Brussels, 5 June 2008
According to the VAT Directive (Articles 167 (in connection with Article 70), 178 and 179), the right to deduct VAT due on the importation of goods:
However, according to the Spanish VAT legislation in force prior to 1-1-2008, the right to deduct VAT due on the importation of goods:
The Commission considered the Spanish legislation in breach of the VAT Directive (the conditional payment of the VAT by the importer to the customs authorities went far beyond the provisions of the VAT Directive) and therefore sent a letter of formal notice to Spain.
Following this, the Spanish authorities amended Article 98 of the Spanish VAT Law as of 1-1-2008.
However, Article 97 thereof remained untouched, the consequence being that according to the rules presently in force, and contrary to the VAT Directive, deduction of VAT due on imports is still conditional upon the importer being in possession of a document attesting to the fact that VAT has already been paid to the customs authorities.
For this reason, the Commission has formally requested Spain to change its national rules by means of a reasoned opinion.
The Commission's reference number is 2006/4670.
For the latest information on infringement proceedings, go to:
For the latest general information on infringement measures against Member States see: