Confused about Spanish VAT!!

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Exiled Scot's, now in West Oxfordshire!!
784 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
Please can anybody set me straight, I have done a bit of research and this just gets more and more confusing.

We are on Adventure out of Malaga to the Canary Islands and Maderia, only stopping at Maderia, Tenerife, Lanzarote and Gran Canaria, before returning to Malaga.

My Question is since Maderia and the Canaries are NOT part of the EEC Vat regulations will we have to pay the Spanish VAT on everything once we have sailed from Malaga?

Anyone done the Canarys from Spain that can tell me?


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1,967 Posts
Joined Apr 2006
Greetings from Madrid.

Because the Canaries are not part of the VAT scheme, you should be exempt from VAT.

For example, when my company in Madrid bills a company in the Canaries, we do not charge VAT.

However, the Canaries has its own local tax in lieu of VAT called "IGIT".

It is unclear to me whether you will be charged that tax when sailing around the Canary Islands. I believe you won't be charged this tax, which is much lower than VAT anyway. Check with RCCL for a definitive answer, but you shouldn't be charged the tax.

Kind regards,

Gunther and Uta
Wht Mts, NH - Gulf Coast, FL
2,761 Posts
Joined Jun 2004
I am confused about the VAT too.
When we board BOS in Barcelona, will we pay tax on the wine package? Am wondering if we would be better to preorder.
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1,967 Posts
Joined Apr 2006
To know whether you will be charged VAT on your cruise from Barcelona, you need to check your itinerary to see if all of your itinerary ports of call are within the European Union.

If they are all within the European Union, you will be charged 8% VAT on drinks and 18% VAT on purchases (although the VAT is already included on the price tag for purchases).

The system will not allow you to pre-order any beverage packages or specialty restaurants on-line for cruises that charge VAT.

If your cruise includes at least one stop outside of the European Union, even though you end up going back into the European Union, then NO VAT is charged.

Hope this helps.

Kind regards,

Gunther and Uta
Manchester, UK
10,268 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Originally posted by CruisinGerman
The system will not allow you to pre-order any beverage packages or specialty restaurants on-line for cruises that charge VAT.
Apologies, but as I have mentioned in other replies, we were able to pre-order wine packages and book speciality restaurants on our recent May 2011 Liberty sailing out of Barcelona that only stopped at EU ports so VAT was charged. The prices quoted included a 8% VAT amount because if you check the prices for the items that can be pre-ordered on a sailing that does not levy the VAT, the prices are 8% lower.

We couldn't do it last year on an Adventure sailing out of Barcelona, but we could this year. So I'm not sure if it is only available on Liberty, but it can be done, because we did it.
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Peteukmcr from Manchester, UK