Tax Free Shopping 


Serendipity Diamonds


Guidance notes and advice for international clients purchasing jewellery from the Serendipity Diamonds outlet. Please note that conditions apply. 

VAT Retail Export Scheme - Tax Free Shopping


At Serendipity Diamonds, we participate in the VAT retail export scheme for international clients within the UK. The following page gives further guidance on this scheme. As a retailer with an outlet, we comply with requirements of the scheme. 

Please note that this scheme is not available for online purchases. Please contact us for more information. 

The scheme is available to international clients residing outside the EU leaving the UK after no more than 3 months from the purchase date. It may be possible to receive a refund on the VAT of your purchase under this scheme. The goods must be exported from the EC by the last day of the third month following that in which the goods were purchased.

Who can buy goods under the scheme?


A person :

  • whose place of residence is not  within the EC. This is the place entered as such on a valid passport, identity card or other acceptable document, such as a driving licence. The customer must prove eligibility to use the scheme by providing one or more of these documents
  • who intends to leave the UK for a final destination outside the EC, with the goods, by the last day of the third month following that in which the goods were purchased (for example, goods purchased on 1 June must be exported by 30 September); and
  • who exports the goods having produced them, their receipts, and the VAT refund document to a Customs officer at the point of departure from the EC

Overseas visitors studying or working in the UK


Overseas visitors entering the UK as students or migrant workers are only entitled to purchase goods under the scheme during the last 4 months of their stay in the UK. 

Such visitors will have been issued with a pre-entry visa from the UK and in the case of work periods of 6 months or more a separate work permit document is issued in the UK. The visa is contained in the overseas person’s passport and shows the start and end date for the study or work period authorised. 

We will ask to see the visa or work permit before selling goods under the scheme.

You must prove eligibility to use the scheme by providing evidence that the period of their visit is ending and must:

  • intend to leave the EC with the goods by the last day of the third month following that in which the goods were purchased
  • having left the EC remain outside the EC for a minimum period of 12 months
  • export the goods having produced them, their receipts, and the VAT refund document to a Customs officer at the point of departure from the EC

Items that are not included in the scheme


  • unmounted gemstones
  • bullion (over 125g, 2.75 troy ounces or 10 Tolas)

Before purchase, we will :




  • Check that you are entitled to use the scheme


  • Check that the item is eligible for the scheme 


  • Check that you intend to leave the EC with the goods for a final destination outside the EC by the last day of the third month following that in which the goods were purchased


  • Fill in a VAT refund document (supplied by us) which will be signed by us (the retailer) and you (the client) when you make your purchase.  

Next we will :


  • explain how the refund will be made. (We will provide a pre-paid envelope to send the form back to us in order to issue the refund)
  • explain about any administrative fees
  • mark your sales receipt to indicate that the goods have been included on a VAT refund document. For example: ‘VAT Export’
  • advise you to produce their refund document to the Customs officer for stamping at the point of departure from the EC. Failure to do so will mean that a refund will not be paid. The goods and receipts must also be available for inspection if required. 
  • advise you to allow plenty of time in which to produce their goods and refund form prior to departure. We advise high value items of jewellery to be carried in hand luggage. 

Getting paid


Once your form has been stamped by UK customs, post this back to us in the pre-paid envelope. 

We charge a fee of £50.00 for handling your form. This money will be deducted from your refund and will be noted on a VAT refund document.  

Refunds are issued within 24 hours of receiving your customs signed VAT form. Please return this in the pre-paid addressed envelope we will provide you with at the point of sale. 

Please note that the purchase and refund will need be arranged by bank transfer. Please ensure we have your international bank account details to issue your refund payment. 



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