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New tax on non-reusable plastic packaging

Law 7/2022 on waste and contaminated soils for a circular economy, incorporates in its Title VII on fiscal measures to incentivise the circular economy, in Chapter I, a special tax on non-reusable plastic packaging. This tax entered into force on 1 January 2023, and is intended to encourage the recycling of plastic waste.

This economic instrument has been introduced as a fiscal measure to incentivise the circular economy, alongside the tax on landfilling, incineration and co-incineration of waste. The tax in question seeks to tax non-reusable plastic packaging, for which we will have to analyse each of its parts.

What is meant by packaging

The tax on non-reusable packaging is an indirect tax on the use in Spanish territory of packaging containing plastic that is not reusable. The tax is understood to packaging the following options:

  • All articles designed to contain, protect, handle, distribute and present goods.
  • Semi-finished plastic products intended to obtain the packaging mentioned in the previous point, such as thermoplastic sheets or plates.
  • Products containing plastics intended to enable the closure, marketing or presentation of non-reusable packaging.

Excluded from this definition is packaging that forms an integral part of and is necessary to contain, support or preserve the product. A clear example would be the plastic protector of the alarms that accompanies it throughout its lifetime.

In addition, plastic shall be understood to mean products composed of a polymer to which additives may have been added, except for natural, non-genetically modified polymers.

What is meant by non-reusable

Finally, non-reusable means all packaging that is not designed to have multiple circuits and rotations in its life cycle.

To whom the tax will be levied

Once the target scope of the tax has been visualised, it is necessary to determine the taxable event, i.e. who is to be taxed with this tax. There are three groups that will be taxed:


  1. Accrual with the sale of the product within Spanish territory.
  2. Taxpayer: the manufacturer.
  3. Type of declaration: it is usually similar to the VAT process, it is presented on a monthly or quarterly basis.

Intra-Community acquisition

  1. Accrued when the product enters Spanish territory.
  2. Taxpayer: those who carry out ITAs. 
  3. Type of declaration: similar to the VAT process.
  4. Exemption: when the product comes from an intra-Community country and is taken out of Spain for re-dispatch to a third country. It may happen that when the tax has to be paid, the goods have already left for a third country, so they are exempt from compliance.


  1. Accrual: with the SAD document.
  2. Taxpayer: the importer from a third country.
  3. Type of declaration: paid at customs upon entry, once the goods have been released.
  4. Cases of exception:
    1. Customs warehouse: the goods come from a third country, arrive in Spain and are left in a warehouse for subsequent shipment to an EU country. It is not accrued.
    2. Purchase from a third country: it enters Spain and is dispatched, at which point the tax has accrued. If it is subsequently re-shipped to an EU country, a refund will be requested.

From ScrapAd, a marketplace for scrap metal trading, we hope we have clarified all the information you need to understand the new tax on non-reusable plastic packaging in Spain. You may also be interested in the article where we talk about the requirements for importing into Spain.

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