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Jim_Iain

Question - Med cruise with NO NON-EC Ports

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I will be on an Edge Greek Island Cruise in October 21 which does not have any Non-EC ports.    The ports of call for this cruise are ROME (CIVITAVECCHIA), ITALY, CATANIA (SICILY), ITALY, SANTORINI, GREECE,  ATHENS (PIRAEUS), GREECE,  MYKONOS, GREECE, NAUPLION, GREECE, KATAKOLON, GREECE, VALLETTA, MALTA and  NAPLES, ITALY

 

I've read here on CC and seen on Celebrity Site that VAT is charged for goods and services while aboard if the cruise has no Non-EC ports.   Does anyone know with certainty if VAT is charged on Excursions if purchased on board.    Also  interested ins finding out if specialty dining is subject to VAT

 

Below is from Celebrity FAQ

Please note: that some of our cruise itineraries call exclusively upon EU ports of call and for such cruises we are required to charge VAT (value added tax) on certain onboard goods and services depending on the VAT regulations of the home port country or the country of a port of call. Such VAT is charged on goods and services at the point of sale and is subsequently paid over to the country charging the VAT.   https://www.celebritycruises.co.uk/terms-and-conditions/before-you-sail-information/

 

 

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Jim, someone has asked a similar question over in the British Isles/Western Europe forum, and received several replies.   See if this helps you:

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Thank @Turtles06 was a good read.    The description is pretty much what I had expected.   Last year we were on a Med Cruise that had a non-EC so no problem.   It was being followed by a cruise with No Non-EC port.    The Crew were warning people on B2B's to buy Duty Free, Internet and Drink Packages and Upgrades in advance.    Even the crew have to pay the extra VAT for topping up their Internet minutes etc. 

 

I still am not really clear if VAT is charged on ship excursions booked on board as opposed to purchasing in advance.  I have a really large non-refundable OBC so have been booking tours today and a dinner at Eden.   I'll make sure I come back and update if a more definitive answer isn't received before October.

 

My main problem is I have called Captain's Club 3 times and gotten 3 different answers. 

Edited by Jim_Iain

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Posted (edited)

Here’s an idea. I don’t know if it will help but it’s worth a try. Look at an excursion on your trip and see what price they are listing. Then look at the same excursion on another itinerary that includes a non-eU portand see if they are charging a different price. So if your cruise is going to say Naples and another cruise is also going to Naples but that Cruise is leaving the EU, will the shore prices be the same or different ? that should help answer the question.  Maybe.  If the phase of the moon is right.

Edited by cruisestitch

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3 hours ago, Jim_Iain said:

I'll make sure I come back and update if a more definitive answer isn't received before October.

 

This would be much appreciated.

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3 hours ago, Jim_Iain said:

Thank @Turtles06 was a good read.    The description is pretty much what I had expected.   Last year we were on a Med Cruise that had a non-EC so no problem.   It was being followed by a cruise with No Non-EC port.    The Crew were warning people on B2B's to buy Duty Free, Internet and Drink Packages and Upgrades in advance.    Even the crew have to pay the extra VAT for topping up their Internet minutes etc. 

 

I still am not really clear if VAT is charged on ship excursions booked on board as opposed to purchasing in advance.  I have a really large non-refundable OBC so have been booking tours today and a dinner at Eden.   I'll make sure I come back and update if a more definitive answer isn't received before October.

 

My main problem is I have called Captain's Club 3 times and gotten 3 different answers. 

 

If I'm reading John Bull's post correctly (his answer is much more complete than mine), then VAT is included on the excursions regardless of when you buy, and possibly even regardless of whether you have a non-EU stop; the vendor is responsible for collecting and paying the VAT, and they're not on the ship. I don't think when you purchase will matter. I know that if you do a land-based trip to the EU, "services" aren't subject to VAT refunds, only goods.

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Just buy everything that you need before you board and you should be ok. Anything purchased on board will have VAT applied.

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Thanks for all the messages.   I have gone ahead and booked a number of excursions using up my non-refundable credits.   I'm sure I'll find out more once aboard.

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Remember the VAT Tax is refundable if you pay the threshold amount. Been a while so I'm not sure of the number. The last time I took a cruise where VAT Tax was charged they did the paperwork on the ship. I've also been in the situation where I had to fill out the forms at the airport, Barcelona comes to mind. I know it's an aggravation and it can take time to get a refund. 

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You cannot claim VAT refunds on drinks or dinners or services....only on items you have purchased and will be taking with you out of the EU.  A high-end purse, for instance.  Or expensive jewelry. 

 

it must be claimed as you leave the EU, so if you were able to do that on the ship, I’m guessing that was a transatlantic.  

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Your clarification is correct. I've been on several TAs where the forms were processed on the ship. When not on a TA it has been my experience that it is usually done at the airport, but it has been a while since I had enough to claim the VAT Tax refund.

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2 hours ago, cruisestitch said:

 

Thanks -  That further confirms most of what I thought.   I'm surprised that they say Specialty Dining is not charged VAT.   It is interesting that they indicate the Duty Free shops will be closed for the entire voyage.   Guess we are lucky we are on a B2B. 

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Mrsemmapeel just posted the VAT letter she received on Edge.  Unfortunately, I can't figure  out how to cut and paste it here.  Perhaps someone with more computer skills can do it.  VAT charged in shops, spa, Ilounge and photo.

 

I'm unclear if that means that internet purchased on board has VAT, or only items like iPads and headphones would have the VAT added.

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1 hour ago, cruisestitch said:

Mrsemmapeel just posted the VAT letter she received on Edge.  Unfortunately, I can't figure  out how to cut and paste it here.  Perhaps someone with more computer skills can do it.  VAT charged in shops, spa, Ilounge and photo.

 

I'm unclear if that means that internet purchased on board has VAT, or only items like iPads and headphones would have the VAT added.

 

I noticed the same.    I believe that Internet is taxed with VAT if purchased on board.   While the letter doesn't specifically say, a number of the crew on one of our cruises were saying they had to top up their Internet before the next cruise (No-EC Ports) to avoid having to pay the 21% VAT

 

Your PDF worked perfect but here's a screen shot -

 

image.thumb.png.a1fcbecf620a2200985a9005177713dd.png

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This is why Turkey is so popular with cruise itineraries – non-EU country.

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You are half correct about "duty free" shops being closed. Alcohol and tobacco shopes are closed completely, other shops are open and do charge VAT.  If you reach the threshold you can apply for a refund but that threshold is usually per purchase, not total purchases and if you have the ship process it their fees can be pretty high. I forget who they use to handle it but at the airport last year I only got about half of the VAT that I paid for my gopro camera back.  It was not a killer because I bought it with NR OBC...but when you think you are getting 70 Euros back and you bet less then 40 it is not fun.

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They use Global Blue.  What you experienced is just about par for the course in VAT refunds -- I received about that same percentage on my last European trip.  I had to look at it as "something is better than nothing"

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JIm, I don't know if this helps, yet on the recent TA we all did, I recall Celebrity saying that drinks/goods/services sold while we rounded Spain were subject to VAT.  So for example, if you had a drink package you were ok. IF you bought a drink/bottle of wine a la carte it was subject to VAT because we were in "Spainish waters".  

Don't know how that applies to ports/Med cruise. 

Going to follow here and also the other thread posted above.

 

Best

fog

 

 

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29 minutes ago, Fogfog said:

JIm, I don't know if this helps, yet on the recent TA we all did, I recall Celebrity saying that drinks/goods/services sold while we rounded Spain were subject to VAT.  So for example, if you had a drink package you were ok. IF you bought a drink/bottle of wine a la carte it was subject to VAT because we were in "Spainish waters".  

Don't know how that applies to ports/Med cruise. 

Going to follow here and also the other thread posted above.

 

Best

fog

 

 

 The TA included a non-EU stop, so it's different than the original question. Collecting VAT in Spanish waters is similar to collecting sales tax in Florida within US waters. Making a port call outside the EU customs area generally exempts shipboard purchases from VAT (it's actually far more complicated than that, as has been pointed out). Some EU nations (Spain) do require payment of VAT for purchases within their territorial waters.

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1 hour ago, markeb said:

 The TA included a non-EU stop, so it's different than the original question. Collecting VAT in Spanish waters is similar to collecting sales tax in Florida within US waters. Making a port call outside the EU customs area generally exempts shipboard purchases from VAT (it's actually far more complicated than that, as has been pointed out). Some EU nations (Spain) do require payment of VAT for purchases within their territorial waters.

Got it. So this was "domestic waters"/Spain/EU specific even though there were non-EU ports?

The other thread indicates that there is no VAT when there is at least 1 non-EU port. Confusing

 

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It is a Spain=specific rule.  There are also certain France-specific rules -- I remember once being docked in France and being told that the bars were not allowed to be seen serving drinks during that time.  And there are Texas-specific rules about serving only liquors and wines produced in Texas while traversing the Houston ship canal.  And so on and so on......

 

But back to VAT, the general rule is that on the European itineraries, the ship must call on at least one of the exempt places in order to avoid VAT throughout the cruise -- Kotor, Gibraltar, Norway, St. Peter Port, etc.

 

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Hi Jim

We are on board Edge at the moment on a B2B. Unlike last years B2B both cruises are charging VAT on shop, spa purchases - but not on drinks. For example I purchased a more expensive glass of champagne and wasn’t charged more than the upgrade plus 20% service charge using my premium package. Being from the UK we can’t claim back VAT anyway. Last week’s cruise sailing from Barcelona was 22% VAT but I think this week’s Rome sailing is 22% but I haven’t checked that.

Wendy

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