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  #21  
Old 19.01.2015, 06:43
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Re: Reclaiming EU VAT but no customs officials at a border?

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Don't know about France but at least the German border guards sometimes give their Swiss colleagues a call when someone has his/her forms stamped and made a big purchase.
I have personally witnessed this in Thayngen. I was second in line and as soon as the guy in front of me left and it was about my turn: the guard asked me to wait a moment, picked up the phone, clicked the first button on the speed dial and said "incoming", done... it looked like something he did so automatically that he did not have to think about it.
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  #22  
Old 19.01.2015, 11:06
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Re: Reclaiming EU VAT but no customs officials at a border?

It happened to me also. Bought something a bit over the 300 limit, German stamp, drove to the swiss border and before I could say I had something the guy knew the value and the item.
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  #23  
Old 02.01.2017, 15:09
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Re: Reclaiming EU VAT but no customs officials at a border?

Hello! I'm planning to do some shopping at Decathlon Mulhouse and this post was very useful already as I've never reclaimed in France (just Germany). I was wonderning whether someone has done some tax reclaiming at the French border in the Basel area recently.

Thanks in advance!
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  #24  
Old 02.01.2017, 15:12
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Re: Reclaiming EU VAT but no customs officials at a border?

Note that France has a minimum purchase of around EUR 150 from each store, as does Italy.

Tom
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  #25  
Old 02.01.2017, 15:20
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Re: Reclaiming EU VAT but no customs officials at a border?

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Note that France has a minimum purchase of around EUR 150 from each store, as does Italy.

Tom
It's 175€ for France.
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  #26  
Old 02.01.2017, 15:38
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Re: Reclaiming EU VAT but no customs officials at a border?

Yes, I was aware of that st2lemans and Belgianmum, but thank you!

I'm buying a couple of bikes (ca 500 EUR each), so the minimum wouldn't be a problem. I want to make sure that I do the right thing to get the money back, since it's a chunk.
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  #27  
Old 02.01.2017, 15:43
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Re: Reclaiming EU VAT but no customs officials at a border?

Go through a manned border to be sure.

In fact, around here the 'sometimes manned' ones will normally send you to one of the main ones if you try to declare something, or if they aren't sure (was taking an old bed into Italy once, and got sent to another border crossing, Italian inspector looks at, shook her head for having her time wasted, and waved us through).

Tom
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Old 02.01.2017, 18:08
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Re: Reclaiming EU VAT but no customs officials at a border?

We do a lot of our shopping in Evian, Thonon and I try to claim back VAT whenever possible. Normally we pass the border at St. Gingolph were France Customs are only open during office hours. The Swiss Customs are always there and they have made an agreement with France that they will collect the de-tax forms and pass them on the next day (They will also claim the Swiss VAT if needed of course).
It looks a bit weird bit I have done it over twenty times and they money always is transferred to CC. You need of course to have you CC details on the de-tax form.

Note: it does make me smile every time when the Swiss Custom person starts to calculate the Swiss VAT and I tell him that we are 4 in the car so we are in our 1'200 limit.
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  #29  
Old 02.01.2017, 18:20
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Re: Reclaiming EU VAT but no customs officials at a border?

Fortunately near us, we have 4 fully manned border crossings (+ one I'm not sure of, and many more not), so claiming is never a problem.

However, Italy can be a problem if you want to bring in over EUR 600/pp, as then you have to go through commercial importation.

(the Swiss don't care, but the Italians do)

Tom
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Old 03.01.2017, 22:29
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Re: Reclaiming EU VAT but no customs officials at a border?

Ask at the checkout for "la détaxe", they will provide you (most probably at the info point) the "Pablo" form with your details and purchase details. You must validate this form at the french douane. If the autoroute office at the Basel border is closed, you can climb the path behind the office building and go to the douane commerciale. They will scan the barcode on the form, stamps are no longer provided. Then you can go back to Decathlon and claim your refund. It works, I've done that also with Intersport and Leclerc.
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  #31  
Old 03.01.2017, 22:32
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Re: Reclaiming EU VAT but no customs officials at a border?

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Ask at the checkout for "la détaxe", they will provide you (most probably at the info point) the "Pablo" form with your details and purchase details. You must validate this form at the french douane. If the autoroute office at the Basel border is closed, you can climb the path behind the office building and go to the douane commerciale. They will scan the barcode on the form, stamps are no longer provided. Then you can go back to Decathlon and claim your refund. It works, I've done that also with Intersport and Leclerc.
During business hours, the commerciale closes at 17h. (at least at the Italian border)

Tom
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  #32  
Old 04.01.2017, 10:31
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Re: Reclaiming EU VAT but no customs officials at a border?

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Ask at the checkout for "la détaxe", they will provide you (most probably at the info point) the "Pablo" form with your details and purchase details. You must validate this form at the french douane. If the autoroute office at the Basel border is closed, you can climb the path behind the office building and go to the douane commerciale. They will scan the barcode on the form, stamps are no longer provided. Then you can go back to Decathlon and claim your refund. It works, I've done that also with Intersport and Leclerc.
Given that he gives his location as 'Riviera' I suspect he will be crossing the border in the Geneva area.
The larger crossings are all manned and open quite late.
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Old 04.01.2017, 13:32
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Re: Reclaiming EU VAT but no customs officials at a border?

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Hello! I'm planning to do some shopping at Decathlon Mulhouse and this post was very useful already as I've never reclaimed in France (just Germany). I was wonderning whether someone has done some tax reclaiming at the French border in the Basel area recently.
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Given that he gives his location as 'Riviera' I suspect he will be crossing the border in the Geneva area.
The larger crossings are all manned and open quite late.
Strange. I see Basel as location. BTW, the french office at the border on the A35 is often closed randomly during the day, the Swiss border guard addressed me to the path behind the french building...
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Old 04.01.2017, 13:41
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Re: Reclaiming EU VAT but no customs officials at a border?

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Strange. I see Basel as location. BTW, the french office at the border on the A35 is often closed randomly during the day, the Swiss border guard addressed me to the path behind the french building...
Ah I was referring to a different poster. Since you didn't quote the poster you were referring to and your post was just below les_jeunes I thought your post was addressed to him.
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  #35  
Old 04.01.2017, 13:49
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Re: Reclaiming EU VAT but no customs officials at a border?

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During business hours, the commerciale closes at 17h. (at least at the Italian border)

Tom
Same here- even if the border is manned 24/7 - the Bureau for VAT refunds, and other paper work like importing personal stuff as part of move, cars, etc,is only opened till 17.00.

You have to pay VAT in FRance- and get the papers to get signed- go to border and get them signed during office hours- then GO BACK to shop for refund.
This was changed recently as there was too much cheating going on- and stuff actually not exported.
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Old 04.01.2017, 15:48
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Re: Reclaiming EU VAT but no customs officials at a border?

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I have personally witnessed this in Thayngen. I was second in line and as soon as the guy in front of me left and it was about my turn: the guard asked me to wait a moment, picked up the phone, clicked the first button on the speed dial and said "incoming", done... it looked like something he did so automatically that he did not have to think about it.
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It happened to me also. Bought something a bit over the 300 limit, German stamp, drove to the swiss border and before I could say I had something the guy knew the value and the item.
What if you wait almost until the Swiss customs is about to close, stamp your paper at the German side, take some time at your car, and drive to CH when the customs office is already closed?
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Old 04.01.2017, 16:20
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Re: Reclaiming EU VAT but no customs officials at a border?

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What if you wait almost until the Swiss customs is about to close, stamp your paper at the German side, take some time at your car, and drive to CH when the customs office is already closed?


Never seen the cars of the Grenzwache standing a mile or so behind the border? They do random checks and also patrol the area (at least the part of the border where I used to live).
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  #38  
Old 04.01.2017, 16:27
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Re: Reclaiming EU VAT but no customs officials at a border?

Constant patrols and road checks well within the border here 24/7, night and day.
But even so, as you have to return to the French shop with the signed paper to get your VAT refund- your suggestion would not be much use. And exactly why they have changed the system, so the shop is not allowed to deduct VAT at the time of purchase.
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Old 09.01.2017, 14:57
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Re: Reclaiming EU VAT but no customs officials at a border?

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Constant patrols and road checks well within the border here 24/7, night and day.
But even so, as you have to return to the French shop with the signed paper to get your VAT refund- your suggestion would not be much use. And exactly why they have changed the system, so the shop is not allowed to deduct VAT at the time of purchase.
And you can go that same day to claim the money back or you need to wait until the next day as for Germany? Sorry about asking about the obvious parts, but I've never done it before and it differs quite a bit from Germany.

And thanks to rest for their contributions, they were helpful as well
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  #40  
Old 09.01.2017, 15:41
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Re: Reclaiming EU VAT but no customs officials at a border?

And do not pass through the French customs with a form from another country that is not Pablo as they do not have stamps and will not stamp your form!

In October I bought a number of things in the UK then drove back to CH arriving into Jura from France. The French customs was open and I gave them my UK forms and they said they couldn't do anything as they only détaxe French Pablo forms.

So I took the things in the next day to Badischer Bahnhof in Basel and they stamped them there after asking to see the goods but not asking me anything else. So I was lucky. It would have to be a big tax refund to make it worthwhile to change my route to enter CH via Germany another time.
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