Establishments In Portugal Allowed To Charge Extra For Glasses Of Water, Ice, And Cutlery, On One Condition

Image of a woman drinking a glass of water.

Image of a woman drinking a glass of water. Credit: goodluz/

FOOD and beverage establishments in Portugal have been informed that they can charge for glasses of water, ice and cutlery, on one condition.

AHRESP, the Association of Hotels, Restaurants and Similar Services of Portugal told the Lusa news agency this Friday, September 1, that these will be allowed as long as a notice is displayed near the entrance to inform customers of the practice.

‘Catering and drinking establishments can define, as internal operating rules, the charging of a fee for the use of crockery or other situations that are defined’, explained Ana Jacinto, secretary-general of the AHRESP.

‘However, these internal operating rules must be properly publicised, as well as displayed in a prominent place near the entrance to the establishments, in order to properly inform customers’, she added, in a written note to the news agency.

Some establishments are charging for crockery

There are currently restaurants that are charging for the use of crockery when, for example, at a birthday dinner, customers take the cake and use the establishment’s plates, as well as for ice or glasses of water, according to several reports made to Lusa.

‘It is also permitted to charge a fee for the provision of ice or glasses of water, provided that this information is duly identified and defined in the establishment’s price list, which must be made available near the entrance and inside the establishments’, AHRESP clarified.

A new law came into force in July 2021

Since July 2021, hotels, restaurants, cafeterias, and catering establishments have been obliged to provide customers with a container of tap water and sanitised glasses for consumption on the premises, free of charge or at a lower cost than the packaged water made available by the establishments the association also pointed out.

‘If the establishment decides to charge for the glasses of water, it must do so at a lower cost than that charged for the packaged water it also has for consumption in the establishment’, Ana Jacinto further explained. These amounts must be duly identified on the invoice, under the terms of the VAT Code she stressed, as reported by

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at