Tax refund desk has appeared in the departure area at Minsk National Airport.
It is the first VAT refund office in Belarus where travelers can get their refunds in cash.
Earlier, tax free purchases of Belarusian goods were refunded to buyers only by transfers to a bank card within 30 days from mailing the form back to customs.
How does Tax Free work in Belarus?
The tax free system includes 3 steps:
1. A foreign citizen makes a purchase for 80BYN (~$40) or more in one store within 1 day;
2. The buyer gest a tax refund check (a passport and a cash receipt are required);
3. When leaving the country, the buyer gets the check stamped by a customs officer and receives cash at a tax refund desk.
Customs authorities recommend travelers to reserve up to 15-20 minutes for the procedure.
Currently, Minsk National Airport is one of the largest outlets for exporting goods, where more than 50% of tax free checks are issued.
Since the beginning of 2018 over 2,000 tax free refunds have been issued to foreigners, which is 28% more than for the same period in 2017.
Tax free was introduced in Belarus in 2013. About 400 shops across the country participate in the system.