Remember duty free shopping?

By | Category: Travel news

Older readers will remember the days when you took a ferry across to Calais or Boulogne, Dunkirk or Ostend and filled up with duty free drinks, cigarettes, chocolates and other items. But these days there are electronic items that hadn’t even been thought of when we could last pop across the channel and pick up a boot full of goodies.

Le Shuttle

Having left the EU, those days have returned.

Except that these days you have Le Shuttle as a way of getting to the continent as well as the ferries.

France has three levels of VAT but for many items you’ll save the 20% when you claim

There are some new rules which Eurotunnel’s Le Shuttle has put togther. If you go to France, for example, you have to spend more than €100.01 in order to ckaim the VAT back. You then complete a VAT refund form, queue up with your passport to show you aren’t in the EU to get the money back and bob’s your uncle.

There is a but.

You have to show the officials that you are taking them outside the EU which means validating your tax refund form by scanning the barcode at a self-service PABLO kiosk which, in the case of Calais, is in the terminal and this must be done before leaving.

Eurotunnel also suggest that you purchase as many items on the same receipt as possible as it says you can often get a higher rate of refund for larger purchases.

Above all, don’t unpack or use any of the items until you leave the EU. Eurotunnel also suggest that, since most of us have smart phones, you take a photo of your tax refund forms after having them validated so you have evidence if a problem with your refund occurs later.

The next thing we might see is the return of the “booze cruise” where ships will just sail outside territorial waters, we buy goods on board at the discount and the ship sails back again.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.
Tags: , ,