On 9 April 2022 the Official Gazette has published Law 7/2022 of 8 April concerning waste and contaminated land for a circular economy. Among other measures, this Law introduces a levy on non-reusable plastic packaging (Plastic Packaging Tax), which is an indirect tax levied on the use of non-reusable packaging containing plastic, whether it is presented empty or containing, protecting, handling, distributing and presenting goods.
The purpose of the tax is to promote the prevention of the generation of non-reusable plastic packaging waste, as well as to promote the recycling of plastic waste.
Plastic Packaging Tax introduced in Spain would be levied on the manufacture, import or intra-EU acquisitions of non-reusable plastic packaging to be used in the Spanish territory.
For these purposes, packaging is considered to be any product intended to provide the function of containing, protecting, handling, distributing and presenting goods, such as plastic cups or plastic rolls for packaging and preventing breakage in the transport of products.
The tax is also levied on the manufacture, importation or intra-EU acquisition of semi-finished plastic products intended for the manufacture of packaging, such as thermoplastic sheets.
Nonetheless, the tax is not levied, among other transactions, on the manufacture, intra-EU acquisition or importation of paints, inks, lacquers and adhesives, designed to be incorporated into the products subject to the tax. In addition, the Law provides for some exemptions relying on the use given to the packaging (e.g. plastic rolls used to store cereals for agricultural or livestock use, or products used for packaging of medicinal products, medical devices, foodstuffs for special medical purposes, infant formulae for hospital use or hazardous waste of medical origin).
The taxpayer is the person who manufactures the products or makes the intra-EU acquisitions or imports of the products.
The tax to be paid is EUR 0.45 per kilogram of non-reusable plastic and is accrued in the case of manufacture at the time when the first delivery is made to the purchaser, in the case of importation at the time import duties are also accrued and in cases of intra-Community acquisition on the 15th day of the month following that in which transport of the products begins.
The tax would enter into force in 1 January 2023 and taxpayers would have to register in a special registry, file monthly or quarterly tax returns (based on their net turnover) and comply with certain accounting requirements.
It is prudent for businesses subject to this tax to review compliance obligations together with any developments and guidelines published by the Spanish Tax Authorities.