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Navigating the space of imports to another country can be quite a challenging process. If Spain is your chosen destination, you need to be aware of the Spanish import requirements and the necessary documentation you’ll need to comply with before you embark on your import journey.

This article looks at what you need to know to ensure you stay on the right side of the law and experience a seamless process. Let’s get started.

What is needed to import a product to Spain?

If you are seeking to find out more about what products to import into Spain, it’s crucial that you make a distinction between those goods for either personal or commercial use. We’ll take a look at each case in more detail below.

Imports for personal use

When it comes to goods for personal use, particularly if you are planning on immigrating to Spain, you should be aware of two categories of products and the rules that apply to them. These are goods that are exempt from customs tax and those that are not exempt.

Items that are exempt are those that are meant for personal use. These will be items that are used by your family or in your home and they should not be a part of the items that you use for professional purposes.

Objects such as portable tools which are necessary for you to carry out your work in a professional capacity are exempt because they are considered for personal use. The same is true for pets, bicycles, motorcycles and cars for private use, as well as trailers, caravans and recreational boats.

Goods that are not exempt include alcohol and tobacco products, commercial transport and imports for professional use.

It’s also worth considering that if you would like to claim any customs exemptions, you must have lived outside of the EU zone for at least 12 consecutive months. Furthermore, the items which you import into Spain should not be new but at least six months of age. This includes personal vehicles.

Imports for commercial use

If you are an entrepreneur who is interested in importing goods into Spain, you will either fall into the category of operating from other EU countries or non-EU countries.

For those who fall into the former category, you will not experience much inconvenience because the regulations that you should be compliant with are applicable in the same manner as if you were obtaining products from any province in Spain.

Meanwhile, if you are from a non-EU country, you will require certain documentation to import goods into Spain. These include:

  • Certificate of origin: this shows the authorities where the item or goods were produced.
  • Commercial Invoice: this specifies the details of the business transaction. It is generally issued by the party which distributes the product to the importer.
  • Packing list: this is a list which specifies things that are included in the shipment such as:
    – The type of goods
    – Their quantity
    – Weight and volume
    – Date of loading
    – Shipper and receiver details
  • Bill of lading: a document that is issued by the air or sea carrier which shows the goods have been received on board.
  • EORI number: a customs-issued document to identify the importer.
  • European Community stamp: permission that guarantees your ability to enter EU territory.

Also worth mentioning is the fact that the EU uses an Import Control System (ICS) and since 1 January 2011, it requires operators to submit an Entry Summary Declaration (ENS) to the customs authorities of any EU country before goods are introduced there. As part of the EU’s customs pre-arrival security and safety programme, ICS2 was introduced on 15 March 2021.

What documents are needed to make an import?

Furthermore, apart from the above-mentioned import documentation for goods coming into Spain, you will require a written declaration that is called the Single Administrative Document (SAD). The SAD – a common import declaration form for all EU countries – encompasses both customs duties and VAT and is valid in all EU member states. SAD can be presented either through a computerised system that’s linked to the Spanish customs authorities or by physically submitting it to the correct customs authorities office.

As part of the SAD document, you will need to include the following information:

– Identify each party in the transaction (importer, exporter, representative, etc.)
– The nature of the shipment (for circulation, consumption, temporary import, transit, etc.)
– Information about the goods being imported
– The means of transportation
– Information about the country of origin, export and final destination, and
– Commercial and financial information

The list of documents that are associated with the SAD include:

– Import licences
– Inspection certificates
– Document of origin
– Transport document
– Commercial invoice
– Insurance documents, and
– Certificates of origin, sanitation and ownership (when required)


Looking to bring international shipments to Spain?

Even though the process of importing products into Spain may seem like a difficult task, remember that DRG Solutions can help with any international courier services from Barcelona. We are one of the most thorough and professional international courier companies that can help you with every part of your journey from your country of origin to your final destination with ease and professionalism and from A to Z. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us for any shipping, couriering or import needs you may have. We’re here and ready to be of help!