E-commerce continues its unstoppable growth, resulting in an ever-increasing number of items being purchased through international websites. However, buyers are not always aware of all the costs associated with importing their goods. In this article we explain when your goods will be subject to the payment of import duties and taxes and how to calculate them.
The first point to be aware of is that the import of goods into Spain from countries belonging to the Customs Territory of the European Community is not subject to the payment of customs duties or, in most cases, taxes. Therefore, only goods imported from countries outside the Customs Territory of the Community (so-called third party countries) will be subject to duty.
The Customs Territory of the Community generally corresponds to the territory of the European Union, with some exceptions. For example, in Spain, Ceuta and Melilla are part of the European Union’s territory but not of the Customs Territory of the Community. Similarly, San Marino and Monaco are not part of the European Union’s territory but are included in the Customs Territory of the Community. See the full list of territories included clicking here.
When to pay import duties and taxes
As mentioned above, any goods imported into mainland Spain, the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands from a third party country or from Ceuta and Melilla and which, in addition, exceed the value established for duty-free entry, will be subject to the payment of duties and will require the submission of an import declaration for customs clearance.
The taxes linked to the import of these goods are VAT (value added tax) or IGIC (in the case of the Canary Islands). In addition, there may be excise duties depending on the type of goods.
The following table shows the applicable taxes and rates, according to the value of the goods to be imported:
It should be remembered that the amounts corresponding to these taxes are independent of the cost of the freight and other services contracted from the transport operator.
How to calculate the total cost of a purchase
Once you know your purchase is subject to taxes and duties, you may want to calculate the total amount you would pay for it. For this purpose, the duty will be calculated on the basis of the CIF value (cost of goods + insurance + freight) and the taxes on the basis of the CIF value + duty.
For the sake of clarity, here are some examples for importing goods declared under the generic duty classification:
However, whether you have to pay customs duties will depend on the conditions of purchase with your supplier.
If you have purchased under DDP (Delivered Duty Paid) conditions, that is, the price given to you by the supplier includes all expenses and taxes; this means that the price you are quoted would be the total cost you would have to pay for your purchase. Otherwise, payment of duties and taxes will be made by you, either directly to Customs or through the customs representative hired by you or your supplier.
At Cacesa we offer you our extensive experience in import and export procedures for goods in Spain and all over the world. We have first hand knowledge of all the information necessary to transport all your products under guarantee and can advise you on the different customs formalities. Contact one of our specialists now if you need more information.
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