Retail export scheme

Certification of export other than by Customs Officers of the State

Certification by Customs at the final place of departure from the EU

A tourist or traveller may have the export of qualifying goods certified at their final place of departure from the EU rather than the Member State in which the purchase of the qualifying goods was made. This is particularly relevant to persons on a multi-stop trip in the EU. The certifying Customs Officer must be satisfied that the tourist or traveller has complied with the conditions of the retail export scheme.

It is important to note that certification procedures may vary between EU Member States. If a tourist or traveller intends to have the qualifying goods certified in another EU Member State, the tourist or traveller should check the requirements of the Customs administration in that Member State.

Certification by officials in the tourist's or traveller’s country of residence

In certain circumstances a tourist or traveller may be unable to get certification of export from Customs on leaving the State. In such cases, the tourist or traveller may still obtain a refund of Value-Added Tax (VAT). In order to obtain a refund of VAT, a tourist or traveller must provide certification that the qualifying goods have been imported into their country of residence.

This certification may be provided by such persons as a:

  • Customs official
  • law-enforcement officer
  • Notary Public
  • Commissioner for Oaths.

The tourist or traveller should return this certification together with the receipt or export voucher to their VAT refund agent or Irish retailer.

A refund agent or retailer requires prior agreement from their Revenue office to accept certification from the tourist's or traveller's country of residence as proof of export.

This facility, however, is not available in respect of refunds of VAT on high value goods. See section On what purchases can you reclaim VAT? for information on high value goods.