HMRC internal manual

VAT Place of Supply of Services

VATPOSS12300 - Restaurant and catering services: On board ships, planes and trains

You should check the other guidance available on GOV.UK from HMRC as Brexit updates to those pages are being prioritised before manuals.

The place of supply of restaurant and catering services supplied on board ships, planes and trains is the place of departure for journeys within the EC.

This rule applies to journeys with stops in different Member States. Consequently they do not apply to wholly domestic journeys or to journeys to or from destinations outside the EC.

A journey involving both intra-EC and third country legs is effectively divided up into appropriate segments. For example in the case of a journey from France to the USA via the UK, the first leg from France falls within the scope of the rule, whereas the leg from the UK to the USA is treated as an international journey. Similarly a journey, say involving legs between UK - Germany - Switzerland - France - Italy is treated as two separate intra-Community journeys (that is, UK to Germany and France to Italy) with the middle leg to Switzerland being treated as an international journey.

The return leg of a journey which starts and finishes in the same Member State is treated as a separate journey. So, for example, cross-channel ferry services between the UK and France are separate journeys. In cases where there is more than one stop between the common point of departure and arrival, the return leg is the part of the journey involving Member States in which the means of transport departed from and has previously stopped.

So for example a journey comprising UK - France - Germany - UK, the return leg is Germany - UK. But if the journey were UK - Belgium - Netherlands - Belgium - UK, the return leg would be Netherlands - Belgium - UK.

These rules are consistent with those for the place of supply of goods for consumption on board ships, planes and trains (see VATPOSG4000).