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When you visit the UK you will pay Value Added Tax (VAT) on most things you buy. The VAT Retail Export Scheme allows you to claim a VAT refund on most goods you buy when you leave the EU.
Not all retailers participate in the VAT refund scheme. When you purchase the goods ask the retailer if they participate as you will need to complete the form in the shop and the retailer will need to verify you have purchased the goods. The VAT rate is currently 20%.
You are eligible for a VAT refund if:
You can buy any goods under the scheme on which you pay VAT if the retailer participates in the scheme except for the following:
These goods must be exported within your hold or hand luggage.
1. Request a VAT Refund Form
When you purchase goods, from any UK retailer, inform the retailer immediately that you wish to reclaim VAT. The retailer will give you a VAT Refund Form for you to complete and sign. Please note, forms should be completed prior to visiting the TRAVELEX desk at East Midlands Airport.
2. Proceed to the Travelex desk in the check in hall
Prior to check in, take your completed form to the TRAVELEX VAT desk, located in the check-in hall. Goods must be available for inspection by the TRAVELEX staff at the desk. Dependent on the nature of the goods, some passengers may be required to proceed airside before they are able to claim a refund. TRAVELEX will advise accordingly. TRAVELEX will process the forms of the following providers: Global Blue, Premiere Tax Free, GB Tax Free & Innova Tax Free.
3. Collect your refund
Depending on the type of form you have given TRAVELEX, the method by which you will receive your refund will vary. This could be a refund to your credit card, by cheque sent to your home or cash, which can be paid in the currency of your choice. Please note, there may be a fee for cash refunds.
If you decide to leave goods bought under the scheme in the EU, you must clearly delete those items from any VAT refund document when you finally leave the EU. This amendment must be made before you present the VAT refund documentation and the remaining goods to Customs for examination and certification (if that is appropriate under the procedures above).
For more information please visit the HM Revenue and Customs website.
If you need any further help please call Border Force.