Document Name
pdf icon VAT Form No. 37 Application for VAT Free Scheme


GB will implement issuing solutions (web or standalone software) in order to register electronically all tax free transactions made by merchants to tourists.

Transaction will record:

  • Passport, ID number or Cruise liner number -> Mandatory
  • Name and Surname -> Optional
  • Invoice number -> Mandatory
  • Nationality -> Mandatory
  • Sales in store amount. -> Mandatory

GB will cover all the market and all categories of goods excluding alcohol, tobacco, medicine and food

GB will offer VAT OFF process (VAT refund in the store) GB can also support 81.5% or 100% VAT OFF at register. GB will provide e-reports to Government. GB will provide Business intelligence to Merchants (Market and Sales information)

Merchants must pay to Government (Customs) 9.5% (9.5% of 10% VAT) processing fee of all VAT OFF transactions issued

GB will invoice 9.5% of VAT payable as commission to Government (Customs) of all VAT OFF transactions.

What the merchant does

  • Submits Application to the Comptroller and complete GB Agreement.
  • Collects all relevant documentation and information from tourist
  • Makes the sale to tourist at a zero rate
  • Scans identification/requirements and enters sale into GB system
  • Transmits information to GB and Customs
  • Submit Return showing zero rated sales and pays 9.5% of VAT as processing fee to Customs monthly.

What Global Blue does

  • Ensure that approval is granted by VAT Comptroller
  • Enters into agreements with retailers
  • Provides point-of-sale devices to vendor (passport/ID scanners)
  • Communicates sale and purchaser data to Customs for approval
  • Provides terminals at designated points for Customs agent approval
  • Provides detailed reports to merchant and Customs
  • Sends bill for 100% of processing fee (9.5%) to Government

Value Added Tax Legislation

  • Exports are zero rated
  • Pursuant to the Act, where a zero rated supply is made to a person and that person is charged VAT there should be a refund of the VAT to the person
  • Regulation 15(3) of the Act specifically provides that “the Comptroller may allow a registrant to make taxable supplies of goods to a retail recipient inside The Bahamas at a zero rate where the VAT Comptroller obtains documentary evidence that the recipient will export the goods from the Bahamas”
  • According to the VAT Rule 2015-001 , visitors to the Bahamas are regarded as a retail recipient to whom this provision applies.

It is possible for visitors to The Commonwealth of The Bahamas to get a VAT refund on purchases of good expenses incurred while visiting. Goods purchased from duty-free shops by non-residents are zero-rated when a retailer holds documentary evidence, collected at the time of the supply, which establishes that goods are to be exported from The Bahamas without being effectively used or enjoyed while in The Bahamas. Such documentary evidence should include a valid passport, travel itinerary or cruise ship identification pass.

Based on the destination principal, purchases by tourist from a duty-free shop for export would receive the zero-rated treatment; however, sales to locals for domestic consumption would incur the full payment of VAT where applicable.

A tourist visiting on a luxury cruise line, purchases a Junkanoo Painting from store while in port with a value of no less than $25. This item is zero-rated since the painting will be shipped out of the country immediately upon departure of this cruise line. However, this is subjected to documentary evidence which should indicate that the purchaser was a non-resident.

Please click the link for additional information.


Kathy Ingraham
Sales and Operations Manager
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Global Blue Bahamas

Office: +1 (242) 356-2583
Mobile: +1 (242) 427-2583