Effective as of January 2015, Law 28/2014 of 27 November 2014 amends the VAT rates as a consequence of the need to adapt Spain's internal regulations to conform to the Directive on VAT following the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union handed down on 17 January 2013 in Case C-360/11.

The first amendment affects the tax rate on medical equipment, aids, medical devices, and other appliances for medical or hospital use which will now rise, in general, from 10% to 21%. The 10% tax rate is maintained exclusively for those goods which are designed to alleviate or treat disability for the exclusive personal use of persons with physical, mental, intellectual, or sensorial deficiencies.

The list of the goods to which the reduced 10% rate remains applicable appears in a new Section Eight of the Schedule to the VAT Act and includes the following:

  • Prescription eyeglasses, contact lenses and the products necessary for the use, care, and maintenance of them.
  • Puncturing devices, automatic glucose reading devices, insulin administration devices, and other devices for the self-regulation and treatment of diabetes.
  • Devices for the self-regulation of ketone bodies and blood clotting and other devices for the self-regulation and treatment of incapacitating diseases, such as morphine infusion and cancer medication infusion systems.
  • Bags for urine collection, absorbent materials for incontinence, and other systems for urinary and fecal incontinence, including blood circulation systems.
  • Prosthetic, orthotic, orthoprosthetic devices and surgical implants, especially those indicated in Royal Decree 1030/2006, of September 15, which establishes the list of common services of the National Healthcare System and the procedure for updating, including components and accessories.
  • Tracheotomy and laryngectomy stents.
  • Therapeutic chairs and wheelchairs, as well as anti-decubitus cushions and harnesses for use in them, crutches, walkers, and cranes to give disabled persons mobility.
  • Elevating platforms, elevators for wheelchairs, adaptors for wheelchair use on stairs, portable ramps, and self-supporting bars for the patient to get up on his/her own.
  • Appliances and other devices designed to reduce internal lesions and malformations, such as athletic supporters and compression socks for varicose veins.
  • Devices for at-home dialysis and respiratory treatments.
  • Medical equipment, aids, and other medical devices to compensate for a defect or disability, designed for the exclusive personal use of persons with deficient vision or hearing.
  • The following support products, which are designed for the exclusive personal use of persons with physical, mental, intellectual, or sensory deficiencies:
    • Support products for dressing and undressing: shoehorns and bootjacks with special handles which reach the floor, hangers, hooks and bars to hang clothes in a given position.
    • Support products for personal hygiene: raised insoles, armrests, and back support for the toilet seat.
    • Support products for washing, bathing, and showering: brushes and sponges with special handles, seats for the bathtub or shower stall, bath boards, stools, support products to reduce the length or width of the bathtub and bars and grips for support.
    • Support products to facilitate the use of new information and communication technology: mouses controlled by head or eye movements, high-contrast keyboards, eye-blink switches, and voice-recognition software to facilitate writing and handling the equipment by severely disabled persons.
    • Support products and devices to allow motor-impaired persons to grasp, activate, and reach objects: long tweezers and grasp adaptors.
    • Functional stimulators.

Secondly, an increase in the tax rate from 10% to 21% will now affect medicinal substances and active principles used in the production of medicaments for veterinary use, as well as medical equipment, aids, and other appliances for veterinary use.

The tax rate remains at 10% for:

  • Medicaments for animal use.
  • Pharmaceutical products included in Chapter 30 of the Combined Nomenclature with a view to being used directly by the consumers (e.g. gauzes, bandages, and similar articles).
  • Sanitary towels, tampons, panty liners, condoms, and other non-medicinal contraceptives.

Finally, the 4% tax rate is raised to 21%, applicable to medicinal substances and the active principles in medicaments for human use, as well as intermediary products for the production of such medicaments.

The tax rate remains at 4% for:

  • Medicaments for human use, pharmaceutical forms, magistral formulas, and officinal formulas.
  • Vehicles for persons with reduced mobility.
  • Prosthetic devices, orthotic devices, and implants for disabled persons.