Proposal:Tax free shopping

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Some shops are "duty-free-shops" and some offer further assistance for a tax exemptation.
Tax free shopping
Proposal status: Approved (active)
Proposed by: hauke-stieler
Tagging: duty_free=*
Applies to: node area
Definition: A tag describing whether a shop offers duty-free shopping, some kind of refund or assistance for a refund.

Draft started: 2019-12-31
RFC start: 2020-01-04
Vote start: 2020-01-28
Vote end: 2020-02-15


Regarding taxes and duties for customers, there are mainly three types of shops[1]:

  • Duty-free shops (for example at an airport)
  • Shops offering some kind of service/assistance for a tax-exemption for travelers[2]
  • Shops offering none of those services (but still accepting customer's own forms)[3]

Currently there is no tag for these properties of a shop. This tag does not only apply to nodes/ways with the tag shop=* on it but rather to all kind of places selling something.

Often the customs or other organisations have further information:


When traveling in other countries the information, where duty-free shopping is possible or assisted, might be important/interesting. Having this tag on shops enables apps (e.g. OsmAnd) to create filter or specific search results.

Marking those shops on a map (digital or printed in a leaflet) for tourists might also be an interesting use-case.


Many shops (probably dozens in most cities) offer this service. Here are just a few I know:


Basic idea

The very basic idea:

  • The traveler doesn't pay any taxes? → duty_free=yes
  • The traveler pays taxes but the shop helps to get it back? → duty_free=refund (and maybe additional and more specific tags)
  • The traveler pays taxes but the shop doesn't help to get it back? → duty_free=no (probably default case and should then not be tagged)

There are some special cases (e.g. different prices for domestic customers and travelers) so here's the full table:


Key Value Description
duty_free yes A retail outlet with duty_free=yes sells goods to travelers without duty/taxes (usually called "duty-free shops" in international zones at e.g. airports). Domestic customers may also be allowed to buy here but have to pay normal taxes/duties.
duty_free refund In shops with duty_free=refund everybody pays normal prices (which includes taxes/duties) but there are services (prepared forms or membership in tax refund organisations) for a tax-exemptation.

See further refund-related tags below.

duty_free no In shops with duty_free=refund everybody pays normal prices (which includes taxes/duties) and this shop does not provide additional services (prepared forms, memberships in organisations, etc.) for a tax exemption.

This value should not be used unless in cases where a shop used to be / is expected to be a duty-free shop (e.g. a non-duty-free shop an airport might rather be unexpexted).

Some shops may offer additional services/assistance regarding tax refund. They provide additional receipts, pre-filled forms or memberships in a tax-refund system. The values for the tags below are yes and no.

Key Value Description
duty_free:refund:general_assistance yes A shop offers prepared forms or leaflets to help travelers get their taxes back.

Using the value no does not mean that there's no assistance at all, it just means that this shop does not provide general assistance (e.g. pre-filled forms). However this shop can be a member of any refund system listed below. When using the value no, please specify further information using the tags below.

duty_free:refund:global_blue yes Member of "Global Blue".
duty_free:refund:premier_tax_free yes Member of "Premier tax free".
duty_free:refund:gb_tax_free yes Member of "GB Tax Free".
duty_free:refund:easy_tax_free yes Mamber of "Easy Tax Free"
duty_free:refund:planet_payment yes Member of "Planet Payment".

There are probably a lot more companies but this list can easily be extended in the future.


  1. A shop is a "duty-free" shop at an airport, is no member of any organisation (s. keys above) and simply has different prices for domestic customers and travelers. This would be tagged with duty_free=yes.
  2. A shop in a city mall is a member of "Global Blue" as only option for refund assistance. This would be tagged with duty_free=refund and duty_free:refund:global_blue=yes. The tag duty_free=yes is wrong because everybody pay taxes here (but there is assistance for a refund).
  3. A small fashion store in a village not offering any tax refund assistance. As this is the default situation in most shops, no tag should be used here. If somebody insists on tagging this, the tag duty_free=no would be correct here.

Applies to

All kinds of shops/stores/outlets/... which is usually a node node or area area.


Probably there won't be any special rendering of shops with any duty_free=* tag on standard maps.

Features/Pages affected

The tag shop=duty_free should be abandoned and the shop-key should be specified correctly. Currently (2019-12-31) only 56 features have this tag (taginfo), so this is only a small issue.

External discussions

Discussion on the tagging mailing list starting with a general discussion and the proposal mail.


Please comment on the discussion page.


  1. For simplicity with "shop" I mean everything selling something that could possibly exported.
  2. "Traveler" is in this context a person moving from one to another country and exporting goods to a new customs jurisdiction. Only these passengers can get the tax/duty back.
  3. When a customer brings their own forms, it's probably still possible to get the tax back when exporting the purchased product. However a shop with duty_free=no does not offer any pre-filled forms, memberships in organisations, or any other assistance.


  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. However, a duty-free shop catering to both domestic and international travellers does not necessarily charge different prices: it may simply remit part of the selling price to the tax authorities in the case of domestic travellers. --Sdoerr (talk) 21:15, 28 January 2020 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. Looks clean and simple. --Zverik (talk) 12:59, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. I see no problems with this proposal --Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 13:50, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Dr Centerline (talk) 19:39, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
  • I abstain from voting but have comments I have comments but abstain from voting on this proposal. I am in favor of the basic tag duty_free=yes/no/refund and I believe we have community consensus in favor of it, so it can be approved. But I am relucant to approve the more complex tagging (duty_free:refund:***=) for specific brands of refund processing services. This information seems hard to use and maintain. --Jeisenbe (talk) 02:10, 30 January 2020 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Komadinovic Vanja (talk) 18:57, 30 January 2020 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Sommerluk (talk) 13:40, 1 February 2020 (UTC)
  • I oppose this proposal I oppose this proposal. Nothing wrong with needing a tag for these things, but I think it fundamentally confuses duty & tax free shopping, and this confusion will lead to tagging problems in the future. Most examples refer to tax free (refund of VAT etc) rather than duty free shopping. I would have no problem if the two concepts were two separate tags (i.e., duty_free & tax_free) or the tag was named to encompass both concepts. Also a duty free shop has goods at point of sale free of duty (& usually sales taxes), whereas tax free shopping is essentially a set of services to facilitate claiming tax back (which in practice still involve time costs for the purchaser). SK53 (talk) 13:36, 2 February 2020 (UTC)
  • I oppose this proposal I oppose this proposal. It's enough to have "tax_refund=brand1;brand2". Values "yes" and "no" values seems odd to me because, from customer`s perspective, there is no difference between `yes` and `no`, except for countries like USA where full price = badge price + taxes. Also there are some tax free territories in different countries, like city Aqaba in Jordan and there is no use to tag every single shop with duty_free=yes. --Batyrmastyr (talk) 15:50, 4 February 2020 (UTC)
What does prevent the use of duty_free=yes on the boundary of city Aqaba?
Having simple tags instead a semi-colon separated list makes data usage easier. Not a big deal anyway. --Nospam2005 (talk) 16:00, 9 February 2020 (UTC)

Since there's currently an ongoing discussion about the approval calculation with "abstain" votings, here are two possible calculations which both lead to an approval of this tag:

  • Support with "abstain": 10/13 = 77%
  • Support without "abstain": 10/12 = 83%