The foreign entrepreneurs who are interested in starting a business in Spain should know that they may need to register for an EORI (Economic Operators Registration and Identification) number, which is a unique number assigned for companies in the European Community. Our team of Spanish lawyers can present the procedures that have to be completed when applying for an EORI number in Spain.
The customs authorities in every country of the European Community are in charge for assigning the EORI numbers, after an economic operator registers for customs purposes in a member state. The EORI number is valid in all countries in the European Community and every company that performsimport/export activities in Spain needs to register for obtaining it.
Investors who want to apply for an EORI number in Spain in 2023 must submit a completed form with the Agentia Tributaria (the Spanish Tax Authority). The form is necessary for economic operators registered outside the EU.
The registration is done as per the rules of the Regulation (EU) no. 608/2013. Companies that will register in 2023 for an EORI number, and which are non-EU legal entities, will be issued with a 14 digit code.
The code will contain the 2 letters refering to Spain (ES), then the letter K and then an 11 alphanumberic code. This code is necessary for non-EU businesses which do not need to apply for a TIN number in Spain in 2023 (they do not carry taxable transactions in Spain).
EORI Registration in Spain
The EORI number will be generally assigned in the country where your company performed the first import/export activity. If you applied and obtained an EORI number that was issued in the country of residence of your business, there is no need to apply for another EORI number in Spain.
The basic provisions that refer to the EORI number in the European Union (EU) and the manner in which it can be issued and used is stipulated under the Commission Regulation (EC) No. 312/2009, a legal act which amended the previous legislation referring to the EORI number, namely the Regulation (EC) No. 2454/93 and the Council Regulation (EEC) No. 2913/92.
The owners of the companies registered in Spainwho need an EORI number may contact the Tax Agency that will assign it. The Tax Agency usually provide an EORI number to all the companies incorporated in Spain that perform import/export activities on a regular basis, but there are certain situations in which the procedure is different.
In Spain, the formalities for obtaining an EORI number are handled by the Agencia Tributaria and those who need to apply for this tax identification number should verify the basic conditions. However, our team of Spanish lawyers can also assist with advice on the documents that are requested during the registration. The EORI in Spain is required in the following cases:
the economic operators registered in one of the EU member states have to apply for EORI in Spain if they are involved in customs procedures;
this can refer to entities operating as importers or exports, but other categories may also need the EORI number;
the necessity for having an EORI number is also applicable in the case of trading entities that are not registered in the EU;
this is necessary for those who need to file with the Spanish customs authorities an exit summary declaration or an entry summary declaration;
non-EU traders should also apply for EORI in Spain provided that they have a temporary storage facility;
the EORI number is also required in the case in which an entity applies for certificate which grants the status of Authorized Economic Operator.
The EORI number is also necessary for non-EU traders provided that they transport goods on the EU territory by sea, inland waterways or by air. The requirement for obtaining an EORI in Spain can also be applicable for other entities than the ones registered as economic operators.
For this purpose, the national law of a specific member state has to be verified. Those involved in trading activities should also know that the identification number can be required regardless if the entity is represented by a company or by a natural person.
An important aspect that has to be considered by those applying for EORI in Spain is that the issuance of this identification code must be done prior to engaging in any trading activities with the Spanish customs authorities. Investors can request additional information on this matter fromour law firm in Spain.
As a general rule, the Spanish tax institutions will be able to issue the EORI number in a period of 10 days (but this can depend on various factors), so it is important to verify all the conditions that must be met, as goods can be blocked in the customs, if the EORI number was not issued at the moment in which the company began its trading operations. Please note that once the EORI in Spain is issued, there is no need to apply for a renewal, as the identification number does not expire.
What are the EORI rules for 2023?
Starting with 2021, the rules on EORI numbers have changed, due to the fact that the United Kingdom (UK), which was a part of the European Union (EU), has left this structure. These rules are to be maintained throughout 2023 as well. Thus, if you are a company in Spain trading with the UK, you may need to apply for a separate EORI number issued by the British institutions. The same will apply for UK based companies trading with Spain, they will need a Spanish EORI number in order to comply with the new border control regulations.
We invite you to watch this video about the EORI number prepared by our lawyers in Spain:
What are the import-export statistics regarding Spain?
Companies that are interested in importing goods into Spain must know that this country is a competitive economy, having very good trading relations with other partner countries. As a member state of the EU, its top trading activities are developed with other EU countries, but important import-export operations are also developed with the United States of America, China or Morocco. At the level of 2018, the following data is available:
Spain was the 15th economy with regards to its total export volumes, in a study comprising 119 economies;
when referring to its import levels, Spain represented the 14th top global economy (from 119 countries);
in 2018, the total volume of exports accounted for $328 billion, while the volume of imports had a value of $376 billion;
the top export country was France, with a total volume of exports accounting for $50 billion;
the main importer into Spain was Germany, with a volume of imports accounting for $47 billion;
in 2018, the top Spanish export products were represented by motor vehicles and vehicles parts, accounting for $57 billion;
the highest demand when referring to the imported goods into Spain was observed in the case of oil and mineral fuels, which had a value of $56 billion.
What are the obligations of the Spanish tax authorities?
The Spanish tax authorities have to gather the information on all the EORI users in this country and send the database to the EORI central system, which is handled at the EU level. The authorities of each EU member state are required to provide updated information on each EORI user, if such data will modify.
In this sense, it is necessary to know that the tax authorities will generally need to provide information on the following: the EORI in Spain assigned to an economic operator, the name of the person who was assigned with an EORI number, the address of residence or the place of establishment, the VAT number, the person’s consent to disclose information related to the EORI number, the personal data and other similar information.
Who is required to ask for an EORI number in Spain in 2023?
The EORI number is not assigned by default to foreign entrepreneurs and legal entities that are not registered in Spain. It is necessary for these categories of entities to request the EORI number from the Spanish authorities, if they have not received it yet from the authorities in their own country. Firstly, the foreign economic operators must verify if they have already obtained an EORI number in their own country.
For companies in Spain, approximately 90% of them already have an EORI number (this is applicable for companies registered as small and medium sized companies).
If they don’t have an EORI number, they may request it online, at the E-Office in Spain, or in written directly from Spanish Customs and Excise Office or the Department of Customs and Excise. For more details about the registration for EORI number, the documents you need and conditions, you may contact our lawyers in Spain. You may find out from our law firm in Spain which are the conditions for obtaining the EORI number and in what other cases you may needed it.
You can contact our lawyers in Barcelonaif you need to find out more information concerning EORI registration in Spain. Our team can offer more details on the regulations applicable to import-export activities.
Please mind that customs formalities are mandatory when the value of the goods imported is of minimum EUR 150 and, depending on the goods imported, tariffs and customs duties can apply.
Our law firm can provide in-depth information concerning border procedures applicable to foreigners, as well as on any other taxes that can be charged to non-residents.
If you live in Madrid, we invite you to contact our lawyers in Madrid for advice on the taxes charged to individuals and businesses in this city. Our team can offer advice on the financial documents foreigners must prepare.
In the case in which you rent or own a property in this country, you will be liable to paying different taxes, fees and other obligations associated with your property. Thus, we recommend you to contact our property lawyers in Spain for advice on tax obligations you can have as the owner of a Spanish property, regardless of its usage (residential, industrial or commercial).
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Federico Richardson is a lawyer experienced in dealing with international clients interested in doing business in Spain especially in corporate and real estate sectors. He is a graduate of the University of Navarra, took part in various businesses and now he coordinates the engagements at Lexidy Law Boutique SLP. Contact us for details
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