It's done! Egypt has launched a Tax Free scheme for foreign tourists. True, so far only at one international airport. What do you need to get a VAT refund on purchases in Egypt and will this option be relevant for Russian tourists?
TAX FREE IS EARNED IN SHARM EL SHEIKH AIRPORT
< p>The International Climate Conference (COP 27), which takes place in Sharm el-Sheikh from November 6 to 18, provided the South Sinai resort with not only a full load of the hotel fund, but also the honorary status of the region, which was the first in the country to launch the Tax system Free according to the international model.
The new scheme started working just in the days of COP 27: in Egypt, they expect that foreign experts and other invited specialists participating in the event will turn out to be spenders and will not leave the country without expensive souvenirs and purchases.
At the Egyptian Tax Authority (ETA) clarified how non-resident visitors are now refunded value added tax (VAT) when purchasing goods in Egypt. Officially, such an opportunity existed before, however, due to the multi-stage nature of this scheme, foreigners did not use the Tax Free system.
ON WHAT AMOUNT OF PURCHASES IN EGYPT CAN A TOURIST REFUND VAT
So, while the Tax Free scheme has started working only at Sharm el-Sheikh International Airport, accordingly, only local stores connect to this system and hotels.
Now ETA is deploying informational support for the project: posters, information stands and stickers should inform about the fact that you can buy goods in the store and return VAT on this purchase. This information must be in Arabic, English, French, Russian and Spanish.
Foreign tourists can receive a VAT refund on their purchases if their stay in the country does not exceed three months and the value of purchases is at least LE 1,500 (approximately 60 US dollars or 3,700 rubles at the rate of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation).
At the same time, the foreigner must present the purchased item in unopened packaging: i.e. it should not be used before leaving the country. Thus, you cannot buy, for example, shoes, put them on, and present only a receipt for a return.
The Egyptian Tax Authority stressed that tourists must make sure that the outlet is connected to the Tax Free system before buying: This is indicated by a sticker at the entrance to the store or an announcement at the checkout. When purchasing goods with Tax Free, a foreigner receives an electronic receipt containing his passport number.
A FOREIGN BANK CARD WILL BE REQUIRED FOR VAT REFUND
When departing from Sharm el-Sheikh, tourists at the airport at a special kiosk present purchased goods, a passport and a fiscal document confirming the purchase for verification. A bank card is required to transfer the refunded tax amount. In what currency the VAT will be returned, the ETA does not indicate. It is impossible to receive a cash refund.
In any case, a limited number of Russians will be able to use Tax Free in Sharm el-Sheikh, because this requires a bank card issued abroad . Transfers to Russian bank cards, including cards of the Mir payment system, are still impossible in Egypt.
COMPLAINT ABOUT PROBLEMS WITH TAX FREE ON THE HOTLINE
Since Tax Free in Sharm el-Sheikh is essentially just starting to work, there may be overlaps and errors.
For tourists, the Egyptian Tax Authority has opened a hotline at 16395. Communication with consultants is so far only on English or French.