Customs & VAT Refunds
It is no longer the case that customs checks occur when you come over the border into the Czech Republic, because the country is a part of the European Union. When you arrive on an international flight though, you will be met by customs officers however. You are allowed to bring in goods with a value of up to €300 (excluding tobacco and alcohol) and not pay duty on these, although the limit rises to €430 if you arrive by air. In the unlikely situation of needing to bring more than €10,000 in cash into the country, you will need to notify the customs authority before you arrive in the country.
Visitors can freely bring in the following: 200 cigarettes or 100 cigars of up to 3 grams, 50 cigars, or 250 grams of smoking tobacco; 1 liter of alcohol or spirits over 22% alcohol by volume, 2 liters of fortified or sparkling wine, or 2 liters of still wine; 50 grams of perfume.
As with every country, there are some restricted items that cant usually be brought into the country. These include meat and meat products, milk and dairy products, plants and wildlife. It also goes without saying that explosives, weapons, drugs and pornography are not allowed to be brought into the country.
In the Czech Republic, VAT is added to the vast majority of goods and services, although this will be incorporated into the advertised price of the product or service. The amount that VAT currently stands at is 21%, although for certain items – such as food, books, newspapers and pharmaceuticals – the rate is 15%. If you live outside the EU, you can reclaim the tax paid in VAT, as long as it is for private, non-commercial use. If you live within the EU, you are not able to reclaim the VAT you have already paid.
The Customs Administration of the Czech Republic has its website at www.celnisprava.cz.
Tax Free Shopping in Prague
- Ask for a Tax-Free Cheque at the shop. You have three months from the date of purchase to have your Tax Free Cheques stamped on leaving the European Union.
- When you leave the EU, delcare your purchases at customs and have your cheques stamped.
- Then cash your Tax-Free Cheques at the airport or send them by post to the operator or operators working with the shops where you made your purchases.
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