Note: The information provided in this FAQ is not intended to, and should not be construed as, professional legal or tax advice — nor does anything contained here constitute an attorney client relationship between Wish Legal and merchants. Merchants should seek independent counsel if they have legal and/or tax-related queries.
If you are selling packaged products to Spanish customers, your supplies might be subject to the Spanish Plastic Packaging Tax (PPT), which came into effect January 1, 2023. Please continue reading for more information.
1. What is the Spanish PPT?
The tax is an indirect (excise) tax with an environmental purpose. It aims to internalize the environmental costs related to the manufacturing and consumption of plastic packaging in the price of final products.
The plastic packaging tax applies to a broad concept of "non-reusable plastic packaging" in its scope, which includes:
- Non-reusable plastic containers (the Law provides definitions of “non-reusable,” “plastic,” and “container” for the purpose of this tax)
- Semi-finished plastic products (e.g., preforms, thermoplastic sheets) intended for production of non-reusable plastic containers
- Plastic products aimed to facilitate the closing, trading, or presentation of the non-reusable containers
2. Who is subject to the Spain PPT?
The obligation arises in connection to production, cross border movement of goods, and import of non-reusable plastic packaging for its use within the Spanish market, such as:
- Spanish-bound and non-Spanish bound manufactures selling non-reusable plastic packaging manufactured in Spain to consumers in Spain
- Spanish-bound and non-Spanish bound importers of non-reusable plastic packaging into Spain
3. Is there a threshold or exemption applicable?
There is an exemption applicable for small imports or intra-European Union (EU) acquisitions of packages weighing less than 5 kg per month.
4. What if I drop-ship the goods from outside the EU to Spanish consumers?
Currently, it is not confirmed if the Spanish consumer is considered the importer of the goods and subsequently can face an additional levy from the Spanish customs to receive the goods.
The non-reusable plastic packaging products from non-EU bound orders can be assessed, weighted, taxed, and collected at the time of importation directly by the Spanish customs authorities.
5. What is the amount of tax?
The tax rate is €0.45 per kg of non-recycled plastic packaging.
6. How can I be compliant?
Merchants liable to the Spanish plastic tax should have registered in the special register for plastic tax, the latest by January 30, 2023.
Non-Spanish bound merchants subject to the Spanish plastic tax must appoint a Spanish representative before performing the first taxable event.
7. Are there any reporting requirements?
Yes, the monthly/quarterly ledger needs to be electronically submitted.
Monthly/quarterly ledgers for the first half of 2023 were due by July 31, 2023.. After that, the ordinary PPT deadlines apply.
- Taxpayers under a quarterly filing obligation: The deadline for submitting the ledger corresponding to the third quarter of 2023 is October 31, 2023. The next deadline is January 31, 2024, for the submission of the ledger corresponding to the fourth quarter of 2023.
- Taxpayers under monthly filing obligation: The deadline for submitting ledgers corresponding to July and August is September 30, 2023. It is important to note that although the deadline for submitting July ledgers was deferred to the end of September, the obligation to file the return and pay the tax is not deferred, so the July PPT return must have been filed by August 20. The next deadline for ledgers is October 31, when it is mandatory to submit the PPT record for September.
8. Are there any penalties applicable?
There are penalties applicable to merchants that do not comply with the regulations and registration. Also merchants that do not appoint a tax representative can face a penalty.
The maximum penalty for non compliance is EUR 1,000.
9. What action should I take?
Impacted merchants are encouraged to contact a local advisor or expert for further information on the Spanish PPT.
You can find more information about the PPT by visiting the Spanish tax authority website.