In 2022, Spain imported a total of 469,246.1 million euros, compared to 397,473.2 million euros in exports. This difference between exports and imports determines that Spain is an importing country, and this practice is on the rise (with annual increases of around 4%). So, in today's article, we will explain the requirements for importing into Spain.
What should we understand by importing?
Importing is buying in one country a series of goods produced and sold by a different country. The importation of products within the territory is sometimes limited by the protectionist measures of the States, which aim to protect local products.
To find out which goods are prohibited or restricted, you should go to the website of the Tax Agency and you will find this information.
When do we understand that we are dealing with an import?
Until Spain joined the European Union, any acquisition of goods was considered an import, as it was the purchase of a product from a third country.
However, once Spain becomes a member of the European Union, all movements within European territory lose the connotation of importation and are now called intra-Community acquisitions, which in practice is the same process as when a Spanish company buys within Spanish territory.
Having explained this, we understand importation to be all those movements of goods/services from a third country.
What documents are needed to import goods into Spanish territory?
As mentioned above, if the import into Spain comes from the external borders of the European Union, the main documents that must be presented to customs in order to obtain the release of the goods are:
The commercial invoice must be issued by the supplier. It must clearly indicate the details of the importing company, its own supplier details, the description of the goods to be imported, the price and the conditions of sale (Incoterms).
Packing list or list of contents
This is information relating to the shipment of goods, i.e. the supplier has to specify in this list what goods are being shipped, the number of packages, their dimensions and the weight of each of these packages.
Certificate of origin (if applicable)
The certificate of origin applies when, in the process of importing into Spain, we are including a special type of merchandise or merchandise from a country that offers some type of benefit. In order to enjoy this benefit, it is necessary to present this certificate of origin.
Transport document (Bill of landing, AIRWAYBILL, CMR)
The Bill of Landing is a key document for the importing company, as it is a requirement for the freight forwarder to proceed with the delivery of the goods. This document is issued by the carrier (whether by air or sea) and serves to declare that the goods have been received on board. The name of the document may vary, or more documents may be added, depending on whether one or more modes of transport are used.
Single Administration Document (SAD)
The SAD document, also know as a C88 Document in the UK, is an administrative document containing the export and import declaration of companies, which must be presented to customs before starting the commercial transfer. The document was created with the aim of grouping together all the administrative paperwork required by companies to be able to carry out their export and/or import activity, with the objective of facilitating its completion and subsequent control.