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cruisestitch

Spanish VAT in Bilbao — be aware

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Many have questions about the Spanish VAT (Especially on cruises which include Gibraltar, which ours does). and that’s why I posted this.

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Good to be reminded.

We were charged local sales tax on  Tuscan specialty dining in SF, USA,.  It was re-booked for the  15% E+ discount the night we were there  overnight,  They had to add the tax & never explained that,..  Now we always ask whenever we are overnight in a port if any extra charges will be applied. 

Edited by hcat

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We're doing a 7-night Med cruise next month out of Barcelona and not stopping at any non-EU countries.  I've been warning everyone on the Roll Call to purchase your food & beverage packages thru the Cruise Planner ahead of time because they will be subject to the VAT once we are on board.  Most likely the VAT will include purchases in the shops when they are open.  🍷

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3 hours ago, cruisestitch said:

Many have questions about the Spanish VAT (Especially on cruises which include Gibraltar, which ours does). and that’s why I posted this.

 

Does this mean VAT is applicable even if Gibraltar is included? This is one of the ports on our May 10 Apex Iberian Peninsula sailing and I thought we’d be exempted. No overnights in any port. Thanks for clarifying 😊

Edited by prish

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I wish I could clarify.  We have Gibraltar and I was also under the impression that it would exempt this cruise.  But apparently not.  Was it because of the overnight?  Or something else?  I will try to find out.

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It is similar to sailing out of Barcelona, irrespective of whether you are visiting a non-EU port, whilst still in Spanish waters the VAT charge applies. Though X tend to do everything on paper and put it through the tills once they have sailed out of Spanish waters to avoid the VAT. Our recent sailing with all EU ports had a 22% charge applied in the shops throughout the sailing.

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This may be a specific Spanish issue as I have not come across it from other EU ports.

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24 minutes ago, downsmead said:

This may be a specific Spanish issue as I have not come across it from other EU ports.

We did a TA from Rome with a port visit to Barcelona.  We were warned by the crew that while in port we would be charged the VAT on bar purchases.  🍷

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What if you purchased a beverage package in advance?  Do they still add the VAT to drinks at the bar?

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21 minutes ago, mitz18 said:

What if you purchased a beverage package in advance?  Do they still add the VAT to drinks at the bar?

No.  They add VAT only if you "purchase" a drink at the bar.  You will get a slip to sign for the cost of the drink, the gratuity for the drink, and the VAT for the drink.  🍷

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4 minutes ago, Wine-O said:

No.  They add VAT only if you "purchase" a drink at the bar.  You will get a slip to sign for the cost of the drink, the gratuity for the drink, and the VAT for the drink.  🍷

 

Thanks - just 1 more reason for the bev pkg 😀

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1 hour ago, downsmead said:

This may be a specific Spanish issue as I have not come across it from other EU ports.

Afraid not. If the ship only visits EU countries, vat is due on all sales during the cruise. If it stays overnight in an EU country the VAT rate of the country you are in is applied to all sales while in port and until the ship leaves that country's waters.

 

In this case it is the overnight stay that causes the vat as otherwise there would be no vat for the whole cruise due to the Gibraltar stop.

Edited by Gordoncruickshank

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15 minutes ago, Guindalf said:

Gibraltar is not in Spain (or Portugal). It is actually a UK dependancy!

And it is not part of the EU which is why many cruises stop there to make the cruise not liable to local vat.

Edited by Gordoncruickshank

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29 minutes ago, mitz18 said:

 

Thanks - just 1 more reason for the bev pkg 😀

As long as you didn't buy the package while in port or during an overnight stay. If the cruise does not leave the EU you have to buy the package before the cruise. 

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6 hours ago, Gordoncruickshank said:

And it is not part of the EU which is why many cruises stop there to make the cruise not liable to local vat.

 

Thank you Gordoncruikshank, this is what I thought too. Porting in Gibraltar is similar to Guernsey, mainly to avoid paying VAT.

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6 hours ago, STLCRUISIN said:

Is there a VAT tax on the ships when docked in Italy. 

It depends on itinerary and whether or not your ship stops in a non-EU port.  🍷

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8 hours ago, prish said:

 

Thank you Gordoncruikshank, this is what I thought too. Porting in Gibraltar is similar to Guernsey, mainly to avoid paying VAT.

I really can't think of any other reason to go there unless your are looking to buy cheap cigarettes or alcohol. I have been several times and am in no rush to return.

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10 hours ago, STLCRUISIN said:

Is there a VAT tax on the ships when docked in Italy. 

I think there is VAT in every port while the ship is docked in the EU which is why the shops do not open until after the ship has sailed and is out of local waters.

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9 hours ago, Gordoncruickshank said:

I think there is VAT in every port while the ship is docked in the EU which is why the shops do not open until after the ship has sailed and is out of local waters.

 

I've not tried as we always have a drink package but prior to drink packages I bought a round of drinks in Fort Lauderdale prior to setting sail and was charged Florida sales tax.  Another warning  that we found out last cruise.   While in Spanish waters the ship is prohibited from selling cigarettes.  

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