Plastic Tax – January 2023

Plastic Tax – January 2023


Never a dull day seems to go by now without [yet] another new customs regulation. Below is a new tax relating to single-use/non-reusable plastic packaging that contain imported goods into Spain. The new tax (IENPR) applies to their imports from all countries and applies to all of Spain including Ceuta, Melilla and the Canary Islands.

In general terms, Law 7/2022 includes a comprehensive definition of what it considers “packaging” so that not only packaging used directly for selling products will be taxed but also grouped or transport packaging (products composed of more than one material will be taxed only for the amount of non-recycled plastic they contain). The concepts of “packaging,” “non-reusable,” and “plastic,” as defined by the law, delimit the objective scope of this tax.

Non-reusable packaging containing plastic packaging means all articles designed for the containment, protection, handling, distribution and presentation of goods, including:

  • Those defined as packaging in Law 11/1997 of April 24, 1997 on packaging and packaging waste.
  • Any others which, while falling outside that definition, are designed to achieve the same functions and may be used in the same way, unless they are integral parts of products and are needed to hold, support or preserve those products throughout their useful lives, and where all of their elements are to be used, consumed or disposed of jointly. According to the preamble to the Law, this definition includes plastic cups or rolls of plastic for wrapping or preventing breakages in the transportation of products.

Non-reusable packaging is any that has not been conceived, designed and marketed to accomplish multiple trips or rotations over its life cycle, or to be refilled or reused for the same purpose for which it was conceived.

By way of example, in simplistic terms, if the goods to be imported are 1,000 garments with a usual plastic bag with a unit weight of 1 gram, the total fee is 0.45 euros. Both the data net data weight and the rate must be declared in the IMPORT clearance.

Therefore, if merchandise is provided with primary, secondary or tertiary packaging, must declare the NET WEIGHT in invoices or content list and provide for the invoicing by us of the payment of the tax in Customs. If this information does not appear, import clearances will be delayed, which will result in costs for such delay. Whilst we will do our best to check documentation, we cannot be responsible for any costs incurred as a result of this missing information.

In order to avoid any penalty (which is considered as major, and for an amount of 1000 EUR), the importer must be registered in the “registro de adquirentes intracomunitarios” (UE importers registry) for such commodities to obtain a “CIP“· code (plastic identification code).  Our partners can offer assistance to them as required. Although in Spanish, more information can also be found here.

Exemption: total purchase of non-reusable plastic that do not exceed 5 kgs in a natural month



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