Tax-free shopping for winter sports? There are a number of villages where this is possible. During the day you can explore the ski area and in the afternoon you can go shopping. A number of winter sports destinations in the Alps and the Pyrenees are tax-deductible. For example due to its remote location. Want to shop and ski tax-free during winter sports? In this article you will find ski villages where possible.
And no, we’re not talking about a duty-free department at the airport or an exotic winter sports destination. In Europe you will find a number of villages where you can shop without taxes while practicing winter sports.
Tax-free shopping for winter sports
Low prices for perfumes, clothes, alcohol, etc. This is what you take advantage of when you go shopping in a duty-free ski village. Of course we prefer an after-ski dive after a day of skiing, but an afternoon spent browsing winter sports shops is always fun. It is great to enjoy the beautiful, expensive brands in the shops of Ischl and Kitzbuhel, but these prices are not for the average Dutch person. How nice if you could shop tax-free for winter sports. Then your wallet also allows for a beer afterward.
Livigno is located near the Swiss border, at an altitude of 1816 meters. Until the mid-20th century, you couldn’t come here in the winter months due to its secluded location. Fortunately, this changed with the road to Bormio and the tunnel to Switzerland. Livigno is an extended but attractive village with a ski area on either side (Mottolino and Carosello). Together they are good for 115 km of slopes and great off-piste possibilities. There is no shortage of good mountain huts and coexistence, and the same is true for fun alternative activities outside of skiing.
Thanks to its isolated location, Livigno has enjoyed some privileges since the 16th century. The village first gained economic and legal independence, and then Napoleon exempted the village from taxes and fees. This was officially honored in 1818 by Austria-Hungary, in 1910 by the Kingdom of Italy and in 1960 by the EEC. A beautiful piece of history with a very simple conclusion: at Livigno you can ski and shop tax-free during your winter sports. And you want that. The shopping street is beautiful and there is really everything for sale. Are you thirsty Then settle down at the Bivio Hotel for a drink and snack. You can find more tips here.
The Swiss village of Samnaun, along with the Austrian Ischgl, shares a cross-border ski area with 239 km of slopes. With most of the slopes over 2000 meters (+ 90%), this ski area is one of the most skiing areas in Austria. For this reason, you can usually park the slides here from the end of November to the beginning of May.
Samnaun is located at an altitude of 1,847 meters, just over 900 kilometers from Utrecht. Until 1912, you could only come here from the Austrian village of Space, due to its isolated location. For this reason, the village has a rich smuggling history, including Ischgl. Every day, smugglers went to the mountains to trade goods. They haven’t done it in years, but the Schmugglerrunde Ski Tour is still living proof of it. In 1892, Samnaun was excluded from the Swiss customs area, which resulted in the creation of a duty-free zone. You can still shop without taxes while playing winter sports on Europe’s highest shopping street.
The Principality of Andorra is a tax haven in the Pyrenees, located between the countries of France and Spain. You will find several ski areas here, the most famous of which are GrandValira (200 kilometers of slopes) and Vallnord (100 kilometers of slopes). All beautiful winter sports destinations where winter sports are a little different than anywhere else in the Pyrenees and the Alps.
Due to its secluded location, Andorra has been tax exempt for many years. If you want to do shopping without taxes while practicing winter sports, it is best to visit the capital, La Vella. This beautiful mountain town is a 10 to 20-minute drive from ski areas and has a wide range of shops and malls. Clothes, electronics, perfumes, alcohol and watches, among others, are a bit cheaper here compared to us in the Netherlands. Don’t forget to sample and bring home local produce.
Rules for tax-free shopping in ski areas
After reading this article, do you think: Register! Am I immediately looking for good deals from travel companies? Definitely do. Simply read the rules regarding tax-free shopping for winter sports first. There is a limit to the quantity of goods that you can take with you. If you exceed this, you will still have to pay the tax in the Netherlands. There are different rules for every product and everything you buy should be for your own use. For example, from Livigno you can bring 16 liters of beer, 4 liters of regular wine and 300/400 ml of perfume (3 to 4 bottles). More information about tax-free shopping abroad can be found on the website of the Customs Department.
Bonus tip: lower prices in the country of origin
There are only three destinations where you can shop without taxes during winter sports. Provided, of course, that you go by plane to some exotic winter sports destination, so that you can shop tax-free at the airport. Another tip for buying inexpensive winter sports clothing is to look at the brands that originated from the winter sports country where you are at that moment. Swedish brand Peak Performance, for example. During one of the winter sports in Sweden it is really beneficial to visit the Peak shop (for example in Åre). The brand isn’t cheap here either, but you pay a lot less than what you pay in Holland.