VAT claim from Paris to Basel via TGV Lyra (train)

VAT claim from Paris to Basel via TGV Lyra (train)

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Posts: 6. This thread is closed.
Kattkkym
Kattkkym
19 posts
new member
Aug 14, 2017 - 4:21 AM

HI,

I've done some googling on this topic however having some difficulty around the custom stamp from French customs. I read quite a few online feedbacks and it appears this appears to be quite a challenge when people travel via the train from Paris to Switzerland as the French Custom officer does not board the train to check passport and hence visitors cannot get the stamp for VAT Refund.

I know Swiss Custom cannot stamp either, as they are not part of EU.

This is more so for my trip Paris to Interlaken via Basel. The other major Swiss cities appears to have a slightly different and possibly straight forward process.

Will appreciate any feedback you have on this topic. Can I get the custom stamp prior (day before I depart)? from airport CDG?

Thank you

Katt

Peterli
Peterli
144 posts
active member
Aug 15, 2017 - 3:12 AM in reply to Kattkkym

Hej.

I have only claimed a VAT refund once in France and this was at an airport. So I can't really offer any advice for somebody leaving by train. One thing I do know is that you must have the items you are taking out of France with you and you must be prepared, if requested, to show those items to the customs people before they stamp any papers. This is to show that you are indeed leaving France with those items. You can imagine the cheating that could occur if this was not part of the procedure. If we are talking about a small amount of money, I wouldn't even bother. The VAT rate in France right now is 20% and the minimum purchase required to qualify for a refund must be above €175.

Another thought: I don't know how long you are going to be in Switzerland, but if you are going to be later returning to France and leaving for home from CDG, why not claim your VAT refund then ? Is there something I am missing ?

Last modified on Aug 15, 2017 - 3:16 AM by Peterli
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
3997 posts
expert
Aug 16, 2017 - 1:41 AM in reply to Peterli

Bon soir Peterli-

<<"If we are talking about a small amount of money, I wouldn't even bother.

The VAT rate in France right now is 20% and the minimum purchase

required to qualify for a refund must be above €175.">>

That is an example of what I have run into. A store in Luzern even gave me some forms when I bought a couple of hundred CHF worth of stuff.

The refund is trivial,and you have to work hard to get it. If I had bought a mink coat, I'd have done the work. However, I had not.

C'est la guerre

Slowpoke

Peterli
Peterli
144 posts
active member
Aug 16, 2017 - 4:25 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Bonsoir à vous aussi !

The Swiss who live near the German border certainly know how to take advantage of VAT refunds. They come in droves to German towns just over the Rhein, fill one or two shopping carts to the brim at stores like Kaufland and Edeka with food that is far cheaper than over in Switzerland, then get their sales slips verified s0 that they can get their VAT refund. When I enter the parking lots of grocery stores in places like Waldshut or Laufenburg, there are far more Swiss license plates on the cars than German ones. Sometimes I wonder how they manage to fit their kids into their cars when they depart. No doubt this occurs in other German towns, like Lörrach and Konstanz. This activity is not limited to the border with Germany, as I have seen the same sort of thing in Pontarlier and Morteau, just over the French border from the canton de Neuchâtel. Without doubt the same occurs around Genève and places in the Ticino that are within striking distance of Italy. Give the Swiss credit for knowing how to take advantage of the system.

Last modified on Aug 16, 2017 - 4:27 AM by Peterli
Kattkkym
Kattkkym
19 posts
new member
Aug 16, 2017 - 5:31 AM

Thanks peeps. Though I didn't get my question answered, interesting to see how ppl are making the most of the VAT claim. And why not!!

fyi I'm flying out from Zurich, hence the problemo I face :(

I even checked with the French Embassy in my country and they couldn't give me a response either...except that they can write a letter on my behalf when I return home as evidence that I'd taken the goods out of France. Nice gesture but extremely troublesome and not guaranteed that I'll get my VAT refund...

Peterli
Peterli
144 posts
active member
Aug 16, 2017 - 5:57 AM in reply to Kattkkym

The only question in your original post was : "Can I get the custom stamp prior (day before I depart)? from airport CDG?" and now you have stated: "Though I didn't get my question answered,...". Well, I would have thought the answer was clear. Anyway, the answer to your question is NO. Perhaps you are best to let it go and to move on.

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