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Pearl64

Additional tax when in Spanish and Italian waters

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Our cruise Dubai to Barcelona on the Nautica will have stops in Italy (Trapani) and end in Barcelona. As I recall on past cruises we had additional tax while we were in Spanish and Italian waters. Does anyone know if this is still true, the extra percentage, and if it includes anything besides alcohol? Thank you. Several of us on our roll call would like this information.

 

I did try the search function but since the overhaul of this site, I have not figured everything out yet.

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Technically yes.  Fortunately it is not a closed Eu loop cruise.  So it only happens in port or in Italian/Spanish waters.

VAT is on the alcohol and any purchases made in the shops.  While in port and in these waters you are safe as the shops are likely closed.

 

Spain VAT is 21% goods and 10% alcohol

Italy is 22% and 10%

 

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Thank you for verifying. We will make certain our wine is purchased before we hit Italian waters. This additional tax will come as a big surprise to many on our cruise. Is it just good and alcohol? Does it apply to services like the spa?

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So if it is not a close loop trip, would there be taxes in French ports, too?

 

Is there a certain "distance from land" before taxes stop, or is it as soon as the ship leaves port?

 

GC

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29 minutes ago, Pearl64 said:

Thank you for verifying. We will make certain our wine is purchased before we hit Italian waters. This additional tax will come as a big surprise to many on our cruise. Is it just good and alcohol? Does it apply to services like the spa?

Patty,

 

I was curious about your question so I've been googling.  I saw a post from a 2017 cruise NOT on Oceania, but I assume this would be the case on any line and in his case the spa DID charge the VAT in Spanish and Italian waters, also Brazil.  Is it still the case?  I would assume so.

 

There are lots of threads regarding this -- at least lots of comments!

 

We normally don't do much by way of the spa and don't buy that many drinks, only very occasionally in a bar.  Howard's usual tipple is orange juice, no ice, so he's not a problem ... whereas I would be!

 

I think the rule is "until you reach a non-EU port" or are 12 miles outside of the territorial waters.  No expertise here since we pretty much ignore these restrictions!  If we're in a suite that gives us liquor (this has happened but certainly not on the majority of our cruises) then we don't worry about it.  I usually bring on a bottle or two (at least) for consumption in our room -- or pay the corkage if we take the bottle to the dining room.

 

Check your itinerary!

 

Have a wonderful cruise, Mura

 

(Had to cancel my April 4th NY-Southampton because of Howard's vision problems, and then my travel companion just discovered she recently had a heart attack and has a totally blocked artery, so it's good for her that we cancelled before any payments were due!)

 

Extra P.S.  I think this was also the rule when we were in Brazil waters in 2013.

 

Edited by Mura
Additional info

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2 hours ago, GeezerCouple said:

So if it is not a close loop trip, would there be taxes in French ports, too?

 

 

It has been a few year since in France    but I do not think they have jumped on this bandwagon...YET 

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6 hours ago, edgee said:

See article posted one year ago on Cruise Critic about VATs.

https://www.cruisecritic.com/articles.cfm?ID=3242

Great information, but the problem with all of this is that everything is changing so quickly Internationally that for good or for bad, the front line Customs people are making it up as they go along, just to get through the day.

 

To make matters worse, the staff in the Duty Free shops, who normally get trained once when they begin their careers, are now expected to attend frequent (i.e. more often than monthly) unpaid Seminars, just to stay somewhat current.  

 

My point is that "the tax is what the tax is" according to local interpretation when you get your bill. 

 

Disputes must be submitted in triplicate, care of Ms. Helen Back.  

 

 

 

 

 

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On your cruise, the point is.  Make your purchases ahead of time.  If internet package is needed buy it before you touch a Europe port.  Same for a beverage package and of course any large purchases in the shops.

Rules change but I expect more countries to jump on the tax it than off the tax it bandwagon.  In most places taxes never go down.  VAT used to be 18 and 8% in Spain -- now it is 21 and 10%

 

Tax is on goods and services -- so yes SPA is taxable.

Edited by PaulMCO

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Onshore, VAT is already included in the prices. Those taxes aren’t added on later as in the US. Great wine can be found in most EU countries ( outside the Baltic) at great prices! So for those that refuse to buy ashore and prefer to take the easy way out and buy aboard ship , the extra VAT just adds insult to injury. Buy those wines on shore, it’s really that simple!

 

As Paul says for other items PPPPPP!

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19 hours ago, PaulMCO said:

Technically yes.  Fortunately it is not a closed Eu loop cruise.  So it only happens in port or in Italian/Spanish waters.

VAT is on the alcohol and any purchases made in the shops.  While in port and in these waters you are safe as the shops are likely closed.

 

Spain VAT is 21% goods and 10% alcohol

Italy is 22% and 10%

 

Does it work the same way in Brazil? 

25% on goods and less on the liquor?

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We are booked on the April 18 Sirena cruise departing from Rio.  After reading comments on this thread, I was curious about whether the VAT would be added onto the listed price for the beverage package if purchased onboard while in Rio.  I was told that the listed price, $59.95/day for the prestige beverage package includes taxes.  There are no extra charges. 

I had a transcript of this live chat emailed to myself if I need to dispute any extra charge.

 

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I haven’t yet done that cruise. Here are two possible options:

 

If you have selected the standard beverage package as your OLife option , this is done beforehand, so the only transaction in Rio is the $20/ day upgrade .

1. You might indeed pay the VAT on the upgrade or $5/ day extra. In that case I’d only initially buy enough days to get me out of Brazil, then pay again for the remainder of the cruise. That’s legal and acceptable.

 

2. Oceania could eat the VAT! Charge you the $20 rate inclusive of VAT and pay the calculated taxes to Brazil. So the charges would be $16 for the package upgrade and $4 VAT = $20.

 

 

Edited by pinotlover

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14 minutes ago, ruthnlarry said:

We are booked on the April 18 Sirena cruise departing from Rio.  After reading comments on this thread, I was curious about whether the VAT would be added onto the listed price for the beverage package if purchased onboard while in Rio.  I was told that the listed price, $59.95/day for the prestige beverage package includes taxes.  There are no extra charges. 

I had a transcript of this live chat emailed to myself if I need to dispute any extra charge.

 

There is a semantic dissonance at work here.

 

The $59.95 charge provides cocktails on a tax free basis, that is true.

I.E. there are no taxes assessed on a drink by drink basis, whilst using the Package after the purchase.

 

However, whether a value added tax is assessed on the $59.95 purchase itself, is not within the purview of Oceania Cruises.  They are merely collecting the taxes after all, not assessing them or benefiting from them.

 

I know that we have paid VAT on Beverage Packages purchased on Cruises starting in Spain.  

 

 

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42 minutes ago, pinotlover said:

I haven’t yet done that cruise. Here are two possible options:

 

If you have selected the standard beverage package as your OLife option , this is done beforehand, so the only transaction in Rio is the $20/ day upgrade .

1. You might indeed pay the VAT on the upgrade or $5/ day extra. In that case I’d only initially buy enough days to get me out of Brazil, then pay again for the remainder of the cruise. That’s legal and acceptable.

 

2. Oceania could eat the VAT! Charge you the $20 rate inclusive of VAT and pay the calculated taxes to Brazil. So the charges would be $16 for the package upgrade and $4 VAT = $20.

 

 

We did not select the standard beverage package as our OLife option.

Below is the transcript of part of our live chat:

(06:28:59) Visitor 9888409: Hello. We are booked on the April 18 Sirena cruise from Rio to Barcelona. If I buy the prestige beverage package on day 1, is a VAT added to the $59.95/day charge?
(06:30:01) Customer Service: We apologize for keeping you waiting. Our representatives are busy at the moment, we will get back to you shortly.
(06:45:09) *** Val Muelle joined the chat ***
(06:45:16) Val Muelle: Hello my name is VAl. I will be happy to assist you
(06:45:28) Val Muelle: The $59.95 per day will include taxes
(06:46:17) Visitor 9888409: Thanks. So, there is no added VAT? People on Cruise Critic are saying there is a VAT, but I never heard of that.
(06:47:15) Val Muelle: Correct. There should not be any extra charges.
(06:47:48) Visitor 9888409: Thanks a lot. I will also post this on CC. Have a great day!
(06:48:39) Val Muelle: You are very welcome

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Please be aware that the customer relations people you talk to on the phone can be misinformed on matters. You having a recording of their error may or may not affect what you pay.

 

We always utilize our TA when we have such questions, because their sources within Oceania is far more knowledgeable than those answering the 1-800 line.

 

Good Luck!

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1 minute ago, pinotlover said:

Please be aware that the customer relations people you talk to on the phone can be misinformed on matters. You having a recording of their error may or may not affect what you pay.

 

We always utilize our TA when we have such questions, because their sources within Oceania is far more knowledgeable than those answering the 1-800 line.

 

Good Luck!

The "live chat" was a written communication with Oceania customer service through a link on their website.  The exact written transcript of our communication was emailed to me by Oceania.  This was not a verbal communication.

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Her comment at 06:47:15 says “should not” instead of “will not”.  To me that means she doesn’t think there would be ... not that she knows for certain that there definitely would not be any extra charges.  Just my humble interpretation.

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technically Spain cannot impose the VAT when the ship is in another EU country

Monaco is not part of the EU , neither are the Canary Islands or Gibraltar ( more clearly as Monaco it seems ) and the Channel Islands

in Germany : the isle Helgoland is not part of the EU but the ship cannot sell duty free as the see around are German territorial waters …

Madeira - Portugal - however  is part of the EU

I recently was on the Riviera departure  Miami and when the ship was docked a 7 % sales taks was charged as well - however not on packages - only on  individual drinks bought "outside the packages "

 

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39 minutes ago, vistaman said:

technically Spain cannot impose the VAT when the ship is in another EU country

Monaco is not part of the EU , neither are the Canary Islands or Gibraltar ( more clearly as Monaco it seems ) and the Channel Islands

in Germany : the isle Helgoland is not part of the EU but the ship cannot sell duty free as the see around are German territorial waters …

Madeira - Portugal - however  is part of the EU

I recently was on the Riviera departure  Miami and when the ship was docked a 7 % sales taks was charged as well - however not on packages - only on  individual drinks bought "outside the packages "

 

You will find that Spain has the authority to impose their taxes on vessels which embark from Spanish Ports until and unless that ship lands at a free port such as Monaco, or a Port outside of the EU.

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1 hour ago, ruthnlarry said:

The "live chat" was a written communication with Oceania customer service through a link on their website.  The exact written transcript of our communication was emailed to me by Oceania.  This was not a verbal communication.

Oceania customer service is not known for always providing correct and up to date info - a spoonful of salt is suggested :classic_biggrin:

The representative might have meant that no tax will be added to each individual drink in the package; this is different from a VAT that is charged for the purchase of goods.

JMO.

Edited by Paulchili

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Just now, ruthnlarry said:

The "live chat" was a written communication with Oceania customer service through a link on their website.  The exact written transcript of our communication was emailed to me by Oceania.  This was not a verbal communication.

I  would prepurchase the beverage package  before you board  unless you want to test whether the Rep was right or not

JMO

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7 minutes ago, LHT28 said:

I  would prepurchase the beverage package  before you board  unless you want to test whether the Rep was right or not

JMO

I would if I could.

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My upcoming May 3 Riviera cruise Barcelona to Rome stops two days in Monaco as well as in Toulon, Antibes and Corsica before proceeding to Italian ports. So does that mean I do not have to pay VAT on every drink or bottle of wine I purchase on board or only not those two days in Monaco or only when in the Spanish and Italian ports and nearby waters and not in French ports or waters or what?  I clearly and confessedly am confused after reading all of the above posts.

 

Thanks in advance for your knowledgeable responses.

Edited by CintiPam

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some specialised financial lawyers do pretend Spain cannot impose the VAT in another country - it is Europe but there is no universal VAT - for instance essential food and medication is free of VAT in GB - for the moment  6 % in Belgium on those.

so far no single cruise company was intending to go to the European court probably caused by the costly procedure and the risk to endure hefty inspections etc or even banned from Spanish ports

customs can be very  easy or extremely difficult …

the contradiction is that all goods  - food drinks fuel - so really everything - delivered to sea going ships - and in Belgium and the Netherlands for sure  also on river vessels -  are free of taxes -   they call it delivery  "free on board"  or FOB

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