Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer
Member since 30 Jul 2017
Total posts 10
Hi all, I need a bit of advice for claiming VAT on an upcoming trip to Europe. I'm travelling a few places around the EU, then Zurich is my penultimate destination before I fly out of Helsinki to Singapore. My previous stop before Zurich is London. I was planning to claim everything on my way out at Helsinki airport, but then remembered you can only claim for items purchased within the EU at your last port in the EU (i.e. EEC/Schengen is excluded here). So will I need to claim my VAT on Swiss purchases only at Zurich Airport? And would I then also need to claim all items purchased in the EU at London prior to leaving for Zurich? Admittedly I have once managed to leave the EU but not the Schengen zone (Belfast > Reykjavik > Frankfurt) and it didn't cause any issues at the final port in the EU...
Member since 01 Jun 2017
Total posts 4
Member since 11 May 2015
Total posts 9
Correct, that's been my experience. Having flown from Zurich on many occasions, only goods purchased in Switzerland can be claimed at Zurich airport (and goods must be presented for inspection). Items purchased in the EU can only be claimed in the EU, again presented for inspection and not packed away in checked luggage. Unless it's a significant amount it's hardly worth the effort considering you don't get the full VAT refund, plus pay handling fees, and from memory instead of 20% refund it's closer to 10%. Remeber if it is a significant amount you should declare it when returning to Aust....
Member since 29 Nov 2015
Total posts 1
I would add, leave yourself a lot of time to claim VAT in London. Last year it took 1h45!
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Claiming VAT for goods purchased in Switzerland
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