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BREXIT Changes: UK Travellers Can Shop Tax Free in Portugal

by Sharron Livingston
Lisbon, Portugal - view of the roofs

When the UK exits from the EU on December 31m 2020, Britain will be demoted to a third country and will no longer be eligible for EU perks.

On the bright side Britons will be able to claim a VAT refund on their retail purchases made in Portugal, starting from 1st January 2021.

More than 2.1 million UK tourists visited Portugal in 2019 and collectively spent €79 million including on clothing and accessories.

Prices in Portgual are on average 5 to 10 per cent cheaper than the UK. Add Tax-free shopping and you could come back with a bargan

With the price of goods in Portugal being on average 5-10 per cent cheaper than in the UK, combined with the additional savings offered by tax-free shopping, the buying power of UK shoppers in Portugal is set to increase by up to 20 per cent creating a win-win situation for both retailers and shoppers. 

How does Tax-Free Shopping work for UK residents visiting Portugal?

British residents from England, Scotland and Wales will be classified as non-EU residents and will be subject to the same eligibility criteria as any other tax-free shopping nationality. This means tax-free perks apply.

To be eligible you must:

  • Live in England, Scotland or Wales. British nationals residing in Northern Ireland, or within the EU are not eligible to shop tax-free in Portugal. Proof of residency is required.
  • Meet the minimum spend criteria of €50+VAT
  • Export the unused goods outside of the EU within a three-month period.
  • Tax-free shoppers from the UK will need to show their passport together with a separate document providing proof of address, to confirm they reside in England, Scotland of Wales.
  • Once eligibility is determined, British tax-free shoppers will follow the usual process of completing a tax-free form, which will be validated at customs when they leave the EU (before they return to the UK).

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