I'm confused about the Spanish tax for cruises

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#1
Toronto, Canada
444 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
I thought that I had understood that the onboard Spanish tax applies from all cruises that depart Spain (in my case Barcelona), unless they visit a non-EU country. Then today I read something that made me think that it only applies to cruises that BOTH start AND finish in Spain (and of course does not visit a non-EU country). Which interpretation is correct? In the cruise I am considering it startss Barcelona, finishes in Rome, but visits Gilbraltar. So other than when in Spanish waters, does the additional Spanish tax apply onboard for the whole cruise?

Thanks from utterly confused.
#3
Toronto, Canada
444 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
Originally posted by easyboy
Spain tax also applied when Turkey port was cancelled and replaced with EU port.


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But did your cruise both start AND end in Spain ?
#5
Toronto, Canada
444 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
Originally posted by easyboy
Yes.


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Thanks for sharing your experience but perhaps I wasn't explicit enough in my question. I would like to know if the Spanish tax applies if my cruise starts in Barcleona, but ENDs in Rome. As well does the fact that the ship calls at Gilbraltar mean that a non-EU country is involved and the tax would not be applied.
#6
U.K.
1,814 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
I have been charged Spanish tax on cruises starting and ending in the UK. It was added for any items purchased while the ship was docked in a Spanish port or was in Spanish waters.
#7
Romsey England
11,154 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
A call at Gib is the important factor, not whether the destination is in Italy or back in Barca.

Being pedantic, Gib is actually in the EU.
But importantly it's not in the EU customs union - so Spanish taxes will not apply cruise-long.
Mebbe until the ship has left Spanish waters, but not beyond.

That's an advantage of a port-of-call in Gib. Or Tunisia or Morocco or Turkey or (until it joined the EU a few years ago) Croatia.
Same applies to Jersey, Guernsey etc on a British Isles cruise - they're outside the EU customs area.

For whatever reason, whereas most cruise lines are aware of the regs and deliberately include one of those ports, NCL offers a lot of cruises from Barca which don't call at a non-EU port resulting in that extra cost cruise-long.

JB

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#8
Barcelona (CATALONIA)
259 Posts
Joined Jan 2016
JB... no such thing as "Barca". The name of the city is Barcelona, or if you want to be ridiculously posh, Barna. The short name "Barça" -pronounced "bar-sah" is only applicable to the football team. Other than that, the word "barca" in Catalan -the local language- refers to a "small boat"... but never to the city (of Barcelona).

Some literature on VAT tax on cruisers in Europe:

http://www.travelweekly.com/Cruise-T...inted-with-VAT

https://ask.cunard.com/help/on-shore/iva_tax
#9
Romsey England
11,154 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
Originally posted by EnricM
JB... no such thing as "Barca". The name of the city is Barcelona, or if you want to be ridiculously posh, Barna. The short name "Barça" -pronounced "bar-sah" is only applicable to the football team. Other than that, the word "barca" in Catalan -the local language- refers to a "small boat"... but never to the city (of Barcelona).

Some literature on VAT tax on cruisers in Europe:

http://www.travelweekly.com/Cruise-T...inted-with-VAT

https://ask.cunard.com/help/on-shore/iva_tax
So now you know my favourite sport, Enric.

Thanks for the correction. A shame, because Barca is so much easier on my typing finger than Barcelona.

JB
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#10
Toronto, Canada
444 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
Originally posted by John Bull
A call at Gib is the important factor, not whether the destination is in Italy or back in Barca.

Being pedantic, Gib is actually in the EU.
But importantly it's not in the EU customs union - so Spanish taxes will not apply cruise-long.
Mebbe until the ship has left Spanish waters, but not beyond.

That's an advantage of a port-of-call in Gib. Or Tunisia or Morocco or Turkey or (until it joined the EU a few years ago) Croatia.
Same applies to Jersey, Guernsey etc on a British Isles cruise - they're outside the EU customs area.

For whatever reason, whereas most cruise lines are aware of the regs and deliberately include one of those ports, NCL offers a lot of cruises from Barca which don't call at a non-EU port resulting in that extra cost cruise-long.

JB

.
Thanks for the clarification.
#12
Cork, Ireland
1,105 Posts
Joined Dec 2010
European VAT is slightly different to North American Sales taxes in that the advertised price must include the VAT. It cannot be added to the bill afterwards as happens in N. America. This is European Law, and if the ship is charging VAT because of European Law then they should follow ALL of the law

So, if your ship's bar has a menu/price list it must include the VAT and the VAT should not be an additional charge. They may of course have two price lists, one with VAT and one without VAT.
#13
Barcelona (CATALONIA)
259 Posts
Joined Jan 2016
@JB... I hope then you are a fan of the club, yeah? LOL!

@VMax1700, that's indeed so but it wouldn't surprise me if, given the mess of going in and out of different territorial waters -noting that different countries have different VAT %s- there was some sort of "exception" to the law by which in these cases (sales on ships) there was a single price list and VAT was applied afterwards. Funny thing is that the same beer in one country's territorial waters might cost X and the same product in another port might cost Y.
#14
Morecambe, UK
768 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
Originally posted by VMax1700
European VAT is slightly different to North American Sales taxes in that the advertised price must include the VAT. It cannot be added to the bill afterwards as happens in N. America. This is European Law, and if the ship is charging VAT because of European Law then they should follow ALL of the law



So, if your ship's bar has a menu/price list it must include the VAT and the VAT should not be an additional charge. They may of course have two price lists, one with VAT and one without VAT.


This did not happen.

My Mum had on board credit left so we bought a necklace. It was $80 + VAT of 21%. All the shops did this.

When I bought a can of Red Bull to go with my free vodka it was $4.95 + VAT and came to about $6.74.


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#15
Romsey England
11,154 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
Originally posted by Ned11
This did not happen.

My Mum had on board credit left so we bought a necklace. It was $80 + VAT of 21%. All the shops did this.

When I bought a can of Red Bull to go with my free vodka it was $4.95 + VAT and came to about $6.74.


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Whereas in the US the sales tax is added at the register, as VMax has posted in the EU the VAT has to be included in the sticker price on goods/services for sale to the consumer. So in Barcelona the advertised price of a necklace or a Vodka / Red Bull includes that tax.

Quite possibly cruise lines are theoretically breaking the law, but in the circumstances a blind eye is being turned. Or mebbe they have dispensation.

VAT rates vary for different types of product / service, and EU countries are free to set their own levels of VAT.

JB
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#16
Morecambe, UK
768 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
Originally posted by John Bull
Whereas in the US the sales tax is added at the register, as VMax has posted in the EU the VAT has to be included in the sticker price on goods/services for sale to the consumer. So in Barcelona the advertised price of a necklace or a Vodka / Red Bull includes that tax.



Quite possibly cruise lines are theoretically breaking the law, but in the circumstances a blind eye is being turned. Or mebbe they have dispensation.



VAT rates vary for different types of product / service, and EU countries are free to set their own levels of VAT.



JB


Living in the U.K. our VAT rate is 20% and included in all prices shown. I go to the US every year and understand the state tax is added when you pay. But the cruise was just a different thing all together.


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Sailed NCL Epic 14th May 2017 - 4th cruise and got the buzz again.

Sailed Explorer of the Seas 18th April 2013 - 3rd cruise and need to look for another!!

Sailed Mariner of the Seas 9th June 2012 - 2nd cruise and couldn't wait to book my next!!

Sailed Majesty of the Seas 1st July 2011 - My first cruise and I'm hooked!!