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About: Antonio - NF Spain

Acualmente viviendo en Barcelona. Desde 1995 trabajando en el sector del transitario. Gran experiencia acumulada en cargas marítimas, aéreas y despachos de aduanas. Actualmente y desde 2012 responsable del departamento de tráfico de N.F. Spain S.L.

Recent Posts by Antonio - NF Spain

How to Issue a Commercial Invoice for Export to Spain Purpose?

When export to Spain, or in general, exporting goods, a commercial invoice serves as the bill of sale between both buyer and seller. It also provides information on what is being exported as well as any important transactions numbers and/ or other references.

Preparing the invoice in the form that both seller and customer agreed upon is crucial due to the fact that an invoice is the vehicle for payment.

It is important you have to be advice, proforma invoices are not allowed by customs in Spain.

Do not use pro forma invoices for export to Spain purposes.


This means any changes of price or terms must be included. Aside from customizations, every commercial invoice must include specific information, wich is mandatory for spanish customs.


Documents needed when export to spain

Here is how to issue a commercial invoice for export to Spain purposes.

The Basics

All invoices for export to Spain must have :

  • Seller full details
  • Buyer full details
  • Number of invoice
  • Date of invoice
  • Product descriptions
  • HS Code of the cargo (harmonized tariff code) (Providing this tariff codes helps to ensure that inaccurate duty calculations do not occur)
  • Units of each product
  • Value of each product
  • Total value
  • Invoice has to be stamped and signed by seller.


Payment, currency and Incoterms

When preparing an invoice for export to Spain, clearly stating all information pertaining to payment is necessary. The method of payment has to be stated as well as all reference numbers related to it. Aside from payment method, a commercial invoice for exported goods should always identify the currency in which the transaction will be made.

Next, shipping incoterm terms has to be included.


Customs in Spain accept discounts in commercial invoices of a maximum around 3% of value of the product, then, if seller disccounts in the invoice more than that value, it is possible at entry the declared value for duties purposes will be not allow more discount than the 3% and total value of the product will be included in the base of duties calculation.


We recommend strongly send it in PDF format.



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Duties, Taxes and Fees Which May Apply to Imports into Spain

Duties, Taxes and Fees which may apply to imports into Spain, is one of the most understoods parts of any process when start’s up or companies start in shipping business.

As a member of the European Union and World Trade Organization, imports into Spain follows EU and GATT trading regulations.

Spain calculates customs duties based on cost, insurance and freight (CIF).  Non-EU imports are charged the EU Common External Tariff rates.

Duties, taxes and fees imports into Spain. customs clearance aduana nf spain transitario forwarder agente de aduanas.



DUTIES imports into Spain

Duties vary depending on the cargo.

You can check what you are going to pay for your cargos imports into Spain in our DUTIES PAGE, in our TOOLS section.

Other extra common taxes and duties pay the imports into Spain due the cargo are:

Countervailing Duties which extend from 5% to 33% are put in place to offset low-priced, subsidized imports which negatively impact Spanish industries.

Watch Duty Rate is based on the how a watch is classified when it enters Spanish customs.  The duty ranges from none if cost of commercial shipment is less than 22 EUR to duty be assessed for commercial shipments over 150 EUR.

Antidumping Duties are charged when the imports are priced less than the normal value of the products and as a result, adversely affect Spanish industry.  Dumping occurs when the price of the product is less than what is ordinarily charged for use in the exporting country.  If there is no comparable domestic price, dumping is assumed when the import is priced less than the highest comparable price charged when exported into a third country; or when the import is sold at a price less than the cost of production plus reasonable selling expense and profit in the originating country.  The duty is limited to the difference between the dumping price and the comparable price.

Excise Duties are levied against luxury goods such as perfume, alcohol, tobacco products and other commodities as deemed by Spanish regulations.

Import Taxes for most imports into Spain are charged under MFN (Most Favored Nation) rates.  Textiles, autos, electronics, meat, sugar, cereal, tobacco and alcohol are taxed at higher rates.



Since joining the European Union in 1986, imports into Spain are also subject to the VAT (Value Added Tax) charged under three rate categories.  Most manufactured goods over 22 EUR are taxed at 21%.  Agricultural, medical, pharmaceutical, various services and human and animal food are taxed at the 10% rate.  A rate of 4% is applied to bread, dairy, eggs, produce, vehicles and medical equipment for the disabled and public transportation vehicles. (Please verify with us at time you are reading this post, these are the actual rates).


If you are not a company and you are not registered in Spain as importer of the cargo you want to entry (IAE), then you pay an extra 5.2% of the value CIF of the cargo. This tax is called in Spain: ‘RECARGO DE EQUIVALENCIA’.



Customs Fees include fines and penalties which may be charged when a customs declaration or commercial invoice is submitted late, or when there is a 4% or greater discrepancy between declared and submitted values.

Examination Fees to recover the expense of verification, testing and inspection mandated for entry of certain goods into Spanish commerce.  Cosmetics, drugs, medicines and artwork may be assessed examination fees.

And obviously the freight fees, FOB expences at departure, all of this will depend on the INCONTERMS ( EXW, DDP…..) you will buy / sell.

You can ask us for a QUOTE, we will answer you within 24 hours.



The main fees you need to pay are: VAT and the DUTIES of the cargo to the customs goverment  + Shipping expences to the freight forwarder you will hire.


For assistance on managing customs clearance in Spain, please send us a ticket via our SUPPORT department we will be more than happy to help you.


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Freight Insurance in Spain (and worldwide), Coverage and Liability

This topic we will explain is about how works the freight insurance in Spain and worldwide.



A freight forwarder provides an important function as a company that organizes shipments of freights for their customers, helping them to transport their goods either from the producer or manufacturer to the market or any other desired distribution point.

Freight forwarders are responsible to their shipping clients with respect to the services and advice they provide to them. If a physical loss or damage to their cargo is encountered, the freight Forwarder has to defend their liability based on the terms of the agreement. This could also mean a reimbursement to the cargo owner for the experienced loss or damage to their cargo.

Freight Forwarders and other shipping agents are more vulnerable today than ever before. If errors and mistakes are involved, they could amount to costly financial settlement for the cargo owner.


About Freight Insurance in Spain (and worldwide) and Coverage

Freight Insurance is a policy which protects Freight forwarders offering services such as carrying, storage, or facilitating the transportation of third party cargos. If Freight Forwarders are deemed liable under the specific terms and contractual obligations they entered into with their client, they may reimburse the shipper for the loss or damage to their shipped cargo. The freight insurance pays for covered damages or loss for which the Freight forwarder is found liable for, including claims and other cost made against the Freight agent.


What is the Legal Liability of Freight Forwarder Insurance?

The freight forwarder has some legal liabilities for loss or damage of shipper’s cargo subject to the terms of the freight insurance policy. The shipped merchandise will be automatically covered through the legal liability limits provided under the governing Freight shipping laws.

When a freight forwarder enters into a contract with a shipper, the forwarder is liable if they fail to use diligence in handling the shipping and delivery of the customer’s goods. Under such terms, if the freight forwarder fails to exercise such required due diligence they are required to compensate the shipper for any loss, or damage of their goods subject to the limitations of the policy liability often referred to as SDR. The Freight Forwarder should also pay back the shipper for any direct financial loss resulting from the Freight Forwarder’s breach of their duties and responsibilities.


Non Liability Freight Insurance conditions

According to the rules of  FIATA Model, no freight insurance will be effective unless instructions are provided in writing by the customer or the Shipper. The Freight insurance policy shall be effected subject to the conditions and limitations of the insurance policy.  Unless these conditions are agreed upon in writing, the Freight Forwarder shall under no condition be bound by an obligation to effect new insurance for each assignment. They may declare this condition on an existing and open policy which is held by the freight forwarding Company. The freight forwarder has no liabilities in cases involving acts or omissions resulting from third party transactions including:

  • Carriers
  • Warehousemen
  • Stevedores
  • Port authorities


Nevertheless Freight Forwarders may be held liable involving the above listed cases if they fail to also use due diligence in the handling of such third Party deals. The freight forwarder has legal liability when they take the role of a Principal, when they are performing the carrier’s responsibility through the use of their own transportation means. Such situation mandates Freight Forwarder liabilities particularly when they issue their own transportation document meaning they have in effect assumed carrier’s responsibilities. In situations where the shipper has received or has been issued a transport document from other agents other than the Freight forwarder, then Freight Forwarder may not be held liable under this situation.

Freight forwarder shall be held liable when:

  • They perform principal’s services by themselves, using facilities which they own or performing work through their employees
  • When the Freight Forwarder undertakes liability as the principal



Financial Limitations of Freight Forwarders Insurance

What is SDR? Freight insurance


Under normal circumstance the freight shipper may get reimbursed for all their freight damages or loss of their cargo on transit.

Generally these items are covered through the Freight insurance policy provisions.

At times, the Carrier freight insurance may reject some settlement claims due to certain conditions not addressed or not covered as part of the policy.

The shipper will hold the shipping broker or shipping agent as some call them still responsible for the loss or damage of their goods and merchandise which may be lost or damaged during the course of the transportation process.

Realizing their exposure to risk, the freight brokers and agents may also realize their risk exposure under this scenario and the needs to guard and protect themselves against such risk and possible claims when certain situations result in the carrier refusing to settle the claim. Contingent insurance comes to play when the freight insurance carrier refuses to pay for all the loss.


Freight Forwarders may not be held liable for a loss or damage of goods if the total amount exceeds 2 SDR per each kilogram of the total gross weight of the lost or damaged goods, unless the greater amount is recovered from the primary shipper.

All goods not delivered within 90 days of the expected delivery date, the owner of the goods may consider the goods as lost.  There are limitations for liability for delay, which is limited to an amount not exceeding the total value of the service which necessitated such delay.

The Freight Forwarders liability for any other type of loss shall not exceed 10.000 SDR for any occurrence of such incident but if a larger amount is received from the person to whom the Freight Forwarder is primarily responsible, total payment may exceed 10.000 SDR.


Freight Forwarders Liability exclusions

Freight Forwarder will not be held liable for the following:

  • Undeclared Valuables
  • Undeclared Dangerous goods by the Forwarder up to the contract conclusion time
  • No compensation from loss associated from delay unless such loss is agreed in writing
  • Indirect loss from consequential circumstances



It’s important have all freight insurance information prior ship any cargo in order to decide if contract a all risk insurance for the cargo.


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Spain and EU guidelines on wooden packaging materials. ISPM15.

ISPM15 rule was born due, plant health is likely one of the duties of the European Fee’s Directorate- Common for helth and Client Safety, as a part of its total function to make sure the protection of foods and safety of customers within the EU.

Stopping organisms dangerous to vegetation or plant merchandise from being launched into and spreading inside the EU, and regulating imports from third nations according to worldwide plant well being requirements, are among the many precept targets of EU plant well health laws.

Why ISPM15 Mark

In step with these targets, new EU necessities for wooden packaging materials, designed to cease doubtlessly dangerous plant pests from getting into the EU in wooden packaging, entered into pressure in March 2005.

The EU necessities for wooden packaging materials and dunnage are based mostly on the 2002 FAO Worldwide Normal for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM) n° 15. Directive 2004/102/EC, which entered into power on 1 March 2005, requires the next measures to be taken for wooden packaging materials and dunnage coming into the EU from all third countries:

  1. The wooden should be both warmth handled or fumigated with methyl bromide, in step with ISPM15 procedures;
  2. The wooden have to be formally marked with the ISPM15 stamp;
  3. From March 2006, all wooden packaging materials imported into the EU should be debarked.


These necessities don’t apply to:

  • Wooden of 6mm thickness or much less;
  • Wooden packaging materials made totally from processed wooden produced utilizing glue, warmth and strain, resembling plywood, oriented strand board and veneer;
  • Wooden packaging materials utilized in intra-Neighborhood commerce.


Dunnage should meet the identical standards as wooden packaging materials. Nevertheless, it’s exempted till the tip of 2007 whether it is made from wooden free from bark, pests and indicators of stay pests.

ISPM15 Mark – Import

Wooden packaging materials getting into the EU ought to carry the ISPM15 mark, which has the universally recognisable, non-language particular IPPC emblem and three codes (nation, producer and remedy measure utilized).

For debarked wooden, the letters “DB” must also be on the mark. The mark permits for straightforward verification that the wooden meets the mandatory necessities throughout inspection on the level of export or import. Markings must be legible, seen, everlasting and non-transferable.

The usage of the mark additionally permits the import necessities for wooden packaging materials to stay a paperless system. For packaging materials which already existed earlier than 1 March 2005, a mark consisting solely of the three codes and with out the IPPC emblem will probably be accepted till the tip of 2007.
Approval for the usage of the ISPM15 mark have to be obtained from the Nationwide Plant Safety Organisation or an organisation formally mandated by the NPPO.


ISPM15 Mark – Export

Other countries worldwide have the same requeriments at entry to their countries, then if you are going to export your cargo in pallets or with wood material, please consider also send the cargo with the ISPM15 Mark.



Here the list of the countries and date they stablished the ISPM15 rule:

  • Argentina: June 2006
  • Australia: Sept 2004; Complete Adoption: July 2010
  • Bolivia: July 2005
  • Brazil: June 2005
  • Bulgaria: Jan 2006
  • Canada: Sept 2005 (US-Canada exemption)
  • Chile: June 2005
  • China: Jan 2006
  • Colombia: Sept 2005
  • Costa Rica: Mar 2006
  • Cuba: Oct 2008
  • Dominican Republic: July 2006
  • Ecuador: Sept 2005
  • Egypt: Oct 2005
  • European Union: Mar 2005
    • Austria
    • Belgium
    • Bulgaria
    • Croatia
    • Cyprus
    • Czech Republic
    • Denmark
    • Estonia
    • Finland
    • France
    • Germany
    • Greece
    • Hungary
    • Ireland
    • Italy
    • Latvia
    • Lithuania
    • Luxembourg
    • Malta
    • Netherlands
    • Poland
    • Portugal
    • Romania
    • Slovakia
    • Slovenia
    • Spain
    • Sweden
    • United Kingdom.
  • Guatemala: Sept 2005
  • Honduras: Feb 2006
  • India: Nov 2004
  • Indonesia: Sept 2009
  • Israel: June 2009
  • Jamaica: January 2011
  • Japan: Apr 2007
  • Jordan: Nov 2005
  • Kenya: Jan 2006
  • Lebanon: Mar 2006
  • Malaysia: Jan 2010
  • Mexico: Sept 2005
  • New Zealand: April 2003
  • Nicaragua: Feb 2006
  • Nigeria: Sept 2004
  • Norway: July 2008
  • Oman: Dec 2006
  • Paraguay: June 2005
  • Peru: Mar 2005
  • Philippines: June 2005
  • Seychelles: Mar 2006
  • South Africa: Jan 2005
  • South Korea: June 2005
  • Sri Lanka: Mar 2004
  • Switzerland: Mar 2005
  • Syria: April 2006
  • Thailand: February 2010
  • Taiwan: Jan 2009
  • Ethiopia 2006
  • Trinidad & Tobago: July 2010
  • Turkey: Jan 2006
  • United States
  • Ukraine: Oct 2005
  • Venezuela: June 2005
  • Vietnam: June 2005


List update till date of the post.

For any additional information please don’t doubt contac us, via our SUPPORT plattform.



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Easter Holidays Working days & time schedule.

We inform you our office will be close from 23th March at 5 pm till 29th March at 8 am due Easter Holidays.

easter holidays

For that reason be informed bookings for that week will be difficult to handle as not much working days.

We recomend you make them in advance.

Any enquiry please dont doubt contact us.

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12th february holiday in Barcelona

We would like to inform you 12th february is holiday in Barcelona, then our company will remain close.

We will resume as allways on 15th february.

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Happy new Year! 6th january holiday day.

We wish to all our customers, suppliers, agents, and friends a successfull 2016!

We would like to inform you 6th january is holiday in Spain, then our company will remain close.

We will resume as allways on 7th january.


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Opening times on Christmas Holidays

Christmas Holidays is less than 2 weeks to come.

We inform you about our working time during these days.

  • 24th, 25th December our office will be close.
  • 1st & 6th January our office will be close
  • From 18th till 31st  our working time will be from 08:00-14:00.


NF SPAIN team wish you a MERRY CHRISTMAS and a happy NEW YEAR




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8 december holiday in Spain

We inform you our office will remain close on 8th december due national holiday day.

We will resume on 9th at 8 a.m.

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12th october holiday in Spain

We inform you our office will remain close on 12th october due national holiday day.

We will resume on 13th at 8 a.m.


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