If you are emigrating to Spain to take up temporary residence, the law allows you to import house furnishings, household goods and other personal possessions without paying customs duty or VAT. However, if you were a non-EU resident before emigration, these tax exemptions will only come into effect if you can show that the items you are importing into the country had been in use for at least 6 months before the time of your relocation.

In order to move goods to Spain, you must first provide a Certificate of Change of Residence which is typically issued by your Embassy or Consulate in your home country/country of origin. This certificate should ascertain that you were a registered as a resident in your country of origin for at least 365 days and your intentions to change your residence to Spain.

The law also stipulates that the goods that you are shipping should arrive in Spain’s ports within three months of your arrival date to the country. However, if there are delays in your chosen shipping route, you can be granted a further three months extension.

Note that customs authorities in Spain usually inspect the nature of the possessions and furniture shipped into the country to ascertain that the goods ‘conform to the social bearing’ of the person importing them. On arriving at Spanish customs, the law requires that you declare any new items in your luggage. Note that unlike used personal possessions, you will be required to pay customs duty for any new items you are bringing into the country.

If you are an EU citizen moving to Spain, make sure to ask your moving agent to provide you with an Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) number.

Note that when moving household goods to Spain, you are required to attach a document from your local town hall in Spain that certifies your actual place of residence. Further, you will also be required to sign another document stating that you agree not to sell, transfer or lease any of the items listed in your cargo manifest for at least 12 months.

If you are looking to learn more about the items that may be exempted from customs duty or you are looking to get customs duty exemptions when shipping to Spain, you can always visit the nearest Spanish Consulate. When applying for duty exemptions, you will be asked to provide the following documents …

  • An application to have your items exempted from customs duty which should be addressed to the customs administrator in the port where your items will be shipped for clearance
  • 2 copies of an inventory listing the goods you want exempted which should be stamped by the Spanish Consulate in your country of origin. This inventory should be written in Spanish and it should be in duplicate. The inventory that you provide should also include the approximate value especially for items that one uses to work as well as electronics
  • A statement declaring that you have owned the items listed in the inventory for at least 6 months
  • A genuine legal copy of your Spanish work permit or residency permit

Note that if you supply customs authorities with your work/residency permit application, your Identity Number for Foreigners (NIE), and a cash deposit or bank overdraft to cover for import duties, they can start the process of clearing the items that you imported even without the documents listed above. However, if the authorities use your work/residency permit, NIE & cash deposit to clear your goods, they will retain them as a guarantee until you are able to furnish them with the documents listed above. Should you sell the possessions that you have listed in your inventory before a year elapses, your duty exemption can be revoked. Note that the Spanish authorities reserve the right to carry out an inspection to ascertain that you are still in possession of the items you listed for customs duty exemption for a period of one year.

Rules on the Importation of Motor Vehicles to Spain

Cars, motorcycles and other vehicle components including spare parts can be imported to Spain for a maximum duration of 6 months – as long as the imported items are just for personal use. The maximum duration can be extended at the discretion of Spain’s Custom Agency – Direccion General de Aduanas.

Rules on the Importation of Restricted Items

It is illegal to import firearms and ammunition to Spain unless you first obtain clearance from the Local District Police. However, you can import hunting arms as long as you declare them upon arrival to the country.

To learn more about the Customs regulations in Spain, you can visit the nearest Spanish Consulate or the Direccion General de Aduanas. More information on matters pertaining to taxation can also be found at the website of the Nation’s tax agency – Agencia Tributaria.

To get a price for your Relocation to Spain and further help with the customs duty of moving to Spain, contact Edwards European Moving, who are fluent in Spanish and English with many years experience in moving people from the UK to Spain. Call 01953 718239 , Email info@edwardseuropeanmoving.com or Get A Free Moving Quote