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Bürgerberatung im Generalkonsulat San Francisco
Bürgerberatung im Generalkonsulat San Francisco© AA

Export certificates for sales tax reimbursement

German or foreign national buying goods in Germany can get a refund on the sales tax by the store if:

  • the customer's residence is outside the European Union at the time of purchase,
  • the goods are exported from the European Union within three months after purchase.

The store will reimburse the paid sales tax, if German authorities confirm the buyer's residence abroad and good's export. In each EU Member State it is the customs authorities' responsibility to issue export certificates. If a customer brings goods to Cambodia via air (either in a suitcase or as airmail), German customs authorities at the airport will issue an export certificate upon presentation of the buyer's goods and his passport confirming his residence abroad.

The Embassy issues certificates directly only in a limited number of cases, if an exception from this rule is justified. In that case, the Embassy is required to levy a fee under the Foreign Sales Costs Regulation of 10/01/2001. Services covered by that fee (20 Euro payable in US Dollars at the official exchange rate) include all export receipts presented simultaneously. By contrast, at German border posts export certificates are issued free of charge.

Requirements for certificates by the Embassy

a) Certificate of residence in Cambodia
Proof by entry in passport

b) Certificate of export to Cambodia

Basically, the buyer is required to prove the good's export by presenting them on the Embassy's premises. Please bring your passport when presenting your goods. All receipts need to contain the first and family name and the complete address abroad. All goods should be clearly identifiable. In particular, stores (not the customer) have to describe expensive pieces sufficiently on the receipts (in case of clothing, e.g. brand on the label inside and colour, in case of jewellery a concise description, in case of luxury watches name of manufacturer as well as model and engraved serial number).

Further information about sales tax is provided on the website of the Federal Ministry of Finance.

Customs information from the Federal Customs Administration

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