Call now: +5999 733 1591 E-mail:
Dokweg, Maduro Plaza - Willemstad, Curacao

Tax return information

How to apply for the VAT-rebate and when VAT zero-rate applies

Tax return

VAT zero-rate for exporting goods outside the European Union.

When exporting goods to destinations outside the European Union, the VAT zero-rate is applicable. Companies can reclaim already paid VAT from the tax authorities. A proof of export must be kept in their administration.

Rebate of already paid VAT on newly bought items to private individuals is only allowed under the following conditions:

  • The value per item must exceed Eur 50.00    
  • Owner must be a non-E.U. resident    
  • Date of export must be within 3 months after the date of purchase

As a passenger

Before you check in, you can request customs at Schiphol Airport to stamp the suppliers invoice (be aware that customs may ask for a formal export entry in the case of a high value). In exchange for this proof of export, the supplier or shop may reimburse the already paid VAT. As the supplier has no obligation to do so we advise you to always ask for the possibility of a rebate at the time of purchase.
However, having received the proof of export upon your departure, there is no time to go back to the shop. The Global Refund Company offers a solution: Many shops participate in the Refund system and can give you a so-called Tax Free Cheque. If stamped by customs, you can immediately cash in this cheque at the Global Refund counter. Before you check in for your flight, you show the goods, your passport and your ticket to customs in Departures 3, check-in row nr. 22 (opposite the WBS service desk).

An alternative for VAT-rebate is offered by VAT Free. In the shop, the invoice or receipt must be issued in the name of VAT Free. Through a registration on and after receipt of the proof of export, the VAT will be reimbursed. 

As cargo

A completely different procedure is applicable for goods exported as cargo. The proof of export will be available only after several weeks! In order to make sure you will receive the rebate amount, note the following:

  1. Our agent must be notified on forehand that you want to have a refund of VAT (BTW)
  2. In case you have a Global Refund Cheque:
  • Fill in the reverse side of the Cheque with your bank or credit card details and you will receive the VAT amount directly from Global Refund. This may take up to three months.
  • Under certain conditions WBS can accept your Cheque as a partial payment of the freight charges, in which case an administration fee of € 12.00 is levied.
  1. In case you do not have a Cheque but an invoice, e.g. in the name of VAT Free:
  • Agent will declare your goods for export. After a few weeks WBS will send the proof of export to you by surface mail. You can arrange the rebate directly with the shop or supplier.
  • Note: entry for one invoice is included in our service; for any additional suppliers invoice we charge € 15.00 extra.  

Important: Rebate of VAT is an agreement between the shop and the buyer. Seawings N.V. (and our agent agent) can assist you in this procedure, please contact us for more information.