Guide to determine Duties and Taxes for shipments imported or exported into Spain

Published on September 4, 2015 by MariaJoseR

Image courtesy of Vichaya Kiatying-A./ FreeDigitalPhotos

When shipping packages or goods from the United States into Spain, the biggest unknown is typically the cost associated with the duties and taxes. Every country has different regulations and policies to follow, Spain is no different. But as a general rule, most goods imported into Spain are required to pay for:

  • 1) Duties (Ad Valorem Duty)
  • 2) VAT (Value Added Taxes)

  • To determine which one of these two fees is applicable to your shipments, you can follow the following threshold guideline:

  • If a commercial shipment is below €22; no duty and no VAT are collected.
  • If a commercial shipment is between €22 and €150; no duty is collected, but VAT is collected.
  • If a commercial shipment is over €150; both duty and VAT are collected.
  • If you fall in the first bracket, that’s great! You do not have to worry about duties or VAT fees. But if you fall under the second or third bracket it is important to know how these fees are calculated to avoid potential surprises.

    Duties are based on the value of the product plus its freight and insurance (if any). The Duty rates applied to goods imported into Spain typically range between 0% and 17%. Products, such as: Books, Laptops, Mobile Phones, Digital cameras and Video Game consoles, are Duty free. The table below summarizes the duty rate for the most common commodities:


    Duty Rate

    Laptops 0%
    Mobile  phones 0%
    Digital cameras 0%
    Video Game Consoles 0%
    Shoes 8%
    Clothing and Apparel 8%
    Blankets 6.9%
    Laptops accessories 2.7%
    Toys 0%

    The VAT rate is based on the value of the shipment, the insurance cost plus the duty amount payable. The Spanish standard rate of VAT is 21%. Although, there are reduced rates of 10% for health products and 4% for goods considered as basic necessities, such as food and reading material.

    Other taxes and customs fees
    Excise duty is payable on tobacco and alcohol products. Additional customs fees can be charged to cover the expense of performing any required examinations, verification and or testing of the imported goods.

    1) Product: Laptop Case, value €15
    –Duties: 0
    –VAT: 0
    –Total Cost: €15

    2) Product: Shoes, value €120
    –Duties: 0
    –VAT: (120*.21) = €25.20
    –Total Cost: €145.20

    3) Product: Blanket, value €250
    –Duties: (250*.069) = €17.25
    –VAT: (250+17.25)*.21 = €56.12
    –Total Cost: €323.37

    Additional Tips:

  • Discounted shipping rates of up to 60% can be obtained via

  • Spanish users can take advantage of services such as to buy or import commodities from the United States

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