Regulation of inbound foreign investment

Government investment promotion programmes

Does the state have a foreign investment promotion programme?

Spain has an investment aid agency called the Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade (ICEX), a government body chaired by the Secretary of State for Trade of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism.

Applicable domestic laws

Identify the domestic laws that apply to foreign investors and foreign investment, including any requirements of admission or registration of investments.

The framework rules for foreign investment in Spain are set out in Law 18/1992 of 1 July 1992 and Royal Decree 664/1999 of 23 April on external investments (RD 664/1999). There are specific rules that apply to non-EU investors in the following sectors: defence; gambling; television; radio; and aviation. Intra-EU investments are subject to EU law.

Regulatory controls also exist for the telecoms, energy and finance sectors.

It should be noted that, in response to the covid-19 pandemic, on 17 March 2020 the Spanish government passed Royal Decree Law 8/2020, on the urgent and extraordinary measures against the economic and social impact of covid-19. This law significantly amends the investment framework in Spain.

Investment from an EU member state is exempt from all declarations irrespective of value.

Non-EU direct investments must be registered with the Register of Foreign Investments at the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism.

Relevant regulatory agency

Identify the state agency that regulates and promotes inbound foreign investment.

Spain has an investment aid agency called ICEX.

Relevant dispute agency

Identify the state agency that must be served with process in a dispute with a foreign investor.

Notice provisions set out in relevant agreements with the state must be complied with.

Investment claims should be notified to the Office of the State Attorney, Calle General Castaños, 1, 28004 Madrid.