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What is the Certificate of Refund Entitlement?

An Official Participant of the Expo 2020 Dubai (both registered and not registered for VAT) must apply for a Certificate of Refund Entitlement before attempting to reclaim VAT on Goods and Services without the need to use them for making taxable supplies:

  1. VAT incurred by the Official Participant on Goods and Services in direct connection with the construction, installation, alteration, decoration, and dismantlement of their exhibition space;
  2. VAT incurred by the Official Participant on Goods and Services in direct connection with the operation of their exhibition space and any presentation within the Expo 2020 site;

A certificate reference number will be provided to the Official Participant and must be referenced in all special refund applications concerning Goods and Services that fall under categories A and B.

Eligibility Criteria for the Certificate of Refund Entitlement

In order to be eligible to apply for the Certificate:

  • The applicant must be an Official Participant of the Expo 2020 in Dubai, holding a valid Expo 2020 trade license number.
  • Not more than 20% of the exhibition space or presentation is, has been, or is intended to be used for non-official or commercial purposes.

If the Certificate of Refund Entitlement is not granted to the Official Participant (for example, if more than 20% of exhibition space will be used for non-official or commercial purposes), the Official Participant will not be able to reclaim full amount of VAT in respect of Goods and Services under Categories A and B under the special rules. Instead, the Official Participant may need to consider if any VAT related to such Goods and Services may be recoverable under the general VAT rules applicable to VAT-registered person.

How to apply for the Certificate of Refund Entitlement

An application should be made directly to the Bureau by completing an application form and submitting it to the Bureau by email. Details are in the following section.

 Certificate of Refund Entitlement Request Form (Request Form)

To apply for the Certificate, a Request Form must be provided by the Official Participant to the Bureau. This should include the following information:

  • Area of the pavilion (in square meters) used by the Official Participant.
  • Location of the pavilion.
  • Details and percentage of commercial use of space (if any).
  • A detailed description of the purpose of the pavilion space.
  • The declaration which will include confirmation on the following:
  1. That notification to the Bureau will be made should any changes occur that would affect the eligibility to a Certificate of Refund Entitlement.
  2. The understanding that the Certificate of Refund Entitlement only gives the right to claim VAT on Goods and Services under categories A and B mentioned in section 3.2 above.

Supporting documents

The following supporting documents must be provided with the application for a Certificate of Refund Entitlement:

  • Expo 2020 trade license
  • Scan of passport and Emirates ID of the Section Commissioner-General of the Official Participant.

Processing the Certificate of Refund Entitlement application by the Bureau

It will take the Bureau up to 20 business days to review the application.

If accepted, the Bureau will issue the Certificate of Refund Entitlement within 10 business days. The certificate will be provided in letter format and will be signed by the Bureau, scanned and sent by email. The Certificate will have a unique reference number.

Unless withdrawn or canceled, the Certificate of Refund Entitlement will be valid for all qualifying expenses incurred for the purposes of Expo 2020. The Bureau will not charge a fee for such a Certificate.

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The entire contents of this article is solely for information purpose and have been prepared on the basis of relevant provisions and as per the information existing at the time of the preparation.. It doesn't constitute professional advice or a formal recommendation. The author has undertook utmost care to disseminate the true and correct view and doesn't accept liability for any errors or omissions. You are kindly requested to verify & confirm the updates from the genuine sources before acting on any of the information's provided herein above.

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