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No it is not mandatory in the UK. How do I shop tax free? .... Find a shop that offers Tax Free Shopping. You have to be in the shop yourself when you buy the goods (although somebody else can pay for them). taken from HMRC guide to tax free shopping The visit London site is a little more explicit on the subject: The VAT refund scheme ...


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It's certainly not mandatory across the EU. The rules for France, where your friend was unable to obtain a refund, are described on service-public.fr: La vente en détaxe est une exonération de la taxe sur la valeur ajoutée (TVA) sur le prix de biens achetés par des personnes de passage en France, soumise à conditions. Le commerçant est libre d'appliquer ...



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