How does Tax Free shopping work?

Published
30.1.2017 - 07:00
When shopping on your travels, it’s important to note where to, or from where, you are travelling.

Have you ever travelled somewhere knowing that you would be buying one specific piece of clothing, a certain food item or anything else that is only available in that very place? If so, you should, hopefully, be familiar with the advantages and procedures of Tax Free shopping.

We spoke to Casimir Ehrnrooth, Managing Director of Global Blue Finland Oy, to clarify the rules, regulations and benefits of Tax Free shopping.

Travellers living outside EU and Norway, and travelling to Finland, will be pleased to hear about the very extensive Tax Free network of retailers and the low minimum spend requirement.

“Finland has a very extensive network in regards to Tax Free shopping, supported by over 4000 stores from Helsinki to Ivalo. The minimum spend is €40, which is significantly low compared to many other countries. In France for example, the minimum spend is €175,01 and in Italy it’s just over €150,” Ehrnrooth says.

As with other all laws and legal regulations, countries set their own conditions for Tax Free shopping.

“Tax Free regulations are always contingent on the specific laws of each country. It’s worth noting that in Finland, items or products which are sealed when bought aren’t allowed to be opened until you have left the EU,” he continues.

Another factor which determines your eligibility for the Tax Free benefit, is where you reside and what your destination is. Click here to find out the countries in which you are able to shop Tax Free. 

“The most common misconception has to do with the purchase of services. Therefore, bills for hotels and restaurants are excluded from the benefit,” Ehrnrooth reminds.

Where and how to get your tax free refund at Helsinki Airport?