• For 2024 Pilgrims: €50,- donation = 1 year with no ads on the forum + 90% off any 2024 Guide. More here.
    (Discount code sent to you by Private Message after your donation)

Search 69,459 Camino Questions

Legal Changes Coming for Spanish Accommodations

Dave

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
First: Camino Francés 2002; most recent: Norte/Primitivo 2019
Last week, there was an announcement related to the formation of the Acogida Tradicional Jacobea, with traditional pilgrim accommodations on the Caminos del Norte and Primitivo joining together in solidarity to promote this unique form of hospitality. This was driven in part by ongoing concerns about developing legislation that might pose a threat to donativo-based albergues.

Over the last few days, the Camino Francés Federación has raised an alert about Royal Decree 933/2021, which is poised to become law in January and require much more extensive information-logging/keeping in all accommodations in Spain. Here's their description of this, courtesy of Google Translate:

"Today, a new regulation threatens to endanger the very essence of this tradition. A Royal Decree, scheduled to definitively come into force in January 2024, could cause the disappearance of a large part of those who carry out this activity due to the disproportionate regulations it imposes, and the technical and human needs it demands.

"We face not only a challenge that deeply affects our unique experience on the Camino, but also makes us reflect on our rights and those who visit us. Starting in January 2024, the places where we stay will be required to collect more than 30 personal data of all types, which must be kept for a period of 3 years and communicated to the security and protection forces of the State. Data that far exceeds the information that has been required to date, and is as sensitive as the means of payment used in the reservation, the credit card number, the expiration date of the card or the bank account number of the headline.

"The challenge is even greater in rural shelters, which often lack the technological resources necessary to comply with the new regulation. This implies that the collection of required data would be done manually, which could result in long queues and frustration for exhausted pilgrims."

In response to this, the CFF has organized a petition, accessible here, along with the full text of their announcement in the original Spanish.
 
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
Thanks, Dave.

I am assuming this is the same law that was announced and then postponed last year? The thread ended with the news that the government had postponed implementation till Jan. 31, 2024.

Do you know if the privacy law concerns have been worked out?
Yes, same proposal as I understand it; nope, I don't know about the privacy concerns.

Maybe this is going to be just like the ETIAS/Schengen changes--popping up every year, only to be postponed once again...
 
Prepare for your next Camino on Santa Catalina Island, March 17-20
Data that far exceeds the information that has been required to date, and is as sensitive as the means of payment used in the reservation, the credit card number, the expiration date of the card or the bank account number of the headline.
I expect that the devil is in the detail, but I am a bit puzzled about what the significant changes are, in practical terms. Aren't these payment examples irrelevant in the case of donativos? And for other accommodations that accept credit cards, are they not required by the credit card companies to collect this data anyway?
 
I expect that the devil is in the detail, but I am a bit puzzled about what the significant changes are, in practical terms. Aren't these payment examples irrelevant in the case of donativos? And for other accommodations that accept credit cards, are they not required by the credit card companies to collect this data anyway?
On the thread last year, @Juanma posted a lot about the changes from his perspective as a private albergue owner. I have not re-read the whole thread, but did remember that one of the main concerns was that the albergue owners would have to keep CC number, IBAN number and other private financial info of each person for three years, AND transfer it to “the authorities.” As it is now, they don’t keep any of that, they swipe the card and let the CC company and bank figure it out.

Here’s what @Juanma said about the CC info (That’s “credit card” and not “C Clearly”)

About the payment with card: if a pilgrim wants to pay with card in my albergue, I do not get to keep the card's details: I simply charge from the card with my device and that's it. I never get hold of any of the card's info such as its number, holder's name or expiry date. Now with this new regulation, I will have to collect those details!
 
Prepare for your next Camino on Santa Catalina Island, March 17-20
The big question is: why?

Apart from the hassle for albergue owners, it sounds pretty unpleasant for pilgrims/guests too that so many data are going to be stored somewhere, not knowing who has access to them. And there is always the risk of hacks too.
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
From the rather limited information cited in the petition it seems that similar requirements are proposed to be extended to donativos as currently apply to any other accommodation provider. Who stayed here, when and how much and how did they pay? It’s inconceivable that guests would have to provide any more information than is connected with their identity and actual means of payment. Cash, much to the chagrin of governments all over the world, remains an option.

Perhaps it’s the State finally getting round to assessing what - in more innocent times - might have been called the ‘black economy’?

In any case, the 50%+ of the current signatories choosing to be anonymous probably will not carry much weight, and the views of non-Spanish residents, about the same.
 
From the rather limited information cited in the petition it seems that similar requirements are proposed to be extended to donativos as currently apply to any other accommodation provider. Who stayed here, when and how much and how did they pay? It’s inconceivable that guests would have to provide any more information than is connected with their identity and actual means of payment. Cash, much to the chagrin of governments all over the world, remains an option.

Perhaps it’s the State finally getting round to assessing what - in more innocent times - might have been called the ‘black economy’?

In any case, the 50%+ of the current signatories choosing to be anonymous probably will not carry much weight, and the views of non-Spanish residents, about the same.
So far for putting your donation discreetly in a donation box?
 
Cash will again become king if these regulations go forward.
Cash still is king in Spain. The country has a huge black economy and paying with cash in shops, restaurants and for services is totally normal. So yes, if this law will indeed be introduced, I think a lot more people will pay their stay in hotels with cash if they can. And certainly in albergues.
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
Cash still is king in Spain. The country has a huge black economy and paying with cash in shops, restaurants and for services is totally normal. So yes, if this law will indeed be introduced, I think a lot more people will pay their stay in hotels with cash if they can. And certainly in albergues.

Yep. "Be careful what you wish for"
The Government will now lose visibility if more people use cash which in turn = less tax. ;)
 
A few days ago I actually read through the original decree and I can't imagine how on earth these steps can fly given the stringent EU Privacy laws (GDPR). What system of controls will be in place for three years protecting all of our personal information (name, ID info, address, how paid: cash, bank or credit card with detailed information, date and time entered and left the establishment,etc)?

According to Wikipedia:
Data subjects must be informed of their privacy rights under the GDPR, including their right to revoke consent to data processing at any time, their right to view their personal data and access an overview of how it is being processed, their right to obtain a portable copy of the stored data, their right to erasure of their data under certain circumstances, their right to contest any automated decision-making that was made on a solely algorithmic basis, and their right to file complaints with a Data Protection Authority. As such, the data subject must also be provided with contact details for the data controller and their designated data protection officer, where applicable.

These days information is stored in clouds. Will someone actually search after 3 years is up and destroy the information? Right, no one.

Some donativos don't even have a computer to log into!

How can the Spanish government go ahead with this and enforce? Will there be sanctions if not carried out?
 
Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
The use of any type of payment except cash is relatively new ( in my experience) as are many other changes.

Using a credit card in an albergue (and many/most pensions)was simply not possible. The creep toward “civilizing” the Camino experience and pushing it into an ever more comfortable activity is a loss to many of us.
 
This is true @grayland. On my first Camino in 2015, cash still reigned supreme in albergues and in the majority of cafe's along the way and I made sure my cash reserves didn't go below €150 for fear of running out before finding the next available ATM. Each year thereafter it seemed my cash seemed to last a bit longer before replenishing.
Post Covid, credit cards became far more common in villages along the Camino as both proprietors and patrons became more reluctant to have so much cash "changing hands" back and forth, and hand sanitizers for all of us became a household name.
I am now able to use far less cash when walking the trails, and the tap cards make it even easier and I don't mind this particular change.
 
Last week, there was an announcement related to the formation of the Acogida Tradicional Jacobea, with traditional pilgrim accommodations on the Caminos del Norte and Primitivo joining together in solidarity to promote this unique form of hospitality. This was driven in part by ongoing concerns about developing legislation that might pose a threat to donativo-based albergues.

Over the last few days, the Camino Francés Federación has raised an alert about Royal Decree 933/2021, which is poised to become law in January and require much more extensive information-logging/keeping in all accommodations in Spain. Here's their description of this, courtesy of Google Translate:

"Today, a new regulation threatens to endanger the very essence of this tradition. A Royal Decree, scheduled to definitively come into force in January 2024, could cause the disappearance of a large part of those who carry out this activity due to the disproportionate regulations it imposes, and the technical and human needs it demands.

"We face not only a challenge that deeply affects our unique experience on the Camino, but also makes us reflect on our rights and those who visit us. Starting in January 2024, the places where we stay will be required to collect more than 30 personal data of all types, which must be kept for a period of 3 years and communicated to the security and protection forces of the State. Data that far exceeds the information that has been required to date, and is as sensitive as the means of payment used in the reservation, the credit card number, the expiration date of the card or the bank account number of the headline.

"The challenge is even greater in rural shelters, which often lack the technological resources necessary to comply with the new regulation. This implies that the collection of required data would be done manually, which could result in long queues and frustration for exhausted pilgrims."

In response to this, the CFF has organized a petition, accessible here, along with the full text of their announcement in the original Spanish.
Wow! This may fundamentally change the experience of the Camino. For me, this may change where my next Camino will be … perhaps from Puglia to Rome?
 
A Treasure Trove Of Interesting Pilgrim Hacks! Learn & Share Your Own Too!
I expect that the devil is in the detail, but I am a bit puzzled about what the significant changes are, in practical terms. Aren't these payment examples irrelevant in the case of donativos? And for other accommodations that accept credit cards, are they not required by the credit card companies to collect this data anyway?
Maybe so but keep it for 3 years and report it to the state?
 
We are looking at this issue through the lens of albergues on the Camino, but I would think that large hotels are also unhappy with the onerous record keeping involved. And their guests who are more likely to be using credit cards can't be happy about their personal information being stored like this.
 
New Original Camino Gear Designed Especially with The Modern Peregrino In Mind!
Wow! This may fundamentally change the experience of the Camino. For me, this may change where my next Camino will be … perhaps from Puglia to Rome?
Sorry, maybe to clarify my comment. If the new law results in fewer of the quaint accommodations being available, then that may impact the authenticity of the Camino. That said, as one poster points out, the acceptance of plastic is now very common especially post COVID.
 
for other accommodations that accept credit cards, are they not required by the credit card companies to collect this data anyway?
Maybe so but keep it for 3 years and report it to the state?
I have no idea, which is why I asked. I am neither defending nor criticizing the proposals, as I don't know enough about them.
 
When I did Frances from St Jean Pied de Port to Santiago in September/October 2022, at every stop, either private or public albergue, my passport was scanned or photographed with a phone camera, noticing some operating systems using very out of date technology, ie not updated for security, wondered then how my data from my passport was going to be stored, is it still sitting in someone’s photo collection or on a piece of paper filed out the back, this still didn’t deter me from having an amazing time and planning the next. Data collection happens, we just have to accept this and be vigilant for any anomalies that may pop up. Sorry off topic a bit I guess.
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
As an adjunct, in Australia there’s a rapidly growing push to become a cashless society which is causing great concern. A recent 12 hour outage by a major telco threw commerce amongst other things into chaos and highlighted the dangers of such a policy. Fewer and fewer people here pay with cash….
 
As I questioned in my post #14, how can this fly given current EU Privacy laws prohibiting such actions without consent? It also includes the right for refusal.

And as far as someone's question about albergues keeping credit card information, unless something has changed in the last year, it was previously just swipe and done. No payment information was kept.

When I did Frances from St Jean Pied de Port to Santiago in September/October 2022, at every stop, either private or public albergue, my passport was scanned or photographed with a phone camera, noticing some operating systems using very out of date technology, ie not updated for security, wondered then how my data from my passport was going to be stored, is it still sitting in someone’s photo collection or on a piece of paper filed out the back, this still didn’t deter me from having an amazing time and planning the next. Data collection happens, we just have to accept this and be vigilant for any anomalies that may pop up. Sorry off topic a bit I guess.
All your information is still in someone's cloud. Vigilant? How?
This information is way beyond what the Guardia Civil needs (name, ID, date checked in/out) to apprehend someone in case of foul play.
 
AFAIK that proposal would undermine the data economy by the european law, especially here the Privacy act. You can question it for yourself: is the data requested necessary to provide for a task (stay in albergue i.e.) or not. If not, you are not required to give and handle by overruling law.

Many european countries try and test the european legislation by forcing a trial on european central court. Many time by especially constructed laws. Trial and error on a very large scale!

Just my 2 cents!
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
And for other accommodations that accept credit cards, are they not required by the credit card companies to collect this data anyway?

I just contacted San Martín Pinario to ask about when they would open up reservations for spring 2024. I’ve been shut out my last two times into Santiago and wanted to try to snag a bed early. When I asked them about reservation procedure, they told me to send CC details to guarantee a bed. Since it’s a BAD idea to send CC details via email, I asked them - I’ve stayed there so many times, don’t you have my CC details?

Their answer: “Los datos previos de teléfono y tarjetas de crédito no se guardan por seguridad.“ (The previous information of telephone number and CC number is not kept for reasons of security.)

That will change when this new law goes into effect. It’s funny that their explanation of the practice is that it is for security purposes, so I guess we know what they think of the new requirements that they store everyone’s data for three years!
 
I just contacted San Martín Pinario to ask about when they would open up reservations for spring 2024. I’ve been shut out my last two times into Santiago and wanted to try to snag a bed early. When I asked them about reservation procedure, they told me to send CC details to guarantee a bed. Since it’s a BAD idea to send CC details via email, I asked them - I’ve stayed there so many times, don’t you have my CC details?
Actually you can get around this, at least last year it was possible. When reserving I told them that I didn't have a credit card but could give my debit card number if necessary. They said no need and just took my reservations.
Their answer: “Los datos previos de teléfono y tarjetas de crédito no se guardan por seguridad.“ (The previous information of telephone number and CC number is not kept for reasons of security.)

That will change when this new law goes into effect. It’s funny that their explanation of the practice is that it is for security purposes, so I guess we know what they think of the new requirements that they store everyone’s data for three years!
Did they say specifically that next year it would change or are you assuming this?
 
Actually you can get around this, at least last year it was possible. When reserving I told them that I didn't have a credit card but could give my debit card number if necessary. They said no need and just took my reservations.

Did they say specifically that next year it would change or are you assuming this?
I didn’t askk them, but I will when I call, once I know the days I want to reserve.
 
Very light, comfortable and compressible poncho. Specially designed for protection against water for any activity.

Our Atmospheric H30 poncho offers lightness and waterproofness. Easily compressible and made with our Waterproof fabric, its heat-sealed interior seams guarantee its waterproofness. Includes carrying bag.

€60,-
This is about the third round of "Albergue-destroying" legislation since the 2000s if I've not lost count ?

Some Albergues did shut down in the previous two rounds, but many more have soldiered on anyway. The biggest consequence so far is that most of the Municipal Albergues that were previously donativos had to instate a fixed fee.
 
As an adjunct, in Australia there’s a rapidly growing push to become a cashless society which is causing great concern. A recent 12 hour outage by a major telco threw commerce amongst other things into chaos and highlighted the dangers of such a policy. Fewer and fewer people here pay with cash….
Ah! this was the UK media this morning which may interest you. I did a couple of trips to Australia last year totalling maybe 6 weeks and never used cash once. I am a major advocate of cashless (big and growing in Spain and UK too!) but do understand it brings challenges for certain groups, often those already struggling. In Australia, cash transactions were still 50-% just 10 years ago, 27% pre Covid which was a catalyst for hygiene reasons, but have against expectation post pandemic, continued to decline.

Be interesting to track Sweden where % age of cash translations is <10%, often now reported as 2%

https://www.theguardian.com/austral...s-fear-being-left-behind-by-a-cashless-future

This may be of interest too as it takes a more global view.


It’s not behind a paywall and no need to register. Just click ‘I will do it later’.
 
Last edited:
Cash still is king in Spain. The country has a huge black economy and paying with cash in shops, restaurants and for services is totally normal. So yes, if this law will indeed be introduced, I think a lot more people will pay their stay in hotels with cash if they can. And certainly in albergues.
Seems to be a good balance in Spain though I think nothing will stop the significant rise of cashless as we move forward. I have just come back from 3 months there and used card >95% of the time as that’s my preference, but cash was still accepted in the vast majority of outlets.
 
Ideal pocket guides for during and after your Camino. Each weighs just 40g (1.4 oz).
An interesting thread and one I shall read with equal interest.
Whilst tax avoidance is perfectly legal and within the framework of any system tax evasion isn't.
Governments (or,Authorities) do not have money of their own, it is only your money to be allocated in the provision of all the services of which we all depend and far more beyond. It is not provided by "fresh air".
I am not a lover of the"deep state" but when I hear of (quote) "black economies" then the logical outcome is an inevitable demise of a cashless society and an audit trail of money spent.
.
 
Last edited:
EU Privacy laws
FWIW: This new Spanish law is simply a new and extended version of the previous law about the registration of guests. Those who volunteered at an albergue or own(ed) an albergue will be more familiar with this Spanish registration system and its requirements than most of us.

What I remember from previous discussions: The Spanish data protection agency gave their ok to this new law. Also, as I remember, Spanish organisations and EU Members of Parliament submitted requests to the EU Commission to check whether this new decree is compatible with current EU legislation but these mills grind slowly and there has been no statement so far (see below). The main argument against 933/2021 I think is that the data requests are disproportionate for the purpose (“protección de la seguridad ciudadana”), i.e. fight against terrrorism and organised crime which both have an international dimension.

I had a look at recent news (see below). It seems that the deadline has yet again been prolonged and it is now 1 October 2024.

[…] the European Commission must also make a pronouncement in connection with the objections to the new Spanish Royal Decree 933/2021 about the Spanish guest registry. Their Directorate General for Justice and Consumers has been tasked with examining the potential illegality of decree 933/2021 in view of EU law.

In addition, Spain’s Ministry of the Interior recently communicated that it was extending the adaptation period for compliance with 933/2021 until 1 October 2024.
 
Last edited:
FWIW again: The new Spanish decree 933/2021 has nothing to do with income and taxes. The decree does not require any collection of data concerning what, if anything, a pilgrim or other guest pays for their stay. The law states clearly which departments of government keep these data and who has access to them and for which purposes.

One can of course freely speculate about all sorts of sinister forces at work and about hidden motives that are obvious to the initiated but in my humble opinion that is best kept out of any meaningful discussion about decree 933/2021.

The main concern is the amount of additional work, investment and time for volunteers at albergues that are run by volunteer associations and for owners and staff at other albergues and small hotels, casa rurales etc.

The other concern is for pilgrims and other guests who are doubtful about how securely their extensive personal data set is kept at their places of accommodation.
 
Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
FWIW again: The new Spanish decree 933/2021 has nothing to do with income and taxes. The decree does not require any collection of data concerning what, if anything, a pilgrim or other guest pays for their stay. The law states clearly which departments of government keep these data and who has access to them and for which purposes.

One can of course freely speculate about all sorts of sinister forces at work and hidden motives that are obvious to the initiated but in my humble opinion that is best kept out of any meaningful discussion about decree 933/2021.

The main concern is the amount of additional work, investment and time for volunteers at albergues that are run by volunteer associations and for owners and staff at other albergues and small hotels, casa rurales etc.

The other concern is for pilgrims and other guests who are doubtful about how securely their extensive personal data set is kept at these places of accommodation.
Every albergue I worked at was donativo, and that means cash only. I suspect it will stay that way for a while so presumably no data to collect or store.
 
Every albergue I worked at was donativo, and that means cash only. I suspect it will stay that way for a while so presumably no data to collect or store.
Just curious, if you don't mind sharing: Did you have to keep a guest register (registro de huéspedes or de viajeros - I am not sure of the exact name) and if so did you submit the data electronically to the police forces?
 
Just curious, if you don't mind sharing: Did you have to keep a guest register (registro de huéspedes or de viajeros - I am not sure of the exact name) and if so did you submit the data electronically to the police forces?
I have volunteered in several donativo albergues. Yes we kept a guest register written by hand. We were not required, nor did we have the means, to submit this to the police forces. They were welcome to stop in and inspect the register and copy any information that they needed. In six years of volunteering the police forces never stopped in. There was not a way to accept a credit card. In some albergues we did not have wifi. None had a computer. Not all had a phone on the premises.

Waiting to see if other hospitaleros experienced submitting info to the police forces on a daily basis, electronically or otherwise.

Phil
 
Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
This information is way beyond what the Guardia Civil needs (name, ID, date checked in/out) to apprehend someone in case of foul play.
Indeed, seems a violation of GDPR—as did the old system, which did not change when GDPR took effect. As for the usage of the old system, occasionally, we got a call from la Guardía asking if we had hosted a pilgrim named (whatever). We always wondered, why don’t they just check their database that we updated faithfully instead of expecting us to remember the names of all the pilgrims we ever hosted?

I never personally answered one of those calls but other staff told me about them. The reason I thought it violated GDPR is that they never told us what I knew from reading about GDPR: the requirement to have signed permission to collect the data (ID#, nationality, name, date of birth). And if we did ask for that and it was declined, were we supposed to say then that you can’t stay here?
 
Last edited:
I have volunteered in several donativo albergues. Yes we kept a guest register written by hand. We were not required, nor did we have the means, to submit this to the police forces. They were welcome to stop in and inspect the register and copy any information that they needed. In six years of volunteering the police forces never stopped in. There was not a way to accept a credit card. In some albergues we did not have wifi. None had a computer. Not all had a phone on the premises.

Waiting to see if other hospitaleros experienced submitting info to the police forces on a daily basis, electronically or otherwise.

Phil

In Roncesvalles we scan every paspoort / ID-card and this info goes directly electronically to the Guardia Civil every day, so we are told. The data of the old-fashioned Italian ID-papers which cannot be scanned are entered by hand into the computer. The Valcarlos police drops in at the albergue on a regularly base. Of course Roncesvalles is a special spot, as we are the first place in Spain where people coming from France check in after passing the border (unless they slept in Valcarlos of course).
 
Last week, there was an announcement related to the formation of the Acogida Tradicional Jacobea, with traditional pilgrim accommodations on the Caminos del Norte and Primitivo joining together in solidarity to promote this unique form of hospitality. This was driven in part by ongoing concerns about developing legislation that might pose a threat to donativo-based albergues.

Over the last few days, the Camino Francés Federación has raised an alert about Royal Decree 933/2021, which is poised to become law in January and require much more extensive information-logging/keeping in all accommodations in Spain. Here's their description of this, courtesy of Google Translate:

"Today, a new regulation threatens to endanger the very essence of this tradition. A Royal Decree, scheduled to definitively come into force in January 2024, could cause the disappearance of a large part of those who carry out this activity due to the disproportionate regulations it imposes, and the technical and human needs it demands.

"We face not only a challenge that deeply affects our unique experience on the Camino, but also makes us reflect on our rights and those who visit us. Starting in January 2024, the places where we stay will be required to collect more than 30 personal data of all types, which must be kept for a period of 3 years and communicated to the security and protection forces of the State. Data that far exceeds the information that has been required to date, and is as sensitive as the means of payment used in the reservation, the credit card number, the expiration date of the card or the bank account number of the headline.

"The challenge is even greater in rural shelters, which often lack the technological resources necessary to comply with the new regulation. This implies that the collection of required data would be done manually, which could result in long queues and frustration for exhausted pilgrims."

In response to this, the CFF has organized a petition, accessible here, along with the full text of their announcement in the original Spanish.
Thanks, I just signed it and sent a link to a whole lot of friends to ask them to sign it.

It's important, at the moment I'm living in Spain and I know just much the bureaucracy here can stifle many important and good things from happening, just because of the sheer enormous amount of effort required.
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
I help to run three non-profit albergues on the camino network, in three different provinces: Canfranc in Aragon; Najera in La Rioja; and Grado, Asturias.
Supposedly, all albergues must copy out ID info of every guest and send them every night to the Guardia Civil. But for the past four years, only one of the three has invested in the computer, software, and time to meet the requirement: Grado. In Najera and Canfranc, we keep written records of each pilgrim ID (we do not snap photos of passports or IDs); the police only ask to see them when they're looking for someone who's missing. We don't share info about who's staying with us, even with fellow pilgrims.

The new law asks for a lot more information, but because we don't accept credit card payments or bank transfers, the info we need to keep is about the same as what we do now. If we did need to invest in computers and software to meet the new requirements, then yes -- it would be a burden on us. And training volunteers who often do not speak Spanish and/or English how to keep these records? Volunteers who change every two weeks? Ufff.

Our volunteers are not "hospitality professionals." They're not working for wages, and they are not highly trained nor heavily screened. Expecting them to meet the same stringent reporting requirements as hotel staff is pure folly. I do not think this is an "albergue-killing rule," but it is a real threat - and I do encourage people to sign the petition, even if they are not Spanish. These rules affect ALL pilgrims, and the Camino is NOT "a Spanish thing..." it's a World Heritage site. It belongs to ALL of us, and we all are responsible for keeping its unique simplicity intact.

In my experience there is one saving grace here --- there are many such bureaucratic rules on the books, but after an initial flurry of paperwork, the enforcement and fulfillment quickly fall by the wayside. It is impractical. It is not sustainable, so it is not sustained. At least not in your average small-to-medium non-profit pilgrim albergue. Privately owned places will likely see different outcomes.
 
Last edited:
I have volunteered in several donativo albergues. Yes we kept a guest register written by hand. We were not required, nor did we have the means, to submit this to the police forces. They were welcome to stop in and inspect the register and copy any information that they needed. In six years of volunteering the police forces never stopped in. There was not a way to accept a credit card. In some albergues we did not have wifi. None had a computer. Not all had a phone on the premises.
The managers where I volunteered said that one day la Guardia Civil came up and angrily demanded an explanation for them not sending it in. https://boe.es/buscar/doc.php?id=BOE-A-2003-13865 says computer entry is not required. But section two does require keeping the records, organizing them, and making them available to la Guardia for three years. It also requires the guest to sign the record. I do not know whether this is the most up-to-date requirement..

Section 3.1–3.1.4 requires providing the data to "las dependencias policiales” by hand, mail, in person, fax, internet, or magnetic media.

For those that prefer computer entry, the database is https://hospederias.guardiacivil.es/
 
Last edited:
The managers where I volunteered said that one day la Guardia Civil came up and angrily demanded an explanation for them not sending it in. https://boe.es/buscar/doc.php?id=BOE-A-2003-13865 says computer entry is not required. But section two does require keeping the records, organizing them, and making them available to la Guardia for three years. It also requires the guest to sign the record. I do not know whether this is the most up-to-date requirement..

Section 3.1–3.1.4 requires providing the data to "las dependencias policiales” by hand, mail, in person, fax, internet, or magnetic media.

For those that prefer computer entry, the database is https://hospederias.guardiacivil.es/
They demand things until they don't. And it seems like the demands vary greatly from one Guardia Civil comandante to another, and/or one region and another. It makes our lives interesting.
 
Prepare for your next Camino on Santa Catalina Island, March 17-20
They demand things until they don't. And it seems like the demands vary greatly from one Guardia Civil comandante to another, and/or one region and another. It makes our lives interesting.
Well, like I've said more than once, in Spain, the "law" is what the guy you're talking to thinks it is (or wishes it is). I got my NIE two months after I gave them a copy of the law that said they must give it in five days. Houston Embassy said they'd take four months to grant a visa when the official law said within ninety days.
 
Well, like I've said more than once, in Spain, the "law" is what the guy you're talking to thinks it is (or wishes it is). I got my NIE two months after I gave them a copy of the law that said they must give it in five days. Houston Embassy said they'd take four months to grant a visa when the official said within ninety days.
Off topic but I assume that's because you are an American citizen? Just to clarify for our readers, this is not the case for EU citizens. I received mine on the same day of applying.
 
FWIW, I am an expat myself but not in Spain. I applied for renewal of the equivalence of the Spanish cards for the various categories of resident non-nationals a few days ago. It will take a week or two before I get my new card. These days electronic data including fingerprints (which was new this time) are stored invisibly on the card and that is why the card will be produced elsewhere. It is no longer a piece of cardboard with handwriting and an ink stamp on it and a photo glued onto it. But nothing of this matters in the given context, including personal interpretations of legal text.

The Common Pilgrim (Peregrinus vulgaris) must present ID when checking into an albergue or hotel. The really foreign pilgrims carry their passports with them anyway. The not so foreign pilgrims must not forget to bring their national ID cards. Those who are Spanish nationals can present their driving licence. This will be the same under the new law.

From the point of view of pilgrims the question is whether the new law will increase waiting lines and waiting times at check-in; cause too much of an administrative burden for albergues with dire consequences for the existence of the Camino as we know it; and whether the pilgrim's private data will be kept securely enough by albergues and hotels who have to keep these data on behalf of the state for several years; they must not use these data for any other purpose and if they plan to do so it is only then that they must inform us of storage and processing of our data and we must agree to it.
 
Last edited:
3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc
I got my NIE two months after I gave them a copy of the law that said they must give it in five days
You got me confused there. I now know that NIE is a Spanish tax identification number.

I had wrongly assumed at first that NIE was the abbreviation for a sort of residency card or identification card in Spain because we are talking about the requirements for checking into accommodation. Hence my comment about how long it takes to get my own new card.

But ok I assumed wrong. NIE is a tax number. I am quite sure that we don't need to present a tax number for checking into pilgrim albergues in Spain. 😅
 
Just curious, if you don't mind sharing: Did you have to keep a guest register (registro de huéspedes or de viajeros - I am not sure of the exact name) and if so did you submit the data electronically to the police forces?
We kept a book and meticulously registered everyone in it. I´m not sure of the name either, we just called it ´the book´. As for submitting the data electronically, no. None of the 3 albergues I have worked in had a landline let alone a computer. We couldn´t have taken credit card payments even if we´d wanted to, there was no equipment to do it on so all payments went in cash into the box.

I suspect that if the new law is to crack down on tax evasion it will fail spectacularly because more and more businesses will simply ask for payment in cash.
 
the places where we stay will be required to collect more than 30 personal data of all types,
Can you be a bit more specific about this? What are the new details that were not required before? And if payment is in cash, does the establishment still have to collect and store bank details?
 
Down bag (90/10 duvet) of 700 fills with 180 g (6.34 ounces) of filling. Mummy-shaped structure, ideal when you are looking for lightness with great heating performance.

€149,-
You got me confused there. I now know that NIE is a Spanish tax identification number.

I had wrongly assumed at first that NIE was the abbreviation for a sort of residency card or identification card in Spain because we are talking about the requirements for checking into accommodation. Hence my comment about how long it takes to get my own new card.

But ok I assumed wrong. NIE is a tax number. I am quite sure that we don't need to present a tax number for checking into pilgrim albergues in Spain. 😅
My NIE is a residency card.
 
Can you be a bit more specific about this? What are the new details that were not required before? And if payment is in cash, does the establishment still have to collect and store bank details?
From what I remember reading:
Home address
Type of payment (if cash no bank or credit card details otherwise yes)
Time checked in and out

This is in addition to the current requirements: name, ID number and country of residence which is normally sent digitally to the Guardia Civil on a daily basis.

Big addition is the requirement regarding your credit card or bank details and that all information must be kept for three years.

Good reason to keep paying in cash.

Looking on the positive side, enacting this degree has been postponed twice (last time in October). Let's hope that it never sees the light of day.
 
Still watching this thread with interest and pondering as i am apt to do.
As an individual who has lived a financial life virtually cashless for more years than I can remember, I am not surprised at attempts at legislation similar to this.
It will only be a matter of time before the physical tokens of barter disappear completely and its digital equivalent will take its place.
 
Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
name, ID number and country of residence which is normally sent digitally to the Guardia Civil on a daily basis.
Thanks for the info. I suspect this happens a lot less than you might expect. A lot of albergues simply don´t have the means to do this, especially the donativos. This new ruling may actually help donativos as people who only use cash (like Bristle Boy) will have more incentive to use them. But there will probably be a period of chaos as everyone tries to comply or enforce the new regulations until they are quietly forgotten or abandoned.
 
Thanks for the info. I suspect this happens a lot less than you might expect. A lot of albergues simply don´t have the means to do this, especially the donativos. This new ruling may actually help donativos as people who only use cash (like Bristle Boy) will have more incentive to use them. But there will probably be a period of chaos as everyone tries to comply or enforce the new regulations until they are quietly forgotten or abandoned.
I think you will find I posted that I don't use cash and have rarely had need to.
 
In Roncesvalles we scan every paspoort / ID-card and this info goes directly electronically to the Guardia Civil every day, so we are told. The data of the old-fashioned Italian ID-papers which cannot be scanned are entered by hand into the computer. The Valcarlos police drops in at the albergue on a regularly base.
Oh yes, these old Italian ID papers that are still valid, I had forgotten about them ☺️. One reason why these registration systems exist, or so I am told, is the fact that there are no controls at the internal borders anymore.

I am sure that Roncesvalles albergue will comply with the law whatever it will be in 2025 or perhaps even earlier as the new system applies already on a voluntary basis if I understand correctly. I had a look at my own ID card and saw that my complete address is stored on it and not just the location and apparently it is the same for Spanish ID cards. So that’s scannable and won’t increase the workload … ;)
 
Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
Off topic but I assume that's because you are an American citizen? Just to clarify for our readers, this is not the case for EU citizens. I received mine on the same day of applying.
The law I read did not offer different rules for different countries. It just said they must take five days or less to process an NIE application.
 
I had wrongly assumed at first that NIE was the abbreviation for a sort of residency card or identification card in Spain because we are talking about the requirements for checking into accommodation. Hence my comment about how long it takes to get my own new card.

But ok I assumed wrong. NIE is a tax number. I am quite sure that we don't need to present a tax number for checking into pilgrim albergues in Spain. 😅
You don't. NIE is one of several ID methods acceptable for the Guardia Civil Hospederias database. I got it because I planned to spend a lot more time in Spain, and having a NIE makes certain tasks a bit easier.

It's more than a tax number. Número de Identifición de Extranjero—Foreigner's Identification Number.
If you are a legal resident, you will also have a TIE where the T is Tarjeta or Card. On that card will be printed your NIE among other identifying details. It is very common for people to think that the card is the NIE but the NIE is the number on the card. The card needs to be renewed from time to time, but the NIE is an ID number that never expires until its human expires.
 
Last edited:
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
Thank you for this link and summary about NIE and TIE in Spain, explaining what the abbreviations stand for and clearing up frequent misunderstandings.

And although I had been aware of the fundamental difference between residency cards for EU residents and for non-EU residents in Spain, it was interesting for me to see copies of the two cards, where one is a permiso de residencia (for non-EU persons) and the other is a Certificado de registro (for EU citizens) which, in Spain, apparently does not even have a photo of the holder.
 
I've never heard of the term TIE and never had one although I was a resident of Spain. After reading the article (see picture below) I now understand why. The TIE is for non-EU nationals, the NIE for EU citizens. The green colored card (not to be confused with the US green card) serves as the only document needed.

Screenshot_2023-12-17-10-35-03-183_com.miui.home.jpg
 
Thank you for this link and summary about NIE and TIE in Spain, explaining what the abbreviations stand for and clearing up frequent misunderstandings.

And although I had been aware of the fundamental difference between residency cards for EU residents and for non-EU residents in Spain, it was interesting to me to see copies of the two cards, where one is a permiso de residencia (for non-EU persons) and the other is a Certificado de registro (for EU citizens) which, in Spain, apparently does not even have a photo of the holder.
Our posts crossed. That's correct, the green NIE is a flimsy paper card without even a foto. Odd in this day and age.
 
Ideal pocket guides for during and after your Camino. Each weighs just 40g (1.4 oz).
Our posts crossed. That's correct, the green NIE is a flimsy paper card without even a foto. Odd in this day and age.
The NIE is the number, not the card that it is printed on. Número de Identificación de Extranjero. I never received a card; rather a letter telling me what my number is. Here is what the letterhead looked like:NIE.jpg
 
I've never heard of the term TIE and never had one although I was a resident of Spain. After reading the article (see picture below) I now understand why. The TIE is for non-EU nationals, the NIE for EU citizens. The green colored card (not to be confused with the US green card) serves as the only document needed.
The T in TIE is for Tarjeta (card). TIE is something a non-EU citizen gets when they register a legal residence in Spain. It tells the NIE, which is a number you can get even without residency. But you have to get it to be allowed residency if you are not EU². And ANYONE¹ not a Spanish citizen can get a NIE, whether EU or not. https://visaguide.world/europe/spain-visa/foreigner-identity-card/
(Spanish citizens have "DNI"—Documento Nacional de Identidad. DNI and NIE are lifetime assignments—they do not expire, while the cards or certificates they may be printed on my need to be renewed.)
¹except illegal immigrants
²EU citizens have right of residency automatically and only need NIE for certain other activities.
 
Last edited:
Be part of the Camino Cleanup team! Help us pick up litter from Ponferrada to Sarria.
I am relieved to see that the misunderstanding about the meaning of NIE, already explained in a linked website in an earlier post, has now apparently been cleared up for good: For non-EU residents in Spain, NIE is short for a number that is attributed to them by the Spanish administration, and for EU residents, NIE is also short for such a number but in addition it is short for a flimsy paper card of a green colour that is neither an ID document nor a residency permit but a confirmation that the holder is registered at his or her permanent address in Spain.

Neither of these Spanish NIEs can be used as ID to check into an albergue in Spain - not under the old law and not under the new law.

And for what it's worth, EU citizens, by law and ruling of a High Court, are not required to get a residency permit but they can or they must or they don't have to get a registration confirmation in the form of a card with or without photo - it is up to every EU country how they handle this topic and what kind of card, if any, they issue.
 
I can only speak from experience but without a NIE you can't open a bank account, …
Because I had been told that so often, even by bankers, I obtained my NIE. And before I got it, I opened a bank account and rented a piso using my passport as ID. Learned since that many people have used their passports for IDs to open bank accounts.
 
Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
Because I had been told that so often, even by bankers, I obtained my NIE. And before I got it, I opened a bank account and rented a piso using my passport as ID. Learned since that many people have used their passports for IDs to open bank accounts.
There will be exceptions I guess but don't bank on it 😉
 
Neither of these Spanish NIEs can be used as ID to check into an albergue in Spain - not under the old law and not under the new law.
If the person is a Spanish citizen and presents their ID carnet, we would enter the DNI and the system would check the government DB to ensure all the other fields are correct. For all the other ID types, we would enter a number from the ID and it will be accepted without checking. For the last one, that would most likely be the NIE. When I was the pilgrim and not the hospitalero, I showed the letter containing my NIE (which is a "documento de identidad") and they entered my NIE.

When I was hospitalero, the last two permisos were not on the menu. If someone presented a TIE (seldom happened), I would have entered the NIE from it and it would have been accepted. I never tried it, but I suspect I could choose the first option (DNI) and enter a NIE and it would actually be checked.
 

Attachments

  • temp.jpg
    temp.jpg
    61.5 KB · Views: 2
In response to this, the CFF has organized a petition, accessible here, along with the full text of their announcement in the original Spanish.
Returning to the topic of the thread, namely future collection of more personal data than before and concerns for pilgrims and for albergue and hotel staff in relation to this: The organisers of the petition aim for 100,000 protest votes. Only around 1,000 persons or 1% of the target number have signed so far.
 
Down bag (90/10 duvet) of 700 fills with 180 g (6.34 ounces) of filling. Mummy-shaped structure, ideal when you are looking for lightness with great heating performance.

€149,-
Last week, there was an announcement related to the formation of the Acogida Tradicional Jacobea, with traditional pilgrim accommodations on the Caminos del Norte and Primitivo joining together in solidarity to promote this unique form of hospitality. This was driven in part by ongoing concerns about developing legislation that might pose a threat to donativo-based albergues.

Over the last few days, the Camino Francés Federación has raised an alert about Royal Decree 933/2021, which is poised to become law in January and require much more extensive information-logging/keeping in all accommodations in Spain. Here's their description of this, courtesy of Google Translate:

"Today, a new regulation threatens to endanger the very essence of this tradition. A Royal Decree, scheduled to definitively come into force in January 2024, could cause the disappearance of a large part of those who carry out this activity due to the disproportionate regulations it imposes, and the technical and human needs it demands.

"We face not only a challenge that deeply affects our unique experience on the Camino, but also makes us reflect on our rights and those who visit us. Starting in January 2024, the places where we stay will be required to collect more than 30 personal data of all types, which must be kept for a period of 3 years and communicated to the security and protection forces of the State. Data that far exceeds the information that has been required to date, and is as sensitive as the means of payment used in the reservation, the credit card number, the expiration date of the card or the bank account number of the headline.

"The challenge is even greater in rural shelters, which often lack the technological resources necessary to comply with the new regulation. This implies that the collection of required data would be done manually, which could result in long queues and frustration for exhausted pilgrims."

In response to this, the CFF has organized a petition, accessible here, along with the full text of their announcement in the original Spanish.
If they are required to keep credit card numbers and addresses, this poses a security risk to people who own those credit cards. Yet another reason to pay in cash.
 
the law is intended to combat terrorism! Basically, data is being collected on a large scale from all travellers (domestic and foreign).
Sensitive personal data in combination with first and last name, exact home address, date of birth, ID number, email, telephone and credit card number and expiry date including holder, or IBAN number including holder, family relationship if minors are present, exact check-in and check-out time, signature of the traveller, etc. - and all this in one data record.
The payment amount is NOT collected!
ALL hostels, whether commercially or privately run, campsites, ALL booking platforms, etc. but also all car hire companies are obliged to collect this sensitive data - they must also report the GPS data of the cars to the ministry after the customer returns them.
This is reported using the relevant apps, or directly to the ministry, or to the police by October 2024. If you do not have an internet connection, the hostel must provide this information in duplicate to the police within 24 hours, 1 copy of which must be kept safe from unauthorised access for 3 years.
In the event of non-compliance or missing information (e.g. also errors in data entry), there are penalties for e.g. hostel operators of 100 to 30,000 euros.
Since March 2023, Spanish MEPs have been asking the EU Parliament whether this legislation complies with EU data protection rules. So far there has been no response from the EU Parliament!
 

Most read last week in this forum

Hello to all! I’m starting from SJPP beginning of June. As I read more and more about the Camino Frances I find it very weird that everyday walks start usually in dawn and end around 1pm “to get...
I just received a phone call from my bank that my debit card had been used by a foreign, possibly fraudulent website. They opened a case, but could not say which website it concerned, she...
I just saw the trailer for the movie The Way, My Way, and it looks great. Trailer says it will be in theatres May 16. Hoping it makes it to a theatre where I live. I’d love the opportunity to see...
After arriving in SDC, how long should I plan for submitting the credencial until I receive the compostela?
https://caminotravelcenter.com/blog/do-you-want-to-know-about-medieval-pilgrimsclothing/
Hello, I have a question regarding the stamps. For the minimum 2 stamps per day requirement, am I understanding it correctly on the minimum # of stamps required per day? Example: Day 0 -...

❓How to ask a question

How to post a new question on the Camino Forum.

Similar threads

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Updates on YouTube

Camino Conversations

Most downloaded Resources

This site is run by Ivar at

in Santiago de Compostela.
This site participates in the Amazon Affiliate program, designed to provide a means for Ivar to earn fees by linking to Amazon
Official Camino Passport (Credential) | 2024 Camino Guides
Back
Top