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Trading in Spain

Trading in Spain

Crude and refined petroleumvehicle partspetroleum gas and medicaments are the most imported products in Spain from countries such as Germany, France, China, Italy and the NetherlandsSpain has a trade policy similar to other countries in EU and it is a member of the World Trade Organization since 1995.

A foreign investor who wants to trade in/from Spain needs to know certain aspects related to the legislation on trading, from the Labor Law to taxationpermits and licenses and others. For trading activities, a foreign entrepreneur should firstly decide on the type of company he/she wants to incorporate in Spain and the most common type in this sense is the limited liability company. He/she must also obtain an identification number for foreigners and register with the tax authorities and with the social security system. Entrepreneurs need trading licenses and permits in order to be allowed to trade. For more details about trading in this country, you may receive legal assistance from our law firm in Spain.

The importance of trading activities in Spain  

Trade represents more than a half of the Spanish GDP and plays an important part in the country’s economy even in the situation in which the country recorded a deficit in the past few years, when the economic crisis affected numerous European economies. However, the Spanish economy began its recovery, and the trade deficit declined and, at the beginning of 2017, it decreased to EUR 2.17 billion (compared to EUR 2.61 billion at the level of the previous year). 

What are the main export products in Spain? 

Spain exports a wide range of products to numerous trading partners and, at the level of 2017, the main exported products were represented by the following (arranged in the order of the highest share recorded from the entire trading volumes):

  • cars  – 17.8%;
  • machinery (including computers) – 7.6%;
  • mineral fuels (including oil) -7 %;
  • electrical machinery – 5.3%;
  • plastics and plastic products – 3.9%;
  • pharmaceuticals – 3.6%;
  • fruits and nuts – 3%;
  • clothing and accessories – 2.7%. 

Which are the top trading partners on export matters of Spain?  

Spain conducts numerous trading activities with a wide range of trading partners, but most of the trading activities are concluded with countries which are members of the European Union (EU). The main trading partners on export matters at the level of 2017 were the following: 

  • France;
  • Germany;
  • Portugal;
  • Italy;
  • the United Kingdom;
  • the United States of America;
  • the Netherlands;
  • Belgium.

Other products exported by Spain are: iron blockscitrus, other fruits and vegetablesolive oil etc. As mentioned above, Spain has good trade relations with the  EU countries, which represent over 60% of the trading partners of this country. Our team of lawyers in Spain can provide in-depth assistance on the import-export regulations applied here. 

The video below provides further information on the trading activities in Spain

What are the top imports in Spain? 

As a general rule, crude and refined petroleumvehicle partspetroleum gas and medicaments are the most imported products in Spain from countries such as Germany, France, China, Italy and the Netherlands

At the level of 2017, Spanish imports represented 2.2% of the global import activitiesSpain imports most of its products from EU member states (in that year, 63% of the total imports concluded by Spain derived from EU countries). However, Spain conducts relevant business activities on imports from Asian and African countries

In 2017Spain imported auto parts accessoriescrude oilmedication products; other top products were represented by the goods mentioned below: 

  • vehicles;
  • mineral fuels, including oil;
  • machinery, including computers;
  • electrical machinery;
  • pharmaceuticals;
  • plastics and plastic articles;
  • clothing and accessories;
  • organic chemicals

Which are the top import partners?  

The top import partners are represented by members of the EU, but the country has relevant import activities with Asian countries or with the United States of America (USA). At the level of 2017, the main trading partners on import matters were the following: 

  • Germany;
  • France;
  • Italy;
  • China;
  • USA;
  • the Netherlands;
  • Portugal;
  • Russia

Businessmen who want to start a business in Spain related to trading activities should know that the country is one of the largest economies at a global level on export matters (the 17th rank). Also, according to the Economic Complexity IndexSpain represents the world’s 33rd most complex economy

For more details about trading in this country, foreign businessmen can address to our team of Spanish lawyers, who can advise on specific regulations and procedures applicable to import-export activities concluded here.