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  #41  
Old 11.05.2015, 10:45
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Re: French VAT and Shopping in St. Louis

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I never saw anyone in the French office at basel sbb, Just Swiss ones in the Swiss side. I always see German ones at Badischer Bahnhof. The opening ours are 8:00 until 22:00 http://www.loerrach.de/ceasy/modules...2-0&download=1
Thank you!

The French ones hide in their office - you have to be brave and go under the chain into the customs' inspection area and you will see a portacabin with a light on. Of course, they may still ignore your knocking, but I followed an officer off the train I had been travelling on so he couldn't turn me away ..

Thanks for the info re German customs - that seems the much easier route even if it means missing my connection at SBB
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  #42  
Old 24.07.2016, 11:26
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Re: French VAT and Shopping in St. Louis

HI everyone,


I got a question (as well as provide an update).


Yesterday we went to St. Louis, bought more about EUR 200 worth of stuff at Leclerc and managed to get a PABLO Form. It was the form that required a scan of the barcode at the border instead of a stamp. So I went to Basel SBB and went to the Change office. The SBB lady at the change counter told me that they do not do the VAT refunds anymore, and asked me to go back to the retailer to get the VAT refund.


Confused, I went to the French Customs office at Basel SBB - it was quite clearly marked within the French section of the station. I showed the official the form and asked where I could get a refund - they took my form and passport, and scanned the barcode, and said "finished". There was no customs stamp. I asked where I can get a refund - and one official also said the SBB Change no longer does the refunds anymore (said something about Western Union closed) - that seems to corroborate with what the SBB Change counter lady said. He pointed me to a yellow box just outside the French section - which is actually a Swiss Post Mailbox!


I am now confused, and so wanted to ask:


With the PABLO form, now that it is scanned, where can I get the VAT refund? Back at Leclerc? The form clearly hasn't changed since I left the supermarket, other than it got scanned by French Customs. Do I take back this form to Leclerc and ask for the VAT refund?


I would really appreciate any responses to this question!


Cheers!
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  #43  
Old 24.07.2016, 12:49
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Re: French VAT and Shopping in St. Louis

The Frenchies in SBB scanned your Pablo form? Great! I believe that's 100% necessary now that the change place has shut. Prior to that, you could simply rock up to the change place (it's in Switzerland) and get your refund; they'd then take all the forms at the end of the day (3pm for the Frenchies I assume haha) and get them stamped on your behalf.

I don't know 100% how it works, but I think there are two methods.

The first is the old fashioned way typically used by shops not near a land border with Switzerland ... you send the form (they will know it's been validated by the Pablo scanner, no stamp needed) to Global Blue in a envelope you would have been given with the form. This is why the customs people pointed to a postbox.

The second is you take the piece of paper back to E.Leclerc. Again, they will know it's been validated (or they just take your word for it, I don't know) and will give you the cash. This is much much better as you save the high commission fees that Global Blue charge.

Do let us know how it works, because I suspect most of us haven't found a way to spend €200 in a nearby supermarket!
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  #44  
Old 24.07.2016, 14:01
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Re: French VAT and Shopping in St. Louis

Please keep us posted on how the PABLO thing eventually turns out. I'm convinced the French have masterminded the perfect conspiracy to never refund VAT.
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  #45  
Old 24.07.2016, 14:14
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Re: French VAT and Shopping in St. Louis

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Please keep us posted on how the PABLO thing eventually turns out. I'm convinced the French have masterminded the perfect conspiracy to never refund VAT.
I've had no problems getting it back but it's from things I've bought in Paris and I've needed to post the stamped/scanned form back to Global Blue (in the prepaid envelope to somewhere in Slovakia I believe) who take a chunk of commission.
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  #46  
Old 24.07.2016, 15:57
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Re: French VAT and Shopping in St. Louis

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I've had no problems getting it back but it's from things I've bought in Paris and I've needed to post the stamped/scanned form back to Global Blue (in the prepaid envelope to somewhere in Slovakia I believe) who take a chunk of commission.
I can confirm: PABLO works, I know for sure. You can have the barcode scanned also at the "douane pour poids lourd" (access from Schlachthofstrasse if you are in Basel). I managed to have the refund with Global Blue because was the only option at Ikea Mulhouse, it costs a lot in commissions and I had to call Global Blue to unlock the procedure. At Ikea they just said me to wait, after 4 weeks I decided to call and I received the refund after another couple of weeks.
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  #47  
Old 24.07.2016, 16:46
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Re: French VAT and Shopping in St. Louis

As you may know, Leclerc doesn't work with Global Blue or Premium Tax, so I don't think it is possible to get the tax refund via that method.


Just really wanted to find out if anyone knows whether claiming back from Leclerc in my next visit will work.
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  #48  
Old 24.07.2016, 18:34
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Re: French VAT and Shopping in St. Louis

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...Ikea Mulhouse...
IKEA Freiburg:

Get VAT-Paper in shop.

Stamp at the Autobahn border to Basel, which is open 24h a day.

Send back to IKEA Freiburg for 100% refund to a German account, or take with you next time you shop there for 100% refund on the spot.

Easy
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  #49  
Old 24.07.2016, 20:20
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Re: French VAT and Shopping in St. Louis

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IKEA Freiburg:

Get VAT-Paper in shop.

Stamp at the Autobahn border to Basel, which is open 24h a day.

Send back to IKEA Freiburg for 100% refund to a German account, or take with you next time you shop there for 100% refund on the spot.

Easy
Yes, and they seem more then happy to refund you
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  #50  
Old 28.07.2016, 18:49
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Re: French VAT and Shopping in St. Louis

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As you may know, Leclerc doesn't work with Global Blue or Premium Tax, so I don't think it is possible to get the tax refund via that method.


Just really wanted to find out if anyone knows whether claiming back from Leclerc in my next visit will work.
Just asked for you at the desk: Leclerc in St. Louis will refund you directly, in cash.
Good news for newbies :-)
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  #51  
Old 12.12.2016, 21:58
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Re: French VAT and Shopping in St. Louis

👍, thanks for that, so I went back and finally got back the refund. They really do check that the Pablo form has been scanned by customs, and the supermarket actually keep a separate copy of the same form we had.
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