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Bahamas Implements New Tax on Cruise Line Private Islands, Impacting Passengers and Industry

  • The Bahamian government will impose a Value Added Tax (VAT) on goods and services at cruise line private islands.
  • The new tax reform ends a nine-year VAT exemption and affects major cruise lines.
  • The VAT rate will be 10% on all passenger transactions.
  • Notable destinations like Royal Caribbean’s Perfect Day at CocoCay and Disney Cruise Line’s Castaway Cay will be affected.
  • The government aims to place cruise line private island activities on equal footing with local businesses.
  • Cruise lines must register for VAT if they own a private island or surpass $100,000 in annual taxable sales.
  • The VAT will apply to a wide range of services, including food and beverage offerings, recreational activities, equipment rentals, and spa services.
  • Cabana rentals, shore excursions, and recreational activities supplied by Bahamian vendors to cruise passengers will also attract VAT.
  • The cruise industry has until February 16 to provide feedback on the VAT changes.
  • The VAT implementation is expected to increase cruise lines’ operational costs and may affect customer pricing.


Note that this post was (partially) written with the help of AI. It is always useful to review the original source material, and where needed to obtain (local) advice from a specialist.


VAT news
VAT news