Where meets Sara Bernabé, general manager of Premier Tax Free Italy, a company that allows international customers to reclaim VAT on purchases made in Italy and which recently launched a fabulous initiative dedicated to all fashion lovers: the Montenapoleone card
Individuals arriving in Milan either on business or for tourism know that not only will they find a shopper’s paradise but also a company prepared to offer them a toplevel VAT reclaim service on merchandise purchased in Italy. The company in question is Premier Tax Free. General manager, Sara Bernabé, talks to us about it.
Your company handles “VAT refunds” to international purchasers: what does this actually entail?
It’s simple: within 90 days of purchase, the Non-EU tourist who has bought a gift or merchandise, for example, in Milan, for export out of the EU area, can apply for a refund of part of the VAT paid at the moment of purchase.
What does the customer have to do to obtain this refund?
Nothing complicated. The Non-EU customer pays the amount inclusive of VAT to the shop which issues a tax free invoice. The customer should then bring this invoice to our premises in order to obtain an instant refund. It is, however, important to remember that upon exiting the country of purchase or the European Union before returning home, the customer should present the unused merchandise to customs and have their tax free form stamped.
Where should customers go to receive your assistance?
Our Premier Lounge is situated right in the middle of via Montenapoleone, at number 21.
Why is your Premier lounge such a special place?
“At our lounge, our customers are welcomed into a warm, inviting atmosphere by our multi-lingual staff of English, Russian and Chinese assistants.
What do you offer guests visiting your location?
We always leave the choice up to our customers: either they can obtain a VAT refund right then and there – in cash (euros) or have the amount credited to their credit card – or, alternatively, they can receive our innovative Montenapoleone Card.
What is the MonteNapoleone card?
It’s a card that we off er to Non-EU guests which allows them to reclaim the VAT on purchases made in Italy and to obtain an extra 15% bonus on top of the refund amount. This amount can be spent, within a period of 24 months, at the boutiques in via Montenapoleone participating in the initiative.
How has the montenapoleone card been received by customers and brands?
Out often customers who visit our headquarters, approximately four choose the Montenapoleone Card. The brands are in favour of the initiative because it’s a way of promoting customer loyalty. Seven of the city’s most revered fashion houses have decided to participate in the project and I am sure that many others will soon decide to follow suit.
What made you decide to be featured in Where?
Because after one year’s partnership, we are able to confirm that the magazine – distributed in 5 star hotels throughout Milan – has reached the target that we are interested in, i.e. upmarket international tourists who choose the fashion capital of Italy as a highquality shopping mecca.
Have you experienced any unusual episode at your location that you might like to share with us?
A short while ago, a group of Indonesian visitors were so impressed and satisfied with our service that, as a way of showing our staff their gratitude, they improvised a fabulous ethnic ballet, right here …in our Lounge.