UK residents can shop Tax Free anywhere in the EU!
Whether you are in Belgium or planning on taking a trip, Woonivers will make your journey cheaper and easier than ever before! Brexit now counts residents of the United Kingdom as foreigners. As a result, the British can shopTax-Free Shopping within the European Union!
What do you need?
With Woonivers, simply scan the invoices of your purchases and we take care of the rest. We are the first 100% digital operator of Tax Free shopping. If you are not familiar with our service, please find more info here .
How does it work?
Woonivers provides freedom and peace of mind to shoppers, allowing them to save more money than ever before. Once you’ve scanned your purchases, you receive a Tax-Free application in the form of a QR code. This code needs to be validated by customs upon your departure from the EU. But how does this last-step verification work? Not to worry, here is a complete guide on how to have your Tax-Free claims validated at customs!
What is Customs validation?
Customs validation is the final step of the Tax-Free refund process. Authorities verify that the goods you purchased came from Belgium and are in fact leaving the EU. Goods must be ‘consumed’ in your country of residence (outside the EU). The goods in question must be in their original state, not used.
Reminder: Tax-Free forms are documents issued from merchants or certified Tax-Refund operators such as Woonivers. These forms include all the items you want to claim a VAT refund on. They can be provided either physically or It can be delivered in printed or digital formats. Every form is unique and MUST be presented and validated by the customs agent. If forms are not validated, the goods are not considered to have left the country and therefore are not eligible for a tax refund.
⚠️ Please make sure you save a little extra time to stop by the customs office for validation before leaving – we don’t want you to be rushed!
To make the process smooth and easy, we gathered everything you need to know in the following content.
What do I need to have on hand at the customs office?
UK residents can shop Tax Free, and to do so, you need the following items:
- Your passport
- If you are an EU national (ie if you hold a passport from an EU country): a proof of residence (consular card, resident permit, work permit, green card, etc.).
- All tax-free forms (digital versions or printed).
- The invoices of your purchases (Customs officers may want to verify purchases).
- The goods themselves (Customs officers may wish to verify state of goods).
- ⚠️ According to Customs regulations, Customs officers are authorized to verify the goods listed on your form(s). Have them on hand in case they wish to check.
How to validate my tax-free forms issued in Belgium?
Depending on how you leave the country, you may need to have them validated in a different manner. If you leave the EU directly from Belgium (Brussels airport, Brussels-Midi/Zuid/South, Eurostar train, etc) then the digital validation process mentioned above is all you need to know, just mention that your forms were issued electronically and show your passport.
This digital process was launched by Belgian authorities in July 2020 and is still in its pilot phase. The process will be continually improved until a point at which only your passport will need to be scanned (instead of your Tax-Free form). This will mean no more queue times thanks to self-serving terminals. We will update you when these are made available!
For forms validated electronically there is nothing more to do. Woonivers will receive confirmation from customs and then process your refund. In as little as a few minutes, refunds will be deposited into your wallet on the application, which you can then withdraw however you want!
Note: digital validation is only applicable in Belgium for tax-free forms that were issued in Belgium . If you leave the EU from Belgium but carry tax-free forms issued in other EU countries, these forms must be validated manually (ie by stamp) at the customs office.
If you are leaving the EU from another country with Tax-Forms issued in Belgium, you must print your forms before leaving. For example, goods purchased in Brussels but are exported from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, these forms must be physically printed and then stamped by a customs agent at point of departure. If your form is validated manually (ie with a physical stamp), you must upload a picture of your stamped tax-free form on the app.
Note: Customs authorities in any of the 27 EU member states are mandated to validate tax-free forms issued in any of the other 26 EU member states.
Note: Validation generally applies to goods that are found within checked baggage and therefore before passing through security. For items transported in hand-baggage, customs may want to verify after passing through security. Have forms for those items on hand as well.
⚠️ REMEMBER: NO TAX-FREE FORM VALIDATION, NO VAT REFUND!
What do I do if the Customs office is closed? Or if I run into another issue?
It is possible that the local customs office may be closed if your flight is very early in the morning or late at night.
In Brussels Airport, if the main Customs office in the departure hall is closed, another office is in the arrival hall. It is close to the revolving doors where arriving passengers walk out of the security zone. This office is open 24/7.Here at Woonivers, we want to make your journey easier and more memorable.Thats why articles like this are written to remind that UK residents can shop Tax Free anywhere in the EU. This is your right, and you should take advantage of it!
In any case of any problems, questions, or concerns; please contact us immediately (ideally before exiting the EU) by mail at email@example.com , phone (+34 910 502 751) or through the in-app chat so that we can assist you.Tax-free shopping is an amazing opportunity! Woonivers is here to help you take advantage of it. We are revolutionizing the Tax-Free shopping experience, providing the best customer support with the fastest refund process. If you want to know more, find out more on our website here . And do not hesitate to contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org for any inquiries!