From January 2023, Spain will begin collecting a tax on non-recyclable plastic packaging. The tax will be applicable to local and foreign entities.
The law aims to impose a tax on the “non-recyclable” plastics, non-recyclable plastic containers, semi-finished plastic products for the manufacturing of non-recyclable plastic packaging, and plastic products intended to allow closure, trading or presentation of the non-recyclable containers was introduced in April 2022.
However, some plastic products will be tax-exempt or zero-rated. This includes plastic packaging for medical products, other types of goods used for healthcare, or goods exported outside the Spanish territory, or if the non-recyclable plastic container weight does not exceed five kilograms per month. The Spanish regulator has also designed a deduction and refund system so that the exemptions are appropriately applied.
The plastic tax is expected to apply to the manufacture of the said plastics and will be due at the point of payment for the produced goods. It will also be applied to intra-Community acquisitions and imports of eligible products, including irregular introductions. This means that manufacturers, acquirers or importers of the goods that include non-reusable plastic will be subject to the tax. Foreign companies that fall under the category will have to be represented by a Spanish partner before the first taxable event.
The tax is part of a larger trend of green taxes being introduced all across Europe. The amount of the tax will be calculated on the plastic’s weight and will be around EUR 0.45 per kilogram. In order to ensure proper reporting, the amount of non-reusable plastic will be stated on the invoice and guaranteed by third-party certification.
The plastic tax reporting period will be the same as the assigned VAT reporting period for manufacturers and acquirers, while the importers will pay the tax at the customs office. Similar to VAT payers, companies dealing with large amounts of non-reusable plastic will have to register for a taxpayer certificate before the end of January 2023.
All entities eligible for the tax will have to account for and invoice certain information on plastic acquisition or production. Manufacturers will have to archive records for materials used and outputs of the production, and acquirers will have to maintain a register.
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