Tax-free Shopping Service Successfully Adopted in The Bahamas

Tax-free shopping service in The Bahamas

EYSINS, Switzerland – After the introduction of Value Added Tax (VAT) to The Bahamas in 2015, the island country has successfully introduced a modern Tax Free Shopping scheme for visiting tourists, with over 60 percent of eligible Bahamian merchants signing up since the August 2015 launch.

The system was launched by the world’s leading Tax Free Shopping provider, Global Blue, in partnership with the Bahamian VAT and Customs Departments.

Global Blue’s system introduces a standardized electronic platform to the tax refund process, meaning that retailers can sell a wide range of products to tourists, net of VAT. The purchases are recorded in standard format by retailers and then monitored electronically by the Customs Department.

The Hon. Michael Halkitis, Bahamian Minister of State for Finance said: “Following the introduction of VAT, we needed to ensure that The Bahamas continued to be seen as a competitive shopping destination. I’m pleased to say that the new system has made Tax Free Shopping easy and simple for retailers and the Customs Department and therefore more available and accessible for tourists.”

Ido Elkarat, Head of Operation, Diamonds International Bahamas Ltd. said: “We’ve been really happy with the support provided by Global Blue in establishing the new system in all five of our stores. It’s running very smoothly now and we are already seeing the benefit of offering Tax Free Shopping to tourists.”

Jorge Casal, Senior Vice President, New Markets and Public Affairs at Global Blue said: “The electronic system implemented by Global Blue provides a simple way for Globe Shoppers to make Tax Free purchases, an efficient process in-store for merchants and a secure process for customs authorities. The system has performed extremely well since its launch and Global Blue will be doubling its current investment in marketing and promotion over the coming year to further support the development of the scheme.”

In addition to operating the Tax Free Shopping system, Global Blue supports local Bahamian merchants with additional services available, including training and the promotion of The Bahamas as a Tax Free Shopping destination across its media platform, SHOP.

For more information on Global Blue, visit

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