Helsinki-Beijing)

If you are taking a connecting or transit flight before heading home (for example London-Helsinki-Shanghai) and your last point of exit from the EU is through another EU country (i.e. Helsinki), it can get a bit trickier. In that case, a distinction should be made between hold luggage and hand luggage:

  • Hold luggage: receive customs stamp at the airport where you initially check in for your flight (i.e. London)
  • Hand luggage: get customs stamp at your final point of departure from the European Union (i.e. Helsinki)

Besides airports, last exit points from the EU can also be train stations, land boarders or maritime ports.

Please note that all  your tax-free forms should be validated at your last point of exit from the EU, even those relating to purchases made in countries other than the country of your last point of exit from the EU.

  1. WHERE EXACTLY SHOULD I GO AT MY POINT OF EXIT TO GET MY TAX-FREE FORMS VALIDATED?  

Customs desks are usually well signposted at all airports, land borders or ports.

At airports, Customs desks are most of the time located in the departure hall.

However, be aware that in some countries (for example Belgium), the location where you should get your tax-free forms validated will vary depending on how you intend to carry your purchased goods:

  • Hold luggage: receive customs stamp in the departure hall before checking in your luggage.
  • Hand luggage: receive customs stamp in the transit hall after passing security checks and passport control.

Check the Country Specifics  section for more details.

  1. SHOULD THE PURCHASED GOODS BE PRESENTED TO CUSTOMS?

Yes, your purchased goods (and in some countries the corresponding receipts) must be

available for inspection if required.

That’s why we advise you, when arriving at the airport, to first go to the Customs desk to get your tax-free form validated.

Please note that in some countries, you are required to present your boarding cards to the Customs officer.  In this case you must check-in before  going to the Customs desk. If so, ask the check-in staff to label your luggage and return it to you. Once Customs have validated your tax-free form(s), return your luggage to check-in so that your luggage can be transferred to the airplane.

Check the Country Specifics  section for more details.

  1. SHOULD I CARRY THE GOODS IN MY HAND LUGGAGE?

Most of the time not. You can carry your goods in hold luggage.

However, in some countries (like the UK), Customs require you to always carry high value items in your hand luggage. This includes jewelry, furs, cameras, expensive watches, silverware, laptop computers and small antiques.

Since arrangements in force vary from country to country and from airport to airport, ZAPPTAX will provide you with detailed instructions through app notifications and email in function of your point of exit of the EU.

Also check the Country Specifics  section for more details.

  1. WHAT IF I’M TAKING A CONNECTING OR TRANSIT FLIGHT AND MY LAST POINT OF EXIT FROM THE EU IS THROUGH ANOTHER EU COUNTRY?

Please check question 26 .

  1. WHAT HAPPENS IF I CANNOT GET MY TAX-FREE FORM VALIDATED BEFORE I LEAVE THE EU?

Getting your tax-free form stamped (or barcode validated) proves that the goods were exported outside of the EU.

No stamp = no refund.

Validation by anyone other than an EU Customs officer when you leave the EU is not an option. Long queues at the airport will not be accepted as a reason for not getting an EU Customs’ stamp on the form. Forms stamped outside the EU are not acceptable either.

  1. WHAT SHOULD I DO ONCE MY TAX-FREE FORM HAS BEEN VALIDATED?

You need to take a picture of your stamped tax-free form and upload it on ZAPPTAX.

Same rules apply as for uploading other documents on ZAPPTAX: use the camera of your smartphone, but pay attention to the quality of your picture.  A low-quality copy may prevent you from getting your refund.

In some instance, ZAPPTAX may need to collect your stamped tax-free forms. We will provide you in due time with detailed instructions through app notifications or email.

  1. CAN I CALCULATE MY REFUND BEFOREHAND?

Not yet… but we intend to soon release a refund calculator. This will allow you to calculate your refund in function of the value of the goods and the VAT rate applicable in the country where you purchased them.

In the meantime, the app allows you to track the status of your refund along the entire tax-free refund process.

  1. WHAT ARE THE OPTIONS FOR GETTING MY REFUND?

The following refund options are currently available:

  • Bank account
  • Credit and debit card
  • UnionPay
  • PayPal
  • Alipay

  1. CAN I CHANGE MY REFUND OPTION?

Yes, until you receive a message from ZAPPTAX stating that your refund has been processed and confirming that the transfer is underway.

  1. CAN I CHOOSE THE CURRENCY OF MY REFUND?

The refund will be transferred in the currency where the refund is being made (RMB in China, € in Europe, $ in the US…).

We guarantee you that the exchange rate fee will not be higher than 1%.

  1. HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO GET MY REFUND?

You will receive a confirmation that your refund is underway within minutes of uploading your validated tax-free form.

The refund will then reach your account within 24 hours at the most depending on the chosen refund option.

COUNTRY SPECIFICS

FRANCE

  1. HOW DO I SHOP TAX-FREE IN FRANCE WITH ZAPPTAX?

Download the ZAPPTAX app and follow these 5 steps:

  1. Enjoy your shopping : make purchases at any store and collect receipts with VAT.

  1. Upload your receipts : take pictures of your receipts and upload them on the ZAPPTAX app.

  1. Get your tax-free form delivered by ZAPPTAX and stamped at Customs : at your final point of exit of the European Union, get your tax-free form validated by Customs (stamp or barcode reading)

  1. Upload your stamped form : take a picture of your tax-free form after validation and upload it on the ZAPPTAX app.

  1. Get your refund : get confirmation of your refund within minutes of uploading your customs-validated tax-free form.

  1. SIGNATURE

For purchases made in France, the tax-free form provided by ZAPPTAX must be signed by you.

  1. THE PABLO SYSTEM

PABLO is an interactive barcode system developed by French Customs. Tax-free forms issued for purchases made in France carry a unique barcode. When these tax-free forms are validated at a point of exit in France (for example Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris), you don’t need to get the form manually stamped by Customs. You only need to read the barcode at one of the dedicated PABLO kiosks located near the Customs office.

PABLO barcode readers are also available at other points of exit from the EU in France such as ports and border crossings.

  1. HOW DOES THE PABLO BARCODE READER WORK?

Select one of the eight languages proposed on the touch screen. Then scan the barcode on your tax-free form using the reader.

A green screen will appear with the message « OK, form valid ».

This electronic validation has the same legal value as a stamp from a Customs officer. The approval process is then complete.

If a red screen appears, follow the instructions on the screen or contact a Customs officer.

  1. WHAT SHOULD I DO IF THERE IS NO PABLO BARCODE READER AT MY POINT OF EXIT?

Get your tax-free form validated manually (stamp) by a Customs officer at the nearby Customs desk.

  1. CAN I USE THE PABLO BARCODE READER TO VALIDATE TAX-FREE FORMS FOR PURCHASES MADE IN OTHER COUNTRIES THAN FRANCE?

No.

Tax-free forms for purchases made in other countries than France must be manually validated (stamp) by a Customs officer.

  1. VAT RATE

Standard rate: 20%.

Books and food: 5%

  1. CURENCY

Euro (€)

  1. CONDITIONS TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR TAX-FREE SHOPPING IN FRANCE?

  • You are residing outside the EU
  • You are minimum 16 years of age
  • You have been in France for less than 6 months

  1. HOW DO I PROVE THAT I AM A NON-EU RESIDENT?

  • Foreign nationals residing outside the EU: valid passport.
  • French nationals residing outside the EU: consular ID card or certificate of registration in the register of French citizens abroad.
  • Other EU nationals residing outside the EU: any document proving that you are not resident of the EU (consular card, visa…).

  1. MINIMUM SPEND

175,01 € VAT included.

This amount must be reached by combining the total value of your purchases in France during your trip.

  1. TYPE OF GOODS AND MAXIMUM NUMBER OF UNITS OF THE SAME ARTICLE

The goods you purchase must be for non-commercial use. You are entitled to purchase a maximum of 15 units of the same article.

  1. CUSTOMS INSPECTION

Customs may at any time check that you meet the VAT refund conditions.

If you are subject to a Customs inspection, you must provide:

  • Your signed tax-free form
  • An ID confirming that you are a non-EU resident
  • Your travel documents (flight ticket, boarding pass)
  • The purchased goods (sealed and unused)

Failure to present the goods to Customs will result in your tax-free form being cancelled. You may even be fined!

  1. TIME LIMIT FOR CUSTOMS VALIDATION

Your tax-free form must be validated within 3 months of buying the goods.

  1. REFUND OPTIONS AVAILABLE

See question 34  above.

  1. ADVICE

At the airport, allow enough time for the Customs approval process before your flight departs.

Make sure the goods are sealed and unused.

If you are leaving from an airport in France, but will change flights in transit at another EU airport, get your tax-free form approved at a PABLO kiosk at your point of exit in France.

If your tax-free form doesn’t bear the PABLO logo (for example a tax-free form issued for purchases made outside of France), ask a Customs officer to stamp the document for approval.

BELGIUM

  1. HOW DO I SHOP TAX-FREE IN BELGIUM WITH ZAPPTAX?

Download the ZAPPTAX app and follow these 5 steps:

  1. Enjoy your shopping : make purchases at any store and collect receipts with VAT.

  1. Upload your receipts : take pictures of your receipts and upload them on the ZAPPTAX app.

  1. Get your tax-free form delivered by ZAPPTAX and stamped at Customs : at your final point of exit of the European Union, get your tax-free form validated by Customs (stamp or barcode reading)

  1. Upload your stamped form : take a picture of your tax-free form after validation and upload it on the ZAPPTAX app.

  1. Get your refund : get confirmation of your refund within minutes of uploading your customs-validated tax-free form.

  1. VAT RATE

Standard rate: 21%.

Books and food: 6%

  1. CURENCY

Euro (€)

  1. CONDITIONS TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR TAX-FREE SHOPPING IN BELGIUM?

  • You are residing outside the EU
  • You are minimum 16 years of age
  • You have been in Belgium for less than 6 months

  1. HOW DO I PROVE THAT I AM A NON-EU RESIDENT?

  • Foreign nationals residing outside the EU: valid passport.
  • Belgian nationals residing outside the EU: any document proving that you are residing outside of the EU (consular card, visa…).
  • Other EU nationals residing outside the EU: any document proving that you are not resident of the EU (consular card, visa…).

  1. MINIMUM SPEND

50,01 € VAT included.

This amount must be reached by combining the total value of your purchases in Belgium during your trip.

  1. TYPE OF GOODS AND MAXIMUM NUMBER OF UNITS OF THE SAME ARTICLE

The goods you purchase must be for non-commercial use. However, there is no official maximum limit in terms of number of items of the same article.

  1. REQUIRED FOR CUSTOMS APPROVAL

  • ZAPPTAX tax-free form
  • Purchased goods (sealed and unused)
  • Passport
  • Your travel documents (flight ticket, boarding pass)

  1. TIME LIMIT FOR CUSTOMS VALIDATION

Your tax-free form must be validated within 3 months of buying the goods.

  1. REFUND OPTIONS AVAILABLE

See question 34  above.

  1. WHERE AND HOW DO I GET MY TAX-FREE FORM VALIDATED AT BRUSSELS AIRPORT?

  1. Leaving Brussels Airport for an immediate destination outside the EU (example: direct flight Brussels-Beijing)

  • Goods carried in hold luggage: get your tax-free form validated at the Customs desk located in the departure hall.
  • Goods carried in hand luggage: get your tax-free form validated at the Customs desk located in the transit hall after passing security checks and passport control.

  1. Leaving Brussels Airport on a through (transit) flight via another EU airport (example: flight Brussels-Helsinki-Beijing)

  • Goods carried in hold luggage: get your tax-free form validated at the Customs desk located in the departure hall.
  • Goods carried in hand luggage: get your tax-free form validated at the Customs desk located in the transit hall at your final point of departure from the European Union (i.e. Helsinki).

  1. ADVICE

At the airport, allow enough time for the Customs approval process before your flight departs.

Make sure the goods are sealed and unused.

SPAIN

  1. HOW DO I SHOP TAX-FREE IN SPAIN WITH ZAPPTAX?

Download the ZAPPTAX app and follow these 5 steps:

  1. Enjoy your shopping : make purchases at any store and collect receipts with VAT.

  1. Upload your receipts : take pictures of your receipts and upload them on the ZAPPTAX app.

  1. Get your tax-free form delivered by ZAPPTAX and stamped at Customs : at your final point of exit of the European Union, get your tax-free form validated by Customs (stamp or barcode reading)

  1. Upload your stamped form : take a picture of your tax-free form after validation and upload it on the ZAPPTAX app.

  1. Get your refund : get confirmation of your refund within minutes of uploading your customs-validated tax-free form.

  1. THE DIVA SYSTEM

DIVA is an interactive barcode system developed by Spanish Customs. Tax-free forms issued for purchases made in Spain carry a unique barcode. When these tax-free forms are validated at a point of exit in Spain (for example Barajas airport in Madrid), you don’t need to get the form manually stamped by Customs. You only need to read the barcode at one of the dedicated DIVA kiosks located near the Customs office.

DIVA barcode readers are also available at most other points of exit from the EU in Spain such as ports and border crossings.

However, DIVA kiosks are not yet operational at all points of exit in Spain. In case there is no DIVA kiosk at your point of exit, you should get your tax-free form validated (stamped) at the Customs desk.

  1. HOW DOES THE DIVA BARCODE READER WORK?

Select one of the ten languages proposed on the touch screen. Then scan the barcode on your tax-free form using the reader.

A green screen will appear with the message « OK, form valid ».

This electronic validation has the same legal value as a stamp from a Customs officer. The approval process is then complete.

If a red screen appears, you should get your tax-free form validated manually by a Customs officer at the nearby Customs desk.

  1. WHAT SHOULD I DO IF THERE IS NO DIVA BARCODE READER AT MY POINT OF EXIT?

Get your tax-free form validated manually (stamp) by a Customs officer at the nearby Customs desk.

  1. CAN I USE THE DIVA BARCODE READER TO VALIDATE TAX-FREE FORMS FOR PURCHASES MADE IN OTHER COUNTRIES THAN SPAIN?

No.

Tax-free forms for purchases made in other countries than Spain must be manually validated (stamp) by a Customs officer.

  1. VAT RATE

Standard rate: 20%.

Some food and optical goods: 10%

Medicines and pharmaceutical goods, books, magazines and some food: 4%

  1. CURENCY

Euro (€)

  1. CONDITIONS TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR TAX-FREE SHOPPING IN FRANCE?

  • You are residing outside the EU
  • You are minimum 16 years of age
  • You have been in Spain for less than 6 months

  1. HOW DO I PROVE THAT I AM A NON-EU RESIDENT?

  • Foreign nationals residing outside the EU: valid passport.
  • Spanish nationals residing outside the EU: any document proving that you are residing outside of the EU (consular card, visa…).
  • Other EU nationals residing outside the EU: any document proving that you are residing outside of the EU (consular card, visa…).

  1. MINIMUM SPEND

90,16 € VAT included.

This amount must be reached by combining the total value of your purchases in Spain during your trip.

  1. TYPE OF GOODS AND MAXIMUM NUMBER OF UNITS OF THE SAME ARTICLE

The goods you purchase must be for non-commercial use. However, there is no official maximum limit in terms of number of items of the same article.

  1. REQUIRED FOR CUSTOMS APPROVAL

  • ZAPPTAX tax-free form
  • Purchased goods (sealed and unused)
  • Passport
  • Your travel documents (flight ticket, boarding pass)

If you use the DIVA barcode reader to validate your tax-free form, be aware that Customs may at any time check that you meet the VAT refund conditions.

If you are subject to a Customs inspection, you must provide:

  • Your tax-free form
  • An ID confirming that you are a non-EU resident
  • Your travel documents (flight ticket, boarding pass)
  • The purchased goods (sealed and unused)

Failure to present the goods to Customs will result in your tax-free form being cancelled. You may even be fined!

  1. TIME LIMIT FOR CUSTOMS VALIDATION

Your tax-free form must be validated within 3 months of buying the goods.

  1. REFUND OPTIONS AVAILABLE

See question 34 above.

  1. ADVICE

At the airport, allow enough time for the Customs approval process before your flight departs.

Make sure the goods are sealed and unused.

UNITED KINGDOM

  1. HOW DO I SHOP TAX-FREE IN THE UK WITH ZAPPTAX?

Download the ZAPPTAX app and follow these 5 steps:

  1. Enjoy your shopping : make purchases at any store and collect receipts with VAT.

  1. Upload your receipts : take pictures of your receipts and upload them on the ZAPPTAX app.

  1. Get your tax-free form delivered by ZAPPTAX and stamped at Customs : at your final point of exit of the European Union, get your tax-free form validated by Customs (stamp or barcode reading)

  1. Upload your stamped form : take a picture of your tax-free form after validation and upload it on the ZAPPTAX app.

  1. Get your refund : get confirmation of your refund within minutes of uploading your customs-validated tax-free form.

  1. VAT RATE

Standard rate: 20%.

Children’s car seats: 5%

  1. CURENCY

GBP (£)

  1. CONDITIONS TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR TAX-FREE SHOPPING IN BELGIUM?

  • You are residing outside the EU
  • You are minimum 16 years of age
  • You have been in the UK for less than 6 months

  1. HOW DO I PROVE THAT I AM A NON-EU RESIDENT?

  • Foreign nationals residing outside the EU: valid passport.
  • UK nationals residing outside the EU: any document proving that you are residing outside of the EU (consular card, visa…).
  • Other EU nationals residing outside the EU: any document proving that you are not resident of the EU (consular card, visa…).

  1. MINIMUM SPEND

25 £ VAT included.

This amount must be reached by combining the total value of your purchases in the UK during your trip.

  1. TYPE OF GOODS AND MAXIMUM NUMBER OF UNITS OF THE SAME ARTICLE

The goods you purchase must be for non-commercial use. However, there is no official maximum limit in terms of number of items of the same article.

  1. REQUIRED FOR CUSTOMS APPROVAL

  • ZAPPTAX tax-free form
  • Purchased goods (sealed and unused)
  • Passport
  • Your travel documents (flight ticket, boarding pass)

  1. TIME LIMIT FOR CUSTOMS VALIDATION

Your tax-free form must be validated within 3 months of buying the goods.

  1. REFUND OPTIONS AVAILABLE

See question 34 above.

  1. WHERE DO I HAVE TO CARRY THE GOODS? HOLD LUGGAGE OR HAND LUGGAGE?

For most items, you can choose to carry your items in hold luggage or hand luggage.

However, UK Customs require that you always carry high value items in your hand luggage. This includes jewelry, furs, cameras, expensive watches, silverware, laptop computers and small antiques.

Also, be aware that there are special rules on where to get your tax-free forms validated for goods being carried on through flights leaving via another EU airport (for example flight London-Helsinki-Beijing). See question 12 below for more details.

  1. WHERE AND HOW DO I GET MY TAX-FREE FORM VALIDATED AT UK AIRPORTS?

  1. Leaving the EU from the UK for an immediate destination outside the EU (example: direct flight London-Beijing)

  • Goods carried in hold luggage or hand luggage: get your tax-free form validated before check-in at the Customs desk located in the departure hall (if you leave from Heathrow airport, get your tax-free forms validated at the TRAVELEX VAT refund desk located in the departure hall. TRAVELEX will export validate -stamp- your tax-free forms on behalf of Customs)

  1. Leaving the EU from the UK on a through (transit) flight via another EU airport (example: flight London-Helsinki-Beijing)

  • Goods carried in hold luggage: get your tax-free form validated before check-in at the Customs desk located in the departure hall (if you leave from Heathrow airport, get your tax-free forms validated at the TRAVELEX VAT refund desk located in the departure hall. TRAVELEX will export validate -stamp- your tax-free forms on behalf of Customs).
  • Goods carried in hand luggage: get your tax-free form validated at the Customs desk located in the transit hall at your final point of departure from the European Union (i.e. Helsinki).

  1. ADVICE

At the airport, allow enough time for the Customs approval process before your flight departs.

Make sure the goods are sealed and unused.