Global Blue Adds Colombia to Its Growing List of Markets in the Americas

  • The Colombian Government has made Global Blue the country’s exclusive Tax Free Shopping provider, following a competitive tender process
  • Visitors to Colombia will now be able to save almost 12% on their purchases, increasing their spending power and boosting the country’s attractiveness as a shopping destination

  • Key inbound markets include the USA and regional Central/South American countries[1]. An estimated 3.5 million visitors[2] per year will be eligible for Tax Free Shopping in Colombia

  • Global Blue will provide its advanced, fully digital Tax Free Shopping service in Colombia, including digital issuing solutions, customs validation and refund methods

Global Blue has been awarded the exclusive contract to provide Colombia’s Tax Free Shopping services by DIAN (Direccion de Impuestos y Aduanas Nacionales), Colombia’s National Directorate of Taxes and Customs, as the country endeavours to attract greater spend from international shoppers.

The news comes shortly after Global Blue was also appointed Tax Free Shopping provider for Peru, growing its total number of markets in the Americas to include Colombia, Peru, Argentina, the Bahamas, and Uruguay.

Colombia Can Now Strengthen Its Draw to International Shoppers, Offering Savings of Almost 12%

Tax Free Shopping will enable international visitors to Colombia to save almost 12% on their purchases, thanks to a VAT refund. This means Colombian retailers can offer better value to international customers and help to boost their spending power when shopping in Colombian stores.

With recent years displaying a strong growth in international arrivals to Colombia, around 3.5million visitors a year are expected to be eligible for Tax Free Shopping. Key nationalities include the USA (22% of international arrivals in 2019), Venezuela (12%) and other Central/South American markets including Mexico (6%), Peru (6%) and Argentina (5%).

To qualify, visitors must be a non-Colombian national and a non-resident, spend a minimum of COP114 012 (approximately 25EUR) on any type of goods, including watches and jewellery, souvenirs and leather goods, and exit via a main port or airport.

Colombia’s Retailers, Custom Authorities and International Visitors Will Benefit from Global Blue’s Leading Tax Free Technology

From March 1, 2023 Global Blue will bring its innovative technology to Colombia, digitising each part of the Tax Free journey, including:

  • Digital issuing services for merchants, making the in-store experience seamless for merchants and their customers.
  • Digital customs validation for DIAN, which enables international shoppers to independently gain export validation for their Tax Free Shopping purchases, via their mobile phones or at digital airport kiosks, streamlining the customs process and reducing time spent at the airport.
  • A wide range of digital refund payment methods for international shoppers, enabling them to enjoy a personalised experience and choose the payment method that works best for them.

Colombia’s steady growth of inbound tourism and well-developed retail sector puts the country in a prime position to benefit from a Tax Free Shopping scheme, boosting its appeal to international shoppers and empowering them to increase their spend. We’d like to thank DIAN for awarding us the contract and we look forward to commencing the partnership.

Alejandro Buero
Global Blue Managing Director Americas, Global Blue

Implementing this advanced Tax Free Shopping scheme will boost Colombia’s international retail offering and increase our competitiveness as a travel destination. Global Blue’s expertise and knowledge of international shoppers will enable local merchants to capture the growth of this market and bring more spend into our stores. We look forward to experiencing the benefits.

Mr. Luis Carlos Reyes Hernádes
General Director DIAN

Media Contacts

Virginie Alem – SVP Marketing & Communications

Investor Relations Contacts

Frances Gibbons – Head of Investor Relations
Mob: +44 (0)7815 034 212 


Global Blue pioneered the concept of Tax Free Shopping 40 years ago. Through continuous innovation, we have become the leading strategic technology and payments partner, empowering retailers to improve their performance and shoppers to enhance their experience.

Global Blue offers innovative solutions in three different fields:

  • Tax Free Shopping: Helping retailers at over 300,000 points of sale to efficiently manage 35 million Tax Free Shopping transactions a year, thanks to its fully integrated in-house technology platform. Meanwhile, its industry-leading digital Tax Free shopper solutions create a better, more seamless customer experience.
  • Payment services: Providing a full suite of foreign exchange and Payments technology solutions that allow acquirers, hotels, and retailers to offer value-added services and improve the customer experience during 31 million payment transactions a year at 130,000 points of interaction.
  • Complementary RetailTech: Offering new technology solutions to retailers, including digital receipts and eCommerce returns, that can be easily integrated with their core systems and allow them to optimize and digitalize their processes throughout the omni-channel customer journey, both in-store and online.

In addition, our data and advisory services offer a strategic advisory to help retailers identify opportunities for growth, while our shopper experience and engagement solutions provide data-driven solutions to increase footfall, convert footfall to revenue and enhance performance.

For more information, visit

Pre-pandemic figures FY 2019-20, Source: Global Blue

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