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The Role of a Customs Representative in Spain

As a customs representative, you have a key role in Spain. Not only do you need to be registered and take care of all the formalities, but also you have to maintain full audit trails for each of your declarations.

Under EU law, the importer is jointly and severally liable for any import VAT that is not paid to Customs. This is an important consideration for forwarding agents who act as indirect representante aduanero, and especially for non-EU importers.

Tax Point

Spanish Value Added Tax (VAT) applies to most supplies of goods and services in Spain. Unless exempt, it will be charged at 21% on most supplies.

Imports of goods: these are not subject to VAT if the total value of the goods is less than 150 EUR. However, import duties are chargeable if the total value exceeds this threshold.

Intra-Community acquisitions of goods: These are supply contracts where the supplier dispatches or transports the goods to a recipient in Spanish VAT territory from another Member State. The tax point is the 15th day of the month following the dispatch or transport.

If you have a fixed establishment in Spain, it is advisable to submit your VAT returns monthly or quarterly, as well as processing refunds and compensation requests. We will assist you throughout the whole process, handling all correspondence with the Spanish tax and customs authorities on your behalf to defend your interests.

Fiscal Representative

A fiscal representative in Spain is a service provider that represents foreign entrepreneurs in tax matters before the Spanish authorities, among other things. Having a fiscal representative helps you to overcome language barriers when contacting the authorities.

Non-EU based ecommerce sellers that are registered for EU VAT and sell goods into the European Union must appoint a fiscal representative. This is an obligation that will continue to apply after Brexit.

The VAT regulations in Europe differ from country to country and language is a key factor. This can lead to misunderstandings with local tax authorities.

In some countries, such as in Spain, you may not have to appoint a fiscal representative if your business has a permanent establishment in the country. This is a very important point to keep in mind when considering whether to hire a fiscal representative.

A tax representative in Spain can be a lawyer, accountant or other specialised company that can assist with your commercial activities and meet all administrative requirements for cross-border operations. They will also take care of all the filings, administrational processes and advise you on changes in rules and regulations that could affect you.

CIP Number

If you have a business in Spain, you will need a tax ID number (CIF). It consists of a letter followed by 8 digits and a different letter for each type of company.

Spanish citizens are issued a national ID number, which functions as their NIF tax number and you will need it for most legal and financial transactions in the country. Foreign residents, on the other hand, get an NIE number which is similar to their DNI plus one letter.

For foreigners living in Spain, it is also necessary to get a Spanish healthcare card. This is called a TSI and varies slightly depending on where you live, but you will need to register in your local ‘padro’ census before applying for this card.

Once you have your TSI, you will be able to request access to the public health system and use La Meva Salut to download medical records and make health queries. This website and app also allows you to book vaccination appointments online.

VAT Registration

If your business is operating in Spain and you have goods in stock here or if you sell goods to Spanish consumers, you need a VAT registration. This tax is imposed on all transactions with European countries inside the EU and mainly applies to the regular type, but also to the super-reduced type.

The VAT identification number is issued by the Agencia Espanola de la Administracion Tributaria, an official agency in Spain that handles all taxes. It is a 9-character code that contains the country code (ES) followed by a number of characters.

You need a VAT number if you are delivering goods to private customers in Spain, or if you have to store your goods in Spain for more than 35,000 euros. In addition, if you supply intra-community goods to another Member State and do not charge reverse charges, you need a VAT number here as well.



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