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OTELLO (Online Tax Refund at Exit: Light Lane Optimization)

Instructions for VAT refund/relief are described in the “VAT refund” section.

Travelers' Customs Charter
Visit the Traveler's Customs Charter section, an easy and user-friendly tool to know the main customs rules. A helpful tool for people arriving in or leaving from Italy, so that they can prepare in advance any necessary documents.

From May 1st to October 15th the city of Milan will host a unique event: EXPO Milano 2015, a Universal Exhibition with absolutely peculiar ad innovative features. Not a simple exhibition, but also a participating process to actively involve several stakeholders around a crucial theme: Feeding the Planet, Energy for life.

The Italian Customs Administration has developed and implemented a specific plan supporting EXPO through innovative procedures (clearance-at-sea and in-air, one-stop-shop controls, fast corridors, ...) for the fast and secure delivery of the goods destined to Expo 2015 and to ensure the facilitation measures foreseen for the participating countries. The list of the innovations implemented and the relevant instructions are included in the EXPO section of the Agency’s portal and is constantly updated.

The Agency’s plan also includes simplification initiatives to the benefit of foreign visitors: O.T.E.L.L.O. (Online Tax Refund at Exit: Light Lane Optimization).

O.T.E.L.L.O. enables the digitalization of the procedure to obtain the “customs stamp” on the invoice, in order to be entitled to the direct relief or the subsequent refund of the VAT due on the goods purchased on the Italian national territory by individuals residing or having their domicile outside the EU.

According to Art. 38-quater of Presidential Decree 633/1972, the requisites to obtain the relief/refund are the following:

  • the value of the goods purchased, stated in each single invoice, shall exceed € 154.94; the goods shall be for personal or family use;
  • the invoice shall bear the data of the passport or other equivalent document proving that the traveler resides or has his/her domicile outside the EU;
  • the goods shall leave the EU territory by the third month following the date of issue of the invoice, as proved by the “customs stamp”.

After the “customs stamp” is obtained and by the fourth month following the issue of the invoice, the traveler sends the invoice to the retailer, that will reimburse the amount due according to what agreed upon purchase, or will settle the tax relief.

O.T.E.L.LO. dialogues with the process stakeholders through XML messages exchanged via Web Service, therefore the queues to obtain the “customs stamp” are reduced, while the effectiveness and efficiency of controls are increased thanks to risk analysis based on the objective and subjective parameters of the relief/refund applications.