Texas to add new cruise tax on cruises out of Galveston in 2014
The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) will begin collecting personal importation taxes on alcohol and cigarettes from passengers returning from cruises in Galveston in 2014. Royal Caribbean operates Navigator of the Seas currently out of Galveston.
Beginning on January 4, 2014, cruise travelers disembarking out of Galveston will need to pay the tax for alcoholic beverages and cigarettes imported into the state that were purchased either on the ship's duty free store or at a foreign port of call.
During the recent legislative session, the agency was appropriated funding to begin tax collection of imported alcoholic beverages and cigarettes from seaport facilities. The Galveston Port facility will be the first seaport location where this tax will be collected with plans to extend to the Houston-Bayport facility in the fall of 2014.
Tax collection points staffed with TABC personnel will be situated at both terminals 1 and 2 at the Galveston facility located where patrons come through the U.S. Customs secondary checkpoint. Passengers will be able to pay the taxes with either cash or credit cards.
TABC personnel have worked with Port of Galveston officials to ensure that the tax collection is done efficiently and with limited disruption of port operations and delays to the passengers.