New tax on non-reusable plastic packaging in Spain

Which kind of transaction requires the payment of the tax?

The manufacture, the import (from outside the European Union) and the intra-community acquisition (from the European Union) made in Spanish territory of the following products are subject to the tax:


  • Non-reusable packaging that contains plastic.

For these purposes, the items considered as packaging all those designed to contain, protect, manipulate, distribute and present merchandise, including within these both, those defined in article 2.1 of Law 11/1997, of April 24, on Packaging and Packaging Waste, as well as any others that, not finding fit in said definition, are intended to fulfil the same functions and that can be used in the same terms, unless said items form an integral part of a product and are necessary to contain, support or preserve said product throughout its useful life and all its elements are intended to be used, consumed or disposed of together.

Packaging is considered non-reusable when they have not been conceived, designed and marketed to carry out multiple circuits or rotations throughout their life cycle, or to be refilled or reused for the same purpose for which they were designed.

  • Semi-finished plastic products intended for obtaining the packaging referred to in letter a), such as preforms or thermoplastic sheets.
  • Products that contain plastic intended to allow the closure, marketing or presentation of non-reusable packaging.

Those products that, being composed of more than one material, contain plastic, will be taxed for the amount of plastic they contain.

Definition of «Plastic»

For the purposes of this tax, «plastic» is understood as the material composed of a polymer as defined in article 3.5 of Regulation (EC) No. 1907/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council, of December 18, 2006, to which additives or other substances may have been added, and which can function as the main structural component of the final products, with the exception of polymers natural that have not been chemically modified. Paints, inks and adhesives that are polymeric materials are not included.


Some plastic packaging does not have to pay the tax, despite being within its scope, because they enjoy a special exemption. In summary, they are the following:

a) Those that are intended to provide the function of containment, protection, handling, distribution and presentation of medicines, health products, food for special medical uses, infant formula for hospital use or hazardous waste of health origin.

b) The plastic rolls used in the bales or bales for fodder silage or cereals for agricultural or livestock use.

c) Those intended to be sent to a territory other than the one in which the tax is applied.

d) Those that are no longer suitable for use or have been destroyed.

e) When the total weight of non-recycled plastic contained in said packaging subject to importation or intra-community acquisition does not exceed 5 kilograms in a month.

f) Semi-finished plastic products when they are not going to be used to obtain plastic packaging.

g) Products that contain plastic intended to allow the closure, marketing or presentation of non-reusable packaging when they are not going to be used in said uses.

The effectiveness of all the aforementioned exemptions is always conditional on the circumstances by which they are applied being proven.




Products not subject to tax

The law details some cases in which the products are not subject to tax. In summary, these are some cases:

a) The manufacture of non-reusable plastic packaging that has ceased to be suitable for use or have been destroyed.

b) The manufacture of non-reusable plastic packaging intended to be sent abroad.

c) The manufacture, import or intra-community acquisition of paints, inks, lacquers and adhesives, even if they are designed to be incorporated into non-reusable plastic packaging.

d) The manufacture, import or intra-community acquisition of non-reusable plastic packaging that, being able to perform the functions of containment, protection and handling of merchandise, is not designed to be delivered together with said merchandise.

Entry into force

The tax will apply to manufacturing, imports (from outside the European Union) and intra-community acquisitions (from the European Union) made from January 1, 2023.

How is the tax calculated?

The tax base will be constituted by the amount of non-recycled plastic, expressed in kilograms, contained in the products subject to the tax.

The tax rate will be 0.45 euros per kilogram.

The tax to be paid will be the result of multiplying €0.45 by the kilograms of non-recycled plastic that has been manufactured, imported or acquired from the European Union (except the first 5 kg of each month for imports and intra-community acquisitions).

How sales of plastic packaging are made

  • In the first sale after manufacturing, manufacturers must pass on to the purchaser the amount of the tax instalments.

The invoice must specify separately:

1st) The tax fee.

2nd) The amount of non-recycled plastic contained in the products, expressed in kilograms.

3rd) If an exemption is applied, indicating the article of the law that determines it.

  • In subsequent sales, if the customer requests it, the supplier must deliver a certificate or include the following information on the invoice:

1st) The tax already paid initially for plastic packaging or if any exemption was applied, indicating the article of the law that determines it.

2ºnd) The amount of non-recycled plastic contained in the products, expressed in kilograms.

Presentation of declarations-settlements

Manufacturers and those who make intra-community acquisitions of non-reusable plastic packaging must submit the self-assessment and payment of the tax, with the same frequency as the VAT declarations (quarterly or monthly, as the case may be).

Importers who purchase plastic packaging from countries outside the European Union will pay the tax together with the other elements of the customs debt.

Representative in Spain for non-residents

Non-resident taxpayers in Spain will be obliged to appoint a representative in Spain.

Registration in the Registry

Those required to pay the tax, as well as their representatives, will be required to register in the «Territorial Registry of the Special Tax on non-reusable plastic packaging», before carrying out the first operation subject to this tax.

Other formal obligations

  • The manufacturers that are determined (by Ministerial Order) must keep an accounting of the products related to this tax and their raw materials, in computerized format and in connection with the electronic office of the Tax Agency.
  • Taxpayers who make intra-community acquisitions of plastic packaging must keep a record book of stocks.
  • Taxpayers who import must enter the amount of non-recycled plastic imported, expressed in kilograms, indicating whether the 5 kg exemption applies. monthly, in the import customs declaration.


  • Lack of registration in the Territorial Registry of the special tax on non-reusable plastic packaging.

Penalty: 1,000 euros.

  • Failure to appoint a representative by taxpayers not established in Spain.

Penalty: 1,000 euros.

  • The false or incorrect certification (by the duly accredited entity) of the amount of recycled plastic contained in the products.

Penalty: 50% of the unpaid tax, with a minimum of 1,000 euros.

+ 25% if it is the second sanction in 2 years.

  • Undue use of exemptions.

Penalty: 150% of the tax benefit unduly enjoyed, with a minimum of 1,000 euros.

  • The incorrect indication in the invoice or in the certificate of the obligatory data.

Penalty: 75 euros for each



Sobre el autor:

ines gros dig abogados barcelona

Inés Gros

DiG Advocats


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