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Shopping in Belarus

What to bring from Belarus? Why is shopping in this country cheap and convenient? What Belarusian brands are famous in the world?

People come to Belarus to see unique architectural sites, learn about the authentic Belarusian culture, enjoy the nature, spend some time in health resorts, and see top sports competitions. Besides, the Belarusian holidays can include a good shopping program.

Shopping in Belarus means:

  • high-quality Belarusian brands (clothes, shoes, accessories, cosmetics)
  • unique souvenirs
  • delicious, natural products and beverages
  • world’s brands and latest designer items
  • reasonable prices
  • holiday sales, discounts, discount programs
  • good service

Belarus has shopping facilities of all kinds that will satisfy everyone’s tastes: large outlets and shopping malls, chain stores of the leading Belarusian enterprises, boutiques, hypermarkets, markets of food and consumer goods, and fairs (including international ones).

Belarusian shops offer discounts and other bonus programs:

  • Christmas and New Year sales
  • holiday sales around Women’s Day (8 March), Defenders' Day (23 February), St. Valentine's Day, Easter
  • fairs ahead of a new school year
  • fashion events: Belarusian Flax, Belarusian Knit-Wear, Meet Summer in Belarusian Style, etc.
  • nights of total sales, and many others.

Besides, large shopping centers and networks of chain stores regular conduct discount programs.

Several stores in different Belarusian cities participate in international programs (the AUTOHELP system):

  • Minsk City Guest Card
  • Republic of Belarus Guest Card

Most of the Belarusian stores are open from 9.00-10.00 till 20.00-21.00, large malls till 22.00. Supermarkets and hypermarkets are open from 8.00-9.00 till 23.00-24.00.

What to buy in Belarus?

Belarusian guests usually buy goods produced by Belarusian enterprises, since they appreciate their high quality, organic qualities and design.

People usually buy – clothes, shoes, fancy goods, cosmetics, home textiles, tableware, souvenirs, sweets and chocolate, alcoholic beverages.

Here you can learn what unusual goods can be bought at Belarusian shops and what Belarusian manufacturers are famous for, and make a shopping list in advance.

Shopping in Minsk

In Minsk there are several popular shopping centers that offer a wide choice of goods: the famous GUM Department Store and TsUM Department Store, the Nemiga shopping center, the Belarus Department Store, the shopping centers Stolitsa, Zhdanovichi, Arena City, Zamok,
Dana Mall, Galleria Minsk, Galileo…

Best Shopping Centers in Minsk will help you plan your shopping in the Belarusian capital city.

How to pay at Belarusian stores?

In Belarus you can pay for the purchases in cash with Belarusian rubles. In shopping centers there are currency exchange booths and cash machines.

Credit cards of international payment systems are also accepted.

Tax Free in Belarus

In 2013 Belarus started introducing the Tax Free system that helps foreign nationals get back the VAT on the purchases made in Belarus.

Any foreigner (who lives outside the Eurasian Economic Union) can use the Tax Free service. If you live inside the Eurasian Economic Union, you will not be able to use the Tax Free service. At present the customs union of the Eurasian Economic Union includes Belarus, Russia, Kazakhstan, Armenia, and Kyrgyzstan.

Over 400 shops are connected to the Tax Free system in Belarus. Buyers get 12.5% of their money back.

To use the Tax Free system, a person should:

  • buy goods worth at least Br80 in one Belarusian shop, operating the tax free system, within one day;
  • get three copies of the Tax Free receipt from the shop (you need a passport or an equivalent document). Take the first Tax Free receipt and a second copy for the customs service and a special prepaid envelope;
  • produce the receipts at the border checkpoint as you leave the country in order to get a customs seal. The purchased goods must be unused and in undamaged packaging at the time;
  • use your Tax Free receipt and fill in the field describing your preferred way of getting your money back (bank card information, signature), put the receipt into the envelope, and drop it into a mailbox at the border checkpoint or send it by mail from another country within six months after exporting the goods;
  • money will be wired to your bank card within 30 days after your letter is received.

Foreign nationals leaving Belarus can get the Tax Free cash refund at 27 Belarusbank offices.

VAT will not be returned if:

  • the goods in Belarus are exempt from VAT or subject to reduced VAT rates (food products);
  • the goods are excisable.
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