French VAT back and quick question about Carrefour

Hi all,

So we usually buy our stuff from Germany (mostly Konstanz since they have the border open up 'till late) and when we pay we usually ask for the printed out “invoice” to be for Switzerland (I think there is a magic word for it [ausverschein] or something)… then we just go to the border / get our stamp and that’s it.

The idea is we are going to probably switch to France for shopping, because of the better quality of products, but we were in Besançon (Carrefour) and asked for the same thing when paying and the guy at the counter looked at us and probably was thinking wtf do you want from me ?

First question is how do you make this work for France ?

Then we went thru Basel (it was a bit after 20.00 and the office for getting stamps was closed) → is there an alternative to getting a stamp or maybe it’s different , after 20.00 [especially Basel since that is our entry point]?

And final question, because I remembered we went like one year ago in Auchan, and we felt it was really expensive (Mullhouse) … between the prices and products sold Carrefour Besançon vs Carrefour Mullhouse ? [am asking because Besançon is not necessarily a border city and I did not see any Swiss cars, compared to the other city, and I think everyone noticed that bordering towns are a bit more pricier] ?

Thanks in advance,

I guess you might find one of your answers in here somewhere. I suggest you dig around a bit.

Language options top right I think.
The word you wanted is Ausfuhrschein.
Maybe certificat d‘exportation in French.
Seems that French rulings changed in July 2023.

My understanding is that you cannot get a detaxe from carrefour in France… or most grocery stores.

Basically, rather than being a right - the seller needs to get permission to sell tax free (or refund taxes to non-EU) from the tax authorities.

Once they get permission to do this, you can make use of that.

Obviously, most grocery stores cannot be bothered to go through that process. You might find a few high value stores (e.g. watches) that will do it as a selling point, but grocery stores? Nah.

Also, you cannot force them to do it; it’s not a “right” you have in France.

Maybe you can find a smaller store right next to the border, that targets cross-border shoppers, and has done this…

More information here: Vente en détaxe aux touristes |
Basically - what I said :stuck_out_tongue:

Looks like carrefour may have already signed up for a detaxe agreement:

Thank you for the replies.
So short version, they are not yet in the programme → so not VAT back :slight_smile:

No, that’s misleading - it’s actually a 3rd-party app/service who will charge you for the privilege, i.e. they keep about 15% of the VAT, you get the other 85%. The businesses listed are just those that they have previously worked with, nothing to do with whether they individually offer the direct VAT refund being talked about here.

Given that we’ve always maintained a house in France I’ve never reclaimed French VAT - we’ve always moved things around between homes/countries and I think we’d be in for a world of pain if we were found to have re-imported something earlier claimed for.

But I do STR that the Géant Casino in St Louis used to do this. It’s now an Intermarché, so no way of confirming, just that it used to always be full of Basel shoppers of an evening on the way home from work and I assumed that many of them were reclaiming the VAT in some way or another.

There’s a minimum spend per receipt before you can claim tax back when shopping in France( unless it’s changed recently it’s 100€) so you can only do it for bigger shops or higher value items.

The website linked said that they did not have a minimum, specifically referencing the EU100 tht would normally be inn place,