Portugal has fuelled the momentum of Europe’s digital Tax Free ShoppingA number of countries offer VAT/GST refunds to international... More revolution; on 1 July 2018, it became the continent’s first country to make electronic issuing of TFS transactions 100% mandatory by law.

In April 2018, Global Blue became the first VAT refund operator to launch the new digital Tax Free ShoppingA number of countries offer VAT/GST refunds to international... More system in Portugal and successfully supported its merchants in meeting the nationally imposed deadline of 1 July 2018. Since this date, all Tax Free transactions issued in Portugal follow the new digital framework.

Going digital: What are the benefits?

Digitisation transforms the way merchants and Globe Shoppers experience the Tax Free ShoppingA number of countries offer VAT/GST refunds to international... More journey, by making the end-to-end tax refund service faster, clearer, more convenient and more secure. As a result, it is expected to strongly contribute to the growth of shopping tourism and generate increased revenue for local merchants.

How does Portugal’s new system work?

The system, called eTaxFree Portugal, requires online, real-time issuing and registration of Tax Free transactions, allowing Customs to check that a transaction fulfils key legal requirements before it is issued. All transactions must be registered in this way to be legally recognised. Transactions can then be digitally validated at all Portuguese exit points by scanning the travellers’ passport or national ID at fast and convenient self-validation kiosks or at the Customs desks (or rubber stamped overseas).

How has Global Blue assisted with the transition?

The eTaxFree framework allows merchants to adopt one of two VAT treatments when selling goods to foreign travellers, and Global Blue has developed end-to-end solutions specifically tailored to suit both options. The system is also fully aligned with the existing SAF-T electronic invoicing framework in Portugal, facilitating stronger audit controls for authorities.

Over the past year, Global Blue has worked closely with the Portuguese authorities and partners to ensure the smooth implementation of the system across the entire country. Global Blue has thereby helped thousands of its affiliated merchants to migrate to the new system with over 75% of global merchants surveyed confirming the new system to be superior. Thanks to the digital flow, Globe Shoppers are now more likely to receive a fast, secure and successful export validation when visiting Portugal.

Global Blue has worked closely with the Portuguese Authorities to lead the industry during this important transition. We’re therefore pleased to have received official acknowledgement for our success in launching the new system as well as for the important contribution in enhancing the perception of Portugal as an attractive and advanced shopping tourism destination

Renato Leite, Managing Director Portugal