KHOU 11 reports that alcohol and cigarettes purchased by cruise passengers, represented by cruise lines as "duty-free products," are being taxed by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) once the ships return to Galveston.

The state of Texas will start collecting similar taxes from cruise passengers at the Port of Houston by in October.

The television station says that the state of Texas has collected over $280,000 from cruise passengers since January. 

The cruise lines misrepresent that the liquor and cigarettes are tax free, and then the TABC officials confront the returning cruise passengers as they come through customs.

The station quotes a passenger saying "They advertise it as duty free on the ship and when we get off the ship, to our surprise, it’s not duty free. I think it’s wrong." 

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  • Jack

    I don’t see how that’s even legal. The purchases weren’t in Texas.

  • Before you swear not to cruise from Texas or flap your pie hole without finding out the facts…… the following. From Galveston Cruise Tips.

  • There is a difference between taxes and duty free – Do you homework – Thanks

  • Robert

    Texas is a rogue State, Texas taxing small amounts of alcohol purchased outside the USA and NOT CONSUMED in Texas is illegal… Tax the idiots who live in that crap state but not those simply are carrying it through Texas… Does Texas charge air travelers from outside the USA too??? I’ll never go back to that crap state again..