I will buy some items online from Germany but have them sent to a UK address. I will be in the U.K. for a visit and shopping.

Can I claim VAT refund for the German purchase? The retailer will provide the VAT tax refund claim form for the purchase, and has asked me to have the form stamped at U.K. customs when I leave the U.K. I guess UK customs stamp is to ensure I leave the EU with the items that I purchased. Is there any problem with U.K. customs stamping the VAT from not issued by U.K. retailers?

  • If you purchased goods online or through the phone, you are most likely no eligible for a VAT refund.
    – user58558
    Commented Dec 1, 2019 at 13:20
  • Why is it if I buy online or through the phone, I cannot claim VAT refund?
    – user106062
    Commented Dec 1, 2019 at 14:11
  • @user106062 Because you can only get the refund if a tax refund claim form is sent (which by default is not done), which is not the case in this question as the OP clearly stated and was ignored by greatone. Commented Dec 1, 2019 at 14:30

1 Answer 1


Point 7.1.2, quoted below, implies this is possible (the UK being the last EU country of your visit), assumming all the other conditions are fulfilled.

This should remain so as long as the United Kingdom remains in the European Union Customs Union.

Assume that the Customs Authorities of your home country may impose their own VAT (or equivalent) upon entry, so retaining a copy with the exact price may prove useful.

7.1.2 If you’re leaving the UK for another EU country
Show your goods, till receipts and refund form to customs in the last EU country you visit. The deadline for exporting the goods stays the same no matter how many countries you visit.


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