Spanish plastic tax: frequently asked questions

Spanish special tax on non-reusable packaging plastics has been effective since January 2023. Marosa can help you meet this obligation.

Spanish plastic tax: Marosa webinar

Spanish special tax on non-reusable packaging plastics came into force in January 2023. The tax is defined as an indirect tax on the use of non-reusable containers that contain plastic, whether they are empty or containing, protecting, handling, distributing and presenting a product.

To clarify some of the questions that have been around since this new tax entered into force, Marosa held a webinar about the Spanish tax on non-reusable plastic packaging. If you missed it, no worries!

Finally, the Spanish tax authorities released a Frequently Asked Questions article to clarify some major areas about the new tax. We have translated and explain some of these questions in English, you will find this in the section below. Finally, you can also find the official general guidelines of the tax here.

Marosa can help you meet this obligation! Contact us for more information.

Spanish plastic tax: FAQ

What packaging is in scope of the tax?

  • Non-reusable plastic containers.
  • Semi-finished plastic products intended for the production of non-reusable plastic packaging.
  • Plastic products intended to allow the closure, trading or presentation of the non-reusable containers. 

Some examples of products falling within the scope of the tax are applicators for cosmetic products (e.g. the mascara brushes forming part of the closure of the packaging), trays to contain and protect foodstuffs (e.g., for sliced and baked goods, ready meals, fruit, meat, fish, etc.), plastic bags and plastic sacks (e.g., food freezer bags), plastic rings that group units of a pack (such as beverage cans), packaging tape, packaging film. There is an extensive list included on the FAQ published by the tax authorities.

What is the taxable event?

The manufacture, import, intra-community acquisition or irregular possession of products that are subject to the tax.

A manufacturing company makes an intra-Community acquisition or importation of a semi-finished product for the purpose of transforming it into non-reusable plastic packaging. Considering that the tax is already due for the first acquisition or importation operation, is the manufacture of the final packaging also subject to taxation?

The taxable event is the manufacture, importation, intra-Community acquisition or irregular introduction into the territory of application of the tax of the products in scope.

In this case, the taxable event occurs with the intra-Community acquisition or importation of the semi-finished product. If in the territory of application of the tax the 'manufacturer' does not add any further plastic elements to the semi-finished products, the taxable event of manufacture does not occur.

What is the tax base?

The taxable base is composed of the amount of non-recycled plastic, expressed in kilograms, contained in the products subject to the tax.

The amount of recycled plastic contained in the products subject to the tax must be certified by an authorized entity to issue the corresponding certification. Temporarily, during the 12 months following the application of the tax, on January 1, 2023, it will also be possible to prove the amount of non-recycled plastic contained in the products subject to the tax by means of a responsible declaration signed by the manufacturer.

What is the tax rate?

The applicable tax rate is 0.45 euros per kilogram of non-recycled plastic contained in the products subject to the tax.

When do you need a plastic tax registration?

If you are obliged to register in the territorial registry of the Special Tax on non-reusable plastic containers, you must request your registration prior to the start of your activity.

When do you need plastic tax representation?

If you are a taxpayer not established in Spanish territory, you are obliged to appoint a representative before the Tax Administration in relation to your obligations for this tax. The appointment must be made before performing the first taxable transaction.

What are the accounting obligations?

If you are a manufacturer of products that fall into the tax’s scope, you must keep an accounting of the manufactured products.

If you are an intra-community purchaser of the products in scope, you must keep a stock record.

Do I need to file a plastic tax return?

When making manufacture or intra-community acquisitions of taxable products, the taxpayers are obliged to submit a tax return including the quotas due and to make the tax payment.

The reporting periods can be monthly or quarterly, depending on the reporting period for VAT returns.

You can also have a look at our previous article about the Spanish plastic tax.


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