Retail export scheme

Certification of export

What is certification of export?

Certification is when your export voucher, which if issued in this State must be for an amount which is not less than €75, is stamped by a Customs Official. The purpose of certification is to provide evidence to a retailer or refund agent that the goods have left the European Union (EU), in accordance with the terms of the retail export scheme. This certification can be provided by Customs in this State, or by Customs Officers at the Member State of departure from the EU.

It is important to note that this certification is the necessary evidence of export that allows for the refund of Value-Added Tax (VAT) on qualifying goods to be made to the tourist or traveller. It is also the evidence necessary to allow fees payable in relation to any export services provided by a refund agent to the tourist or traveller to be charged at the zero rate of VAT.

Certification by Irish Customs

When a tourist or traveller on departure from the State is claiming a refund of VAT paid directly from the retailer, the export voucher, other than in the case of high value goods, can be placed in the Customs drop-box located in the Departure Terminals. The export voucher, when certified, will be returned to the retailer to allow the retailer to process the VAT refund to the tourist or traveller.

When a tourist or traveller is claiming a refund of VAT paid through a refund agent, the tourist or traveller, other than in the case of high value goods, must provide the export vouchers to the refund agent. The refund agent will present the export vouchers to Customs for certification.

All high value goods, however, must be presented by the tourist or traveller to the Customs Officer, with the export voucher, for certification.

In relation to goods, other than high value goods, purchased in the State, Irish Customs will certify the export voucher even if the State is not the last point of departure from the EU.

This is subject to evidence that:

  • the tourist or traveller has a travel ticket for a destination outside the EU
  • and
  • the travel ticket is valid not later than the end of the third month from the date on which the goods were purchased.

Customs may inspect any qualifying goods as part of the certification process. A tourist or traveller should therefore be able to produce those goods to Customs, if requested to do so. If Customs Officers are not satisfied regarding the validity of any export voucher or receipt, it will be returned unstamped to the tourist or traveller.

Next: Certification of export other than by Customs Officers of the State