Entitlement to direct exemption from tax on the purchase of goods and services within the European Union
On the basis of the Agreement between the Government of the Slovak Republic and the Commission of the European Communities Implementing the Protocol on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Communities in the Slovak Republic and certain provisions of the Value Added Tax Act (Act No. 222/2004, as amended), diplomatic missions and their staff are entitled to claim, with the supplier, direct exemption from value added tax in respect of the purchases made in the European Union. On the basis of Article 23 of Council Directive 92/12/EEC and Commission Regulation (EC) No 31/96, the direct exemption from tax on the goods and services purchased within the Community also applies to excise duty.
The tax exemption is granted on the basis of the value added tax and excise duty exemption certificate under Article 15(10) of Directive 77/338/EEC and Article 23(1) of Directive 92/12/EEC. The certificate must be issued using an official form provided by the competent authority of the member state of the European Union and confirmed by the Diplomatic Protocol Department of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic (“DPD”). The exemption may also be granted on the basis of a form issued in the language of any member state of the European Union provided that it complies with the above-mentioned Commission Regulation. The consumer of the goods or service must enclose the tax exemption certificate with the original purchase receipt for the goods or service. After confirmation by the DPD, the form must be sent to the supplier with a request for tax refund to a bank account (IBAN and SWIFT data are required).
The exemption from indirect taxes on goods and services in the territory of the Slovak Republic is granted where the invoiced value of such goods or services, including taxes, is at least EUR 70.
Entitlement to purchase tax-exempt goods in a diplomatic shop
The entitlement to purchase tax-exempt goods in a diplomatic shop (a tax warehouse for foreign representatives established under special regulations) is granted to foreign representatives (see definition below) accredited to the Slovak Republic on the basis of the Value Added Tax Act (Act No. 222/2004, as amended) and amendments to the Act on the Excise Duty on Wine, Act on the Excise Duty on Spirits, Act on the Excise Duty on Tobacco Products, and Act on the Excise Duty on Beer.
The entitlement to purchase tax-exempt products in tax warehouses on the basis of the above-mentioned laws applies to the diplomatic missions, diplomatic staff, consular posts and consular officers, members of the administrative and technical staff of diplomatic missions and consular posts, and to international organizations and their personnel (referred to as “foreign representatives” in the VAT Act), provided that they are not citizens of the Slovak Republic and do not have their domicile in the Slovak Republic. The entitlement to purchase tax-exempt products in a tax warehouse does not apply to family members of the above-mentioned group of persons.
Section 61(15) of Value Added Tax Act provides that tax exemption is granted to the maximum extent to which the value added tax refund is limited under paragraphs 4, 5, 7, 9, 10, and 11 thereof.
The principle of reciprocity applies, that is, the permission for the purchase of tax-exempt products in a tax warehouse is issued by the customs authority only to foreign representatives of those states that grant a similar advantage or refund tax to the Slovak nationals enjoying privileges and immunities under an international treaty. The principle of reciprocity does not apply to international organizations and their personnel.
The tax-exempt goods may be purchased in a tax warehouse for foreign representatives solely by foreign representatives holding a foreign representative certificate, confirmation of compliance with the condition of reciprocity issued by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, and the permission to purchase tax-exempt goods in a tax warehouse issued by the Bratislava Customs Authority.
The Foreign Representative Certificate - Confirmation of Compliance with the Condition of Reciprocity
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The permission to purchase tax-exempt products is issued by the Bratislava Customs Authority to foreign representatives once a year, within 15 days of receiving written application. Attached to the permission is a write-down sheet, issued for each calendar year. In the sheet, the Customs Authority quotes the annual limit for the purchase of tax-exempt products or, where a person from another state acquires the status of foreign representative in the course of a calendar year, a proportionate part of the limit corresponding to the length of the period remaining until the end of that calendar year. Unused limit or part thereof is non-transferable to the next calendar year. Foreign representatives must return their write-down sheets for the respective calendar year to the Bratislava Customs Authority by 31 January of the next calendar year.
Limits for the purchase of good in a tax warehouse exempt from excise duties for foreign nationals enjoying privileges and immunities under an international treaty
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The annual limits for the excise duty exempt goods which a foreign representative may purchase in a tax warehouse for foreign representatives based the permission to purchase tax-exempt products are laid down in amendments to the above-mentioned acts depending on the category of the foreign representative concerned.
A foreign representative who ceased to be eligible for the purchase of tax-exempt products must return the permission to purchase tax-exempt products and the write-down sheet within 15 days of the termination of eligibility.
The tax-exempt goods purchased in a diplomatic shop are intended for official use by diplomatic missions or for personal use by the staff of diplomatic missions, not for resale.