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Old 20.04.2010, 16:53
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Grocery shopping in France/Germany

Apologies in advance if this has been asked hundreds of times before, but I couldn't find a FAQ/sticky that explains it all.

Is it possible to buy groceries in France, then cross into Germany, do more shopping, then cross back into CH and get your VAT back for the entire expedition in one go? Having to go back to the shops at a later stage isn't a problem. I was just wondering if it can be done this way.

On your grocery shopping, does everything you buy have to be itemised or is it enough to state something generic on your green form and attach the receipt?

Many thanks for any insights!
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Old 21.04.2010, 15:51
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Re: Grocery shopping in France/Germany

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Apologies in advance if this has been asked hundreds of times before, but I couldn't find a FAQ/sticky that explains it all.

Is it possible to buy groceries in France, then cross into Germany, do more shopping, then cross back into CH and get your VAT back for the entire expedition in one go? Having to go back to the shops at a later stage isn't a problem. I was just wondering if it can be done this way.

On your grocery shopping, does everything you buy have to be itemised or is it enough to state something generic on your green form and attach the receipt?

Many thanks for any insights!
Nobody seems to be replying, so here's a brief note: In principle you can have tax-refund documents (one for each retailer) stamped by ANY EU customs official when leaving the EU. How much detail is needed on the document is up to each retailer's VAT expert to say. The description has to be sufficient so the EU customs officer can identify the goods.

We've been importing stuff from France to Switzerland and even in the days when I had a diplomatic "carte de légitimation" and was exempt from Swiss customs control I never sought a VAT refund for hypermarket stuff. Sometimes for furniture and so on brought from England: but even there the risk of having to make a formal customs entry in Switzerland argues against it unless there's a lot of money involved. I'm just glad not to be paying Swiss prices.

Compare for example what I just paid for a Liebherr wine fridge:
Swiss price around CHF 2,000 (list price 3,290), UK Internet price around £1,000 (CHF 1,646). And aren't they made in Switzerland?
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