Refund of foreign VAT

Refund of French VAT: end of exemption


As of 1 July 2023, neither the FOCBS nor the French customs will carry out the formalities for export from the other country for VAT refund purposes.  

For more information, see the following page:

Refund of French VAT: end of exemption

Refund of foreign valued added tax to private individuals

We cannot refund foreign VAT to you.

If you are personally bringing goods purchased abroad to Switzerland, you often have the option of having the foreign VAT refunded by the foreign seller or a tax refund company. These service companies have nothing to do with the Federal Office for Customs and Border Security; in particular, they do not operate on our behalf.

Different rules apply to VAT refunds in different countries. If need be, the seller completes a refund form, on which the foreign customs authority confirms exportation to Switzerland.

Unfortunately, we are unable to provide you with more detailed information concerning the refund of foreign VAT. If need be, the relevant foreign customs authority will be able to assist you. Foreign customs authorities can be found at the following link of the World Customs Organisation.

Swiss VAT must be paid even if the foreign VAT is not refunded. There are no double taxation agreements in the area of value added tax.

Further info

Customs info: essential information at a glance (PDF, 1 MB, 31.08.2023)With this brochure, we wish to help make your passage through Swiss Customs a smooth one. Are you familiar with our QuickZoll app?