HMRC internal manual

VAT Personal Exports: Retail Exports

VATRES3050 - Personal exports - retail exports: How the scheme works: The standard method

The standard method

This involves the following steps.

Step Action
1 The retailer checks that the traveller is an entitled customer, that the goods are eligible for sale under the scheme, and that they will be exported by the due date.
2 The traveller and retailer complete a VAT retail export scheme form VAT 407 (or approved variation). At this point the supply is taxable at the appropriate UK rate, VAT is charged and output VAT is due from the retailer.
3 The goods and VAT refund document are taken by the traveller and subsequently presented to the Customs officer at the final point of exit from the EC. If the customs checks are satisfactory, the VAT refund document is certified by the customs officer and returned to the traveller.
4 The traveller returns the form to the retailer or refund company, generally by post in an envelope provided by the retailer or refund company.
5 When the retailer or a refund company acting on their behalf has the certified VAT refund document, they should refund the VAT to the traveller.
6 When the retailer holds the certified VAT refund document and has refunded the VAT, the output tax may be adjusted to zero-rate the goods exported.

Note: It is the responsibility of the traveller to ensure:

  • the VAT refund document is certified by a customs officer; and
  • the certified document is returned to the retailer or refund company acting on behalf of the retailer.