How to Claim Your VAT Refund at Schiphol Airport

Allow Time If You’re Claiming Your VAT Tax Refund at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport:

Vat Tax Refund - Schiphol Follow Me on Pinterest

Tax free validation at Schiphol Airport


Although, we did all our shopping in Italy, Amsterdam was our final port of exit from the EU and this was where we had to have our VAT refund processed.  This was good as it gave us the opportunity to check out the practical aspects of claiming VAT refund at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport.

Except for minor variations, the VAT tax refund procedures are pretty much the same anywhere in the EU:

Option A.

If you have done a lot of shopping and prefer to pack your shopping into your check-in luggage, you will need to do your VAT refund before checking in your luggage and going through passport control. Here are the steps to follow:

Step 1 – Get your Customs Validation Stamp

The Customs Tax Free Validation desk is near Departures 2 on Level 1.

  • You must get your tax form stamped by Customs (no Customs stamp, no refund!)
  • You must have your goods with you (they do random checks)
  • You must show your passport and travel itinerary (unlike in Rome, you are not required to show your boarding pass here)

Step 2 – Do Your Airline Check-in

Once you’ve had your tax refund form stamped you can proceed to do your airline check-in and deposit your luggage (with the goods checked in) .

Step 3 – Get Your Tax Refund

If your Tax forms are from Global Blue -

  • The Global Blue office is just next to Passport Control (near Gate G). A supervisor will check your stamped form and receipts and ask if you want cash or a credit to your credit card. I suggest that you go for cash as you get your refund immediately and there’s no possibility of any kind of debit to your credit card later on. Once he has checked your documents, he will pass you on to the cashiers for payment.
    Note: this procedure takes time as well – since the queue of people at the Customs validation desk find their way here.

If your Tax forms are from Premier Tax Free -

  • You can get your payment at the ABN-AMRO bank.

Unfortunately, if you have forms from both Global Blue and Premier Tax Free, you will need to go through the procedure separately.

Option B.

If you only have small or valuable items that you intend to hand-carry, you can process your VAT refund after going through passport control. The Customs tax free validation desk and Global Blue desk are to the right, immediately past the Passport Control. The procedure is the same as described in Option A above. If you can hand-carry your purchases, this appears to be the preferred way to get your VAT refund as there are less people doing it this way. When we went through Passport Control, we saw only one lady getting her VAT refund processed.

Allow Time

If you have VAT refund to claim at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, make sure that you allow time for this. There are only two Customs validation officers on duty and all you need is for someone with complications to hold up the process and you could be waiting a long time, which was what happened to us.  It took us about 45 minutes just to get the Customs stamp and cash refund. If there is a tour group in the queue, that will also take time if you’re unlucky to be standing behind them. The Customs officers do scrutinize your forms and receipts and we have seen them asking certain individuals to show their goods.

Hopefully these tips have been helpful. What do you think?

Comments

  1. avatarJGP says

    Is the Customs Tax Free Validation Desk and the cashier open 24 hours? What if I arrive in the evening, it would mean that I have to forfeit the refund because they are not open?

    • avatar says

      According to vatfree.com, the Customs offices are open from 06:00 am to 10:00 pm.

      The following is further advice provided by vatfree.com: “if the Customs office is closed or busy, call +31 88 – 15 83 900. An officer will come down to stamp your purchase receipts or open up an extra desk in departure hall 3. You can also get a Customs stamp in your home country upon arrival.”

      Good luck with your VAT,
      Helen

  2. avatarJGP says

    The last time I arrived in Amsterdam it was before 10pm but it seems the office and the cashier is already closed because there was no one. In effect I wasn’t able to claim the refund. I didn’t know that I can get it stamped in my home country. Is this applicable to any country? Lets say that it was stamped in my home country, where should I send it to?
    Thank you very much for your reply.

    • avatar says

      Usually merchants who participate in the tax-free shopping program will use one of the following vat refund companies such as Global Blue, Premier Tax Free or Vatfree.com. If you have a tax cheque (form) from one of these companies, you will need to send your stamped documents to that company. The shop normally gives you a self-addressed envelope to send your stamped documents back.

      If you are regularly travelling to Amsterdam and arriving late in the evening you may wish to look at the services of vatfree.com. Read their FAQ and it explains how they assist travellers in claiming the VAT and what they charge for their service and where the tax receipts should be sent to. As ;long as you are a non-EU resident you are eligible to claim VAT refund.

      https://www.vatfree.com/en/for-travelers#en-faq-stampedreceipts

      According to Vatfree.com you can have your documents stamped in your home country. If you have any concerns, you can email them directly at support@vatfree.com to check on your particular country.

      Remember always to make copies of your documents before sending as things do go missing in the mail.

      Kind regards,
      Helen

      • avatarSunil Patidar says

        Hi,

        Is it mandatory to avail the services of the vat refund companies such as Global Blue, Premier Tax Free or Vatfree.com?

        Also will they charge money if you do all processes on your own and just have a form of their company ?

        Thanks
        Sunil

        • avatar says

          Hi Sunil,
          Global Blue, Premier Tax Free and Vatfree.com are in the business of processing VAT refunds and although they charge a fee, you are sure to get your VAT refund if you follow the process, i.e. getting the Customs stamp.

          I’m not sure how you intend to “do all processes on your own”, but if you’ve got a VAT refund form from one of these three companies, you need to send it back to the one you got it from. That’s why you have people complaining about having to queue twice because they’ve got forms from two separate companies. Global Blue can’t process Premier Tax Free forms or vice versa.

          Kind regards,
          Helen Page

          • avatarSunil Patidar says

            Thanks for your reply.
            My query is that why do we need the help of these companies ? Is there any process where we can get the tax refund without paying fees to Global Blue/Vatfree?

            Thanks,
            Sunil

  3. avatarCapt. says

    “The Customs tax free validation desk and Global Blue desk are to the right, immediately past the Passport Control”.

    There are several passport controls. Therefore I was searching for some time to find the custom desk.
    The correct location is at the beginning of the F-Gates.

    Kind regards
    Capt.

  4. avatarAntoine says

    Hi,

    I am Antoine from Suriname. I am intended to visit holland for 3 weeks vacation later this year.
    The stuff I will buy are kitchen appliances the most. These i will use for my home.
    Since i wont travel with these items during my flight, i emailed the shop about it.
    (i will ship the by boat)

    They say that if i come with the right documents, the will give me the 0% btw on the items.
    Do you have any idea which documents and where i can get them.
    (besides my paspoort, my schengen visa and my ticket).

    Looking forward to your reply.

    Regards,
    Antoine

  5. avatarVitor says

    Hi.

    Is it mandatory to have a form from Global True, or any other company?

    I bought several expensive items from a store that could not give me this kind of form. Does that mean that I cannot have the refund for those items?

    Thanks, Vitor

  6. avatarAliya says

    Could you advise me e-mail address of customs office in Shiphol airport? I received letter from global blue, they send me the scanned copy of tax free form. They asked me to get confirmation from customs, because the stamp is not not visible. Thanks in advance

  7. avatarfarrukh umair says

    i submitted my form at global blue office at schipol via credit card…while leaving (,didnot know if tax return facility iss available by cash also.)
    some lady came while i was in queue ad ask me ,if i have a credit card , i said yes so she helped me in filling the form and staple the receipts along with it …Now after reading this blog i understand i have chosen a return via my credit card.
    do u have any idea ,how many days they take to give me that tax return money in my account ..or any website where i shold contact.??

  8. avatarIvan says

    Hi Aliya,

    I have residency in EU and Non-EU country at the same time. Will it be possible to get VAT return in my case?
    Thank You.

  9. avatarNick says

    Hi Helen,

    We only have one hour layover in Armsterdam. Will we have time to process our four items to process our tax refund? Will i be able to get my refund in Vienna? We travel from Vienna, stop over in Armsterdam to San Francisco (USA).

    Thanks,
    Nick

    • avatar says

      Hi Nick,

      If you only have one hour layover in Amsterdam, you should try and process your tax refund in Vienna. If you are packing your purchases in your luggage and checking your bags through to San Francisco, they should allow you to process in Vienna.
      As you can see from my post above, it took me 45 minutes at Schiphol.

      Kind regards,
      Helen

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>