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Munich to Zurich train - VAT refund customs stamp

Toronto
6 posts
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Munich to Zurich train - VAT refund customs stamp

I've spent a few very nice days in Munich and have purchased some tax free goods. I will be taking a train to Zurich soon, staying for a few days and then heading back home.

I know in order to apply for the VAT refund I'll need to get my VAT forms stamped by a customs officer.

Does anyone know if there'll be German customs officers on the train to Zurich (since Zurich is outside of the EU)?

Thanks very much!

Perth, Australia
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1. Re: Munich to Zurich train - VAT refund customs stamp

I have the same query as we will be doing the same trip and from what i have read it is not easy to get the stamps you need when travelling by train. I just spoke to the English speaking German customs on +49 35144834530 and they advised that as the train we were booked on is going via Lindau - the last EU soil before getting into Switzerland is Bregenz in Austria. Therefore we must get the stamp there. He advised that there should be customs officials on the train. I hope so!

Did you go the same route? and if so can you advise if there were customs officers on the train. We are travelling on a Sunday too.

Thanks

Florida
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2,219 posts
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2. Re: Munich to Zurich train - VAT refund customs stamp

Because Switzerland is not a member of the European Union, you cannot get a refund at the tax refund office you'll see in the boarding office.

However, there is a Global Blue tax refund office after you pass through customs and passport control. You can get your refund there. The only thing you need to do is to make sure you have your form(s) stamped by a customs official BEFORE you leave the EU. To make sure the customs official gets to you, tell a conductor on the train that you need the customs stamp in Austria, Germany, etc. before entering Switzerland.

I might add, I take a train from Austria to Switzerland every year, and I have yet to see a customs official. However, I did not specifically ask for a "stamp", and they probably did not come my way.

Toronto
6 posts
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3. Re: Munich to Zurich train - VAT refund customs stamp

We took a different route. We ended up going to Stuttgart first and then took the train to Zurich.

Apparently the customs officer only comes onto the train some times. For the train that we were on no custom officers boarded our train. In order to get the stamp we would have had to get off the train at the last stop before leaving Germany and go into the Customs Office at that station. Since the train will only stopped for 5 mins we didn't get off b/c we didn't know when the next train would be.

I was told an option would be to go to the Germany embassy when you return home and try to optaim the stamp from there.

4. Re: Munich to Zurich train - VAT refund customs stamp

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