Tax free in Greece
One of few advantages of being a citizen of non EU countries is having the right to be refunded for tax of goods bought in EU countries. There are some restrictions for tax refund, not all goods are tax free.
What is tax free? It is a chance to get back part of the value added tax (VTA) or sales tax. Not being a citizen of the country where you do the shopping, gives you the right not to pay that tax.
Global Blue Tax Free is one of the companies which helps customer to be refunded. Its headquarter is in Slovakia. Global Blue has its offices in other countries. Raiffeisen bank in Serbia is mediator between company Global Blue and customer.
In order to be refunded for the tax, you have to fulfill some conditions.
The first one is that the shop where you buy has to be part of the tax free system. The shops which are part of the system can be recognized by the sign or sticker TAX FREE or GLOBAL BLUE TAX FREE, like on the pictures above.
When you finish your shopping, ask the seller to give you a free form for tax refund.
The form can be blue of white. It is necessary to fill in all blank fields. The uncompleted form will not be accepted.
It is also necessary to keep the bill for goods that you bought.
One form is valid only for the the goods bought the same day in the same shop. If you are buying in different shops, it is necessary to fill in the form for each of them.
Once when you arrive to the border or the airport, visit the counter specialized for tax free and submit a form and bill for check.
If you skip this part, there is no possibility to be refunded unless you return again in Greece with the same goods. Except the stamp which you get in customs part, it is necessary to have written the name of customs officer who checked the form and the bill. Also, make sure to have your passport with you, as well as the goods you bought, in case they ask for it. The goods has to be unpacked and with price tags.
The certified form is valid 90 days from the date of shopping.
If the border or airport has the tax free office (on the border Evzoni it is part of free shop), you can get your money back immediately, reduced by commission. On smaller border passes and some airports there is no this office. In that case you can be refunded in some of the following ways:
-in Serbia in Raiffeisen bank where you will pay commission 5% of total price, and you might lose more money because of exchange rate difference
-sen by post mail directly to the agency Global Blue in Slovakia which will put the money on your bank account, without making you pay the bank commission:
P.O. Boks 363
If you are sending the form via post mail, the best way would be to use some fast mail company so the chances for letter to get lost are lower.
If you want to pick up the money on Evzoni, in free shop, you have to pay commission. The commission depends by the amount. For example, if the total amount is between 50e and 119e the commission is 1,5e, if it is between 120e and 509e it is 4,5e.
In order to be refunded you have to be older than 18 years old and citizen of non EU country.
VAT rate in Greece is between 17 and 24%, but in reality, if we calculate commission of the agency Global Blue, the customer gets around 12% of total amount.
In order to be eligible for tax refund in Greece, it is necessary to spend minimum 50e in one shop.
Tax is not refunded for the food and alcohol drinks.
The commission which takes Raiffeisen bank is 5% or minimum 300 dinars. The most probably they would take commission for each bill.
Before sending the documents by post, we recommend you to make a copy of each of them and keep them.
Click here in order to calculate which amount you will be refunded.
Which shops in Greece have the tax free service?
In Athens you can shop in the street Ermou, the main shopping zone in Athens. There are shops like Sephora, Hondos Center, H&M, Folli Fillie.
In the neighborhood Kolonaki, in the streets Tsakalof and Voukourestiou there are shops of famous brands, like Gucci, Dior, Ralph Lauren.
In a big shopping mall in Athens there are over 200 shops, including the world famous brands.
In Thessaloniki, in the city center, in street Koromila you can buy clothes and footwear of famous brands, like Armani and Max Mara. In the street Mitropoleos, also in the city center, as well as in the most famous shopping streets in Thessaloniki, street Tsimiski and Egnatia, can be found the world famous brands.
The biggest shopping mall Mediterranean Cosmos with 200 shops is also part of the tax free system.