If your usual place of residence is in a non-EU Member State or a third country, the Value-Added Tax (VAT) may be deducted from the price of the goods you buy in France.
Validation by the customs office when exiting the EU grants sellers the definitive benefit of VAT exemption. It is their responsibility to provide for a refund of the tax saved as a result of customs validation.
There are two validation procedures in force in France:
- validation via a customs stamp;
- electronic stamp as part of the PABLO online service (see the electronic VAT refund service in France for tourists - PABLO).
Duty-free purchases are purchases that are exempt from Value-Added Tax (VAT). They are subject to several conditions checked by the sales staff at the time of purchase.
When you make a purchase, the seller will provide you with a document called an “export sales slip” which will allow you to obtain a refund of the VAT paid on the products listed on the slip.
Please be aware: If you have not received an export sales slip corresponding to the product purchased, you will not be able to obtain a VAT refund for that purchase.
Who is eligible?
The people entitled to claim a refund are those who meet the conditions of exemption and have their export sales slips stamped by the customs service or by an automated system (PABLO terminals) when they leave the European Union.
How do I get a tax refund?
The refund conditions depend on the customs validation (manual or electronic) obtained and the refund method chosen upon making the purchase.
To find out more:
- Visit the website www.douane.gouv.fr
- Tel.: 0 811 204 444 (€0.06/min including VAT)
- Contact the consular or customs services of the destination and transit countries to obtain precise information