When you import something from outside the European Union, you have to pay the custom taxes and duties by both individual and business entity importers.

Those taxes and duties are calculated based on the goods value adding the import (transport and insurance) cost.

To know in advance the total cost of the goods bought from outside the EU you have first to get familiar with the following concepts:

Duties

The duty fees are imposed over the goods imported from outside the UE and oscillate between 0% and 17%.

Some products as for example laptops, mobile phones, digital cameras and videogame consoles are freed from the duty fees. Some others depending on the country of origin are subject to some additional fees however, for example some bicycles produced in China are subject to an additional 48,5% antidumping fee.

Antidumping is a system of measures to protect the own market (the manufacturers) from cheap products from the exterior markets.

 

VAT (Value Added Tax)

The standard VAT rate for goods import to Spain is 21% but in some cases it is applied a reduced rate of 10% or 4%. It is important to be aware that VAT is calculated based on the goods value and international transport and insurance costs. Below you can see some examples how to calculate VAT.

THRESHOLDS

If the importing party is an entity and the VALUE WITHOUT THE COSTS OF TRANSPORT AND INSURANCE of goods is lower than 22 €, it is freed from both the customs duties and VAT and they should not be imposed on the goods.

If the VALUE WITHOUT THE COSTS OF TRANSPORT AND INSURANCE is between 22 and 150 €, VAT should be applied but customs duties not.

We can see the application rules according to the value and the importer type:

Valor del envío Impuestos a pagar Porcentaje general aplicable [1]
Internet transactions when the importer is an entity [1] < = 22 € Exento de arancel e IVA 0 % arancel 0 % IVA
> 22 < = 150 € Exento de arancel pero sujeto a IVA 0 % arancel 21 % IVA
> 150 € Sujeto a arancel e IVA 2,5 % arancel 21 % IVA
Transactions between individuals[2] < = 45 € Exento de arancel e IVA 0 % arancel 0 % IVA
> 45 € Sujeto a arancel e IVA 2,5 % arancel 21 % IVA

[1]Those numbers are given in case when the corresponding customs classification is not mentioned and then the following numbers are applied.

[2]Not applicable for for commercial shippments (in which case the internet transaction rates apply).

The exception from the taxation is an import of personal objects of individuals (clothes, books, computers, furniture, etc.) in case of a people moving to live from other countries. They are freed from the taxation if they are older then 6 months. In case of any doubts it is the importers duty to prove the age of the objects that they import.

EXAMPLE

Below we calculate the example costs of an import to explain the rates mentioned before:

Let´s take into consideration a box with the total value (without the cost of transport an insurance) of 200€ (>150€).

There should be customs duty of 3% and VAT of 21% applied.
First we apply the customs duty of 3%.

200 X 1.03 = 206€

 

Then the VAT of 21%.

206 × 1,21 = 249,26€

OTHER TAXES AND SPECIAL CUSTOMS DUTIES

There are some special taxes applied for example to tobacco and alcohol.

There may be some additional fees applied to cover the costs of examinations and/or checks to verify the goods.

CUSTOMS

The Customs Office may stop any load for an inspection even if its declared value is bellow 22€. You can reach the webpage of the Spanish Custom Office Agencia Tributaria de España, for more information you can also ask sending an email to servicio@worldpack.es