Traveller's guide to the Retail Export Scheme
1 What is the Retail Export Scheme?
When you visit the UK you will pay VAT on most things you buy. The Retail Export Scheme allows you to reclaim a VAT refund on most goods you intend to export from the UK. The shopkeeper may deduct an administrative fee before making any refund.
2 Do I qualify to use the Scheme?
If you are an overseas visitor who—
• is a traveller whose domicile or habitual place of residence is not situated within the EC; and
• intends to leave the UK, with the goods by the last day of the third month following that in which the goods were purchased, for a final destination outside the EC,
you are entitled to buy goods under the Scheme.
If you are an EC resident going abroad for at least twelve months or a crew member of a ship or aircraft leaving the EC, you should read VAT Notice 704/1 “VAT refunds for travellers departing from the European Community”.
Main narrative treatment—V4.331.
3 Can I buy goods under the Scheme if I am working in the EC?
Yes, if you meet the conditions in paragraph 2