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10 Jan 2014

More stores to offer Tax Free service

System of returning VAT to foreign buyers widely known as Tax Free has been introduced in Belarus only a year ago and stores in only two cities in Belarus joined the system so far. But when this country is preparing to the World Ice Hockey Championship more and more shops and supermarkets are planning to offer such service for visitors from abroad. Here is the list of most popular shopping destination where buyers can save their money claiming VAT back

Tax Free system in Belarus

The most advanced ones are Minsk shops, which await  hockey fans in May 2014, and trading organizations in Lida, which also have foreign visitors, especially on weekends.

Tax-free shopping services are available now at  "Kirmash" on Dzerzhinsky Avenue and its affiliate on the Very Khoruzhey St. These objects have joined since the January 1, 2014. Shortly before the New Year Tax Free system started to work in the Grodno region, in Lida.

In Lida in December was held a meeting of the Interdepartmental committee on the implementation of Tax Free in Belarus. There were discussed issues of promoting of the Grodno region and its trading infrastructure as the border area with the states that are not members of the Custom Union. It was noted that in the region, apart from Grodno, has sufficient number of small cities, towns and settlements which are visited by tourists and business people. Lida, Mir, Slonim, Oshmiany, Novogrudok, Smorgon, Svislach etc. There the consumer system is heighly developed.

At the beginning of this year Tax Free system started to work in two stores in Lida. A representative of one of them says that the new service should have a positive impact on the dynamics of trade. The turnover at the weekend increases by 25-30 %, thanks to foreign buyers. The Tax Free system should make the purchase more attractive to visitors.

The Interdepartmental commission, which, in particular, includes representatives of the Ministry of Trade, the State Standard, Belcoopsoyuz, RUE "Beltamozhservice" and others, expects triple increase in the number of stores in the Grodno region with Tax Free system, the number of which by the world hockey championships in 2014 should be not less than 15 stores, including two stores of consumer cooperatives, one of which is to be opened in Lida.

In Minsk,  the places that deal with VAT refund on purchases for foreigners opens gradually.

On December 18, ten agreements were signed by RUE "Beltamozhservice" with trade organizations to provide services for VAT refunds to foreign individuals. The site informs about the addresses of shops where the service is valid at the beginning of 2014:

Tax Free shops in Minsk:

  • GUM, Minsk, Independence avenue, 21;
  • Branch UE "Kirmash", Minsk, Independence avenue, 19;
  • Branch UE "Kirmash", Minsk, V.Horuzhey St., 21;
  • CUM "Minsk", Minsk, Independence avenue, 54;
  • Trading House "On Nemige", Minsk, Nyamiha St, 8;
  • store "Belarus", Minsk, Zhilunovicha St., 4;
  • Salon Optics "Seasons", Minsk, Sverdlova St., 26;
  • Salon Optics "Veneto", Minsk, Pobediteley avenue, 65 (1st Floor TC "Castle");
  • TC "Kirmash", Minsk, Dzerzhinsky avenue, 100;

Tax Free shops in Lida:

  • "Trade House" Lida, Leninskaya St., 14;
  • "Housewifely" Lida, Sovetskaya St., 5.

Tax Free system was introduced in Belarus in 2013. According to the rules, VAT return is only for buyers who do not have permanent residence in the country-member of the Customs Union, which includes Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. If you see the sign below that means the store is offering Tax Free service