Spain - Country Commercial Guide
Temporary Entry
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The Spanish re-export system is in line with EU regulations. Re-export inquiries must be addressed to the Port’s Customs Director. Re-exports of U.S. goods from Spain follow the same procedures as exportation of Spanish products. Goods re-exported to other EU member states are subject to statistical surveillance.

Re-exports to destinations outside the EU and not covered by specific EU regulations and must be exported with an accompanying Customs Export Declaration at the exit point. A limited number of goods require a Prior Notice of Export.

Exporters of high-technology goods subject to U.S. export control procedures must ensure that Spanish clients and subsidiaries are aware of all relevant U.S. export controls.

There are four types of procedures for handling the re-export of goods:

  • Temporary Imports: Goods imported for a limited period under an ATA (international customs document for temporary duty-free imports) carnet. A bank guarantee in the form of a bond equivalent to duties owed must be provided to customs, which will be refunded once the goods leave the country.
  • Temporary Admission: Goods that will be incorporated into a final product for export. The same procedure used for temporary imports applies for re-export.
  • Replacement Goods: Companies with continuing needs for primary materials, commodities, or intermediates can request prior approval for replacement goods after the second year of operation. They must deposit a bond with customs on the compensatory tax only. Replacements for defective goods destroyed under customs supervision are admitted duty-free but require extensive supporting documentation.
  • Drawback: Duties are paid simultaneously with a presentation of a list of products to be re-exported in the future. A rebate is given upon customs clearance out of Spain.

For temporary entry it is usually advisable to purchase an ATA Carnet, which allows for the temporary, duty-free entry of goods into over 50 countries, and is issued by the United States Council for International Business by appointment of the U.S. Customs Service:

Companies are advised to use this carnet procedure to temporarily bring goods into Spain for demonstration purposes without paying duties or posting bond. The carnet must be presented to the customs authorities whenever entering or leaving the country. Consumable items and give-away samples are not included under carnet procedures.

Information on carnet applications is available from all U.S. Export Assistance Centers, most U.S. Chambers of Commerce, and authorized export insurance companies. On-line information and instructions are also available at: ATA Carnet Export Service

Advertising material, catalogs, price lists, and similar printed items are admitted duty free. However, to avoid problems, such items should always be labeled “no value.” Otherwise, a customs duty is likely to be levied on the sample.

Spain admits samples of negligible value duty free, as a signatory to the International Convention to Facilitate the Importation of Commercial Samples and Advertising Matter. Items of commercial value not covered under carnet procedures can be imported by companies for up to a year upon payment of a bond. Upon presentation of the customs receipt and at re-export, the deposit is refunded.

Business visitors with commercial samples should bring letters from their companies attesting to their status, identifying the samples, and certifying that the samples are not for sale.