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Withdrawal of the Retail Export Scheme

28th September 2020

Withdrawal of the Retail Export Scheme

It has been announced that the Retail Export Scheme (the Scheme) is being withdrawn with effect from 1 January 2021 following Brexit.

The Retail Export Scheme allows overseas visitors to purchase goods VAT-free when in the UK and leaving the EU with the goods within three months of the sale. Retailers will charge VAT on the initial sale of the goods, but the customer can claim the VAT back from the retailer when the retailer receives a refund document from the customer that has been stamped by a customs officer at the border.

The Scheme has always been voluntary, but from 1 January 2021 it will no longer be available.

Retailers will, however, still be able to sell goods to overseas customers at the zero rate of VAT but only if the goods are sent from the retailer directly to the overseas address of the customer; not if the goods are given to the customer at the time of purchase.

If you wish to discuss the matter further, please contact Stephen Patey, Senior Manager, on 020 7969 5684 or via email