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Customs box at train station

west australia
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628 posts
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Customs box at train station

Hello,

We are coming in from Paris on the TGV Lyria. We have duty free to claim. But as we are not leaving Paris by Plane, their website explains that if there is no Customs officer to stamp out forms on the train then we are to drop them into the "Customs Box" at the Lausanne station.

<<This form must be stamped by French customs officials. If there are no checks on board the TGV Lyria train, you can put this form in the Customs box in Switzerland if you leave your TGV Lyria train in Geneva, Vallorbe, Lausanne or Neuchâtel.>

My question is- does anybody know about where this customs box will be? Is the train station large ? We only have 1/2 hour till our next train.

Thank you for your help

Canton of Valais...
Destination Expert
for Switzerland
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1. Re: Customs box at train station

Lausanne station is quite big and I confess I have never seen the Customs mailbox there. (I have in Brig... but that doesn't help you). I can guess that it is in the main station hall which is off platform (voie) 1.

I think the only thing I can suggest is for you to ring the Lausanne station (number on the SBB site) and ask. I would do this for you but I am not in CH at present... and if you wouldn't mind once you know where it is, could you put this info onto this thread. It would be really useful.

It would also be useful to know what happens when you drop the forms in the box. Normally once you get them stamped you are supposed to mail them to the Duty Free people to get the refund. If the CH Customs then do this it is very useful info. There are a lot of these boxes at many border crossings around the country and knowing that this works to get a Duty Free refund from another country other than CH would help loads of people!!

west australia
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628 posts
110 reviews
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2. Re: Customs box at train station

Hi.

yes we found the box at Lausanne. Just at the end/beginning of the rail at line 3( in the underground mall that links all lines) Not easy to notice as it does not say "customs box "but 'tax free" and documents.

Interestingly we had customs officers on the train who would not stamp our form but told us to get it done at the airport. We tried to explain that switzerland is not part of the EU and we can't claim tax back. That the TGV Lyra website said they should do it….but it fell on deaf ears. Also an official at the train station said there was one in Geneva!!!!! Then as I ws waiting on my hubby to go to the wc I found myself standing right across the box!!!!

Nobody seems to know what to do- this is so wrong!! Anyway……it is not finished yet- lets see if we manage to get the refund.

Cheers

Canton of Valais...
Destination Expert
for Switzerland
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3. Re: Customs box at train station

Platform 3 makes sense because that is where the TGV comes in. So let us have the "next episode" in the saga when it happens.

These boxes are relatively new - I saw my first one in Brig at the beginning of this month and I am there once a month all year round! They have been at the border crossings for a few years. But specifically for duty free - this is really new.

west australia
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628 posts
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4. Re: Customs box at train station

ok I will. But i believe it could take over a month to get it back……

will post update

west australia
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628 posts
110 reviews
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5. Re: Customs box at train station

Well .. would you believe it after all that hassle. The tax refund came through. And at $600.00 Australian it was a welcome relief. So it does work. Providing you filled out all the forms correctly and supplied the correct receipts. SO there you go, thats how you get your tax refund back when you are taking the train as opposed to flying of of a UE country. Hope this helps others in the future!!

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6. Re: Customs box at train station

Hello can you please confirm again for me as Im planning to do more shopping in Paris and will leave Paris this Thursday by train to Laussanne Swizerland. So I read lots of blogs indicating that It will be impossible to find the french customs to stamp the form?

Based on your comments here, you do not need the stam but u need to drop it on custom box at train station in Lausanne. Is this correct? Hope this is correct as Im very keen to do shopping this tuesday.

Thanks heaps

Desy

7. Re: Customs box at train station

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west australia
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628 posts
110 reviews
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8. Re: Customs box at train station

Hi Desy-

Yes that is what we did. We filled out refund form attached the original receipt. Checked the form twice to ensure we have filled it out correctly. Placed the form into the provided envelope and when we got to Lausanne we dropped it into the box that is attached to the wall located in the underground walkway where you access the different train lines.

Good luck

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9. Re: Customs box at train station

Thank you for confirming that. Now i dont have to worry chasing or looking for french customs. By the way, was it easy to take the train from Paris to Lausenne? Im a bit nervous that I might get lost or miss something. I bought the ticket online and got the tickets but not sure if they are real tickets or do I still need to exchange for a ticket?

Thanks

Desy

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10. Re: Customs box at train station

Hi there

Well I just put all documentations like tax forms from the retailers and receipts on global blue envelope and post them via the tax free box in train station@Lausanne. I hope I did it correctly as I could not find any custom officers on the train at all. Im a bit nervous that I might not get the refund for tax which is around $600aud. Finger crossed that I will get it in next 2 months.

Anyway Just want to say that yes I found the tax free box at Laussanbe train station.

Thanks