Proposed features/tax free shopping

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Tax free shopping
Status: Proposed (under way)
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.
Drafted on: 2019-12-31
RFC start: 2020-01-04


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 sevices[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=yes (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 is permitted to sell goods without duty/taxes to travelers (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 no A shop with duty_free=no does not provide additional service (different prices, prepared forms, membership in organisations, etc.) for a tax-exemption and also making no different prices for domestic customers and travelers.

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).

Shops may offer additional services/assistance regarding tax refund. They provide additional receipts, pre-filled forms or memberships in a tax-refund company. The values are yes and no.

Key Value Description
duty_free:refund yes Applies to normal shops outside international zones. Shops tagged with duty_free:refund=yes offer assistance in getting a tax refund. A Traveler can get an additional receipt or a (pre-filled) form which can be -- e.g. at the airport or a customs office -- exchanged, so that the traveler gets the payed taxes/duties back.

Don't use this in combination with duty_free=yes as it would say "You don't pay taxes here and the shop helps you to get your taxes back" (which abviously doesn't make sense).

duty_free:refund no

Even with duty_free:refund=no a traveler can get a refund (following the customs and tax regulations) but the shop simply does not offer any assistance to that.

If the shop doesn't offer any other duty-free services (like different prices for locals and travelers), use duty_free=no (see tag above and examples below).

Be as precise as possible and use the following tags if possible.

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 and optionally with duty_free:refund=no, because this shop does not offer refund services but different prices instead.
  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:global_blue=yes. The more general duty_free:refund=yes (or even duty_free=yes) should not be used here as we have more detailed knowledge about this shop.
  3. A small fashion store in a village not offering any tax refund assistance. As this is the default case for most shops, it should be the default case to not tag this. If anybody wants to tag this, the tag duty_free=no would be correct here. Only using duty_free:refund=no would not cover the possibility of different prices for domestic customers and travelers as this tag only says "this shop does not assist customers on getting a tax refund".

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 her/his 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.