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How to Sell Food, Beverages and Tobacco in Spain

How to Sell Food, Beverages and Tobacco in Spain

Foreign and local businessmen who are interested in starting a company in Spain that sells food, beverages and tobacco are required to respect a set of regulations, that are imposed for each category of products. Our team of lawyers in Spain has the necessary expertise in providing legal advice on the latest regulations available for this domain; at the same time, businessmen can request legal assistance on the issuance of the specific business permits and licenses available for selling these types of products. 

What is the law on selling tobacco in Spain? 

In order to sell tobacco in Spain, a company has to respect the applicable legislation in the field, which was modified in 2011 by including more strict provisions concerning the manner in which tobacco can be advertised or sold in this country. Foreign investors must also be aware of the fact that the country has recently enabled new regulations concerning the usage of e-cigarettes. The main rules of law regarding tobacco in Spain are the following: 

  • • the Law 28/2005 – it represents the legislation regulating smoking in public places and the manner in which tobacco companies can advertise their products;
  • • the Law 42/2010 – it provides a stricter legal framework, prohibiting smoking in a wide range of indoor places, such as workplaces, indoor public spaces, public transportation and others;
  • • the Law 7/2010 – through this legislation, advertising of tobacco products was prohibited from any audiovisual forms of communication;
  • • the Royal Decree 579/2017 – it provides the compulsory requirements regarding the labelling of tobacco products, the health warnings that have to be included on any tobacco packaging, and it also offers a legal framework on e-cigarettes

What are the minimum requirements for tobacco products in Spain? 

Any company manufacturing tobacco products and selling them in Spain has to make sure that its products respect the Spanish legislation on the matter, which follows the European Union’s directives. Thus, the packaging of a tobacco product has to include a pictorial health warning which covers 65% of the entire package (the images have to be displayed on the front and back of the package). 

It is necessary to know that the advertising of tobacco products is permitted at the point of sale, but certain restrictions do apply in this case as well. Thus, it is necessary to know that the ad can’t be displayed outside or in the window of a local shop; our team of Spanish lawyers can assist with more information on other compulsory requirements for any tobacco vendor in Spain

What are the main requirements when selling food in Spain? 

If a company sells food products in Spain, it is necessary to comply with a set of safety standards that are imposed at the Community level. When manufacturing and selling food products, it is compulsory to provide all the essential information concerning the respective product on its package. 

The information should be added on the label of the product and it is compulsory to write the composition of the food product in Spanish. This is also required when the food product is imported from other countries; our law firm in Spain can provide further information on the import-export regulations available for food products.  

In the case of food products that are imported from other countries, it is mandatory to mention the country of origin. This regulation is available at the level of all the member states of the EU, Spain included. The rule of law is applicable for a wide category of products, such as fruits and vegetables, fish and fish products, eggs or olive oil

In the case of various types of meat products, it is compulsory to mention the country of origin and this is applicable for the place where the respective animal (such as poultry, sheep or swine) was grown and slaughtered. It is necessary to know that minced meat sold at the level of the EU does not need to respect this regulation, is it sufficient to mention as the place of origin “EU” in order to be sold on all EU markets.  

Aspects to consider when selling beverages in Spain 

Businessmen who want to sell beverage products in Spain should know that the soft drinks market recovered in this country at the level of 2017 and the reasons for this are strongly related to the economic growth of the country, but also due to increasing temperatures. The expansion of the sector was not stopped even after the region of Catalonia introduced a tax on beverages which contain a high level of sugar or on energy drinks.  

The tax on beverages that contain a high level of sugar was introduced at the level of May 2017 and our team of Spanish lawyers can assist with more details on the matter. Investors are invited to contact our law firm in Spain for in-depth information on other taxes that have to paid by companies selling food, beverages or alcohol in this country.