I have an Australian passport and I am traveling throughout Europe. I had purchased few items in Berlin that I wanted to claim for tax free when travelling to Zurich.

In order to access the tax free custom they made me go through the passport control area and again back into it to reach my gate flight for Zurich (its a strange setup).

It resulted in a stamp for out of Berlin and then these two parallel lines when reaching back to my gate or Zurich (I presume this means back in Europe ??)

Can someone please clarify what this means? I'm again back in Europe just wanted to check that its fine? And what this means?

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Thanks for the swift response. After they 'cancelled' it I presume they 'entered' me back into Europe as I landed in Zurich and now in Athens and will be travelling back to Sydney next week.

  • There is no "entering you back into europe". The schengen area does not have an electronic entry/exit system (yet). So the stamp marks, as Mark wrote in his answer, that you never even left in the eyes of immigration authorities.
    – Ozzy
    Commented Jul 10, 2023 at 11:36
  • What the answer is saying is that they cancelled the exit stamp, so it is as if you never exited in the first place. So, there was not any need for you to be "entered back into Europe," as you never officially left it.
    – reirab
    Commented Jul 10, 2023 at 19:52

1 Answer 1


claim for tax free ... to reach my gate flight for Zurich (its a strange setup).

This is because Switzerland is outside of the customs union, but inside of the Schengen Area.

So you had to 'leave' the Schengen Area and the customs area to buy in the duty free shop. After that you returned to both and the exit stamp was canceled/invalidated.

This means that, officially, you haven't left at all.

For someone who only has a single [or double]-entry visa this is important.

See also: schengen - Have I been deported from Germany? Can l apply for study Visa in UK for other samples of Schengen passport stamp markings.

  • in response to your comment on a now deleted answer, 50 reputation is not necessary to post comments on an answer to a question that one has asked.
    – phoog
    Commented Jul 10, 2023 at 17:55

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