Spain: End of the transitional plastic certification scheme


published on 28 November 2023 | reading time approx. 1 minute


The amount of non-recycled plastic contained in the tax products can be credited, on a transitional basis during 2023 in Spain, by means of a responsible declaration signed by the manufacturer. However, this transitional regime ends on 31 December 2023. From 1 January 2024, an accredited entity must issue a certificate stating the proportion of recycled plastic contained in the products. 





The tax on non-reusable plastic packaging came into force on 1 January 2023 and is regulated by Law 7/2022. It is levied on the manufacture, import, intra-Community acquisition or irregular possession of non-reusable packaging containing plastic insofar as it is designed to contain, protect, handle, distribute and present goods, whether it is presented empty or for the purpose for which it was designed. 
The taxable amount is the quantity of non-recycled plastic contained in the packaging subject to the tax. In other words: recycled plastic is not taxed.

If the packaging is reusable or, even if it is not, all the plastic is recycled, no tax is levied. However, for information purposes, the total amount of plastic, both recycled and non-recycled, must be included in the declarations and accounts submitted by manufacturers, intra-Community purchasers and importers.

The certification relates exclusively to recycled plastic

From 1 January 2024 the amount of recycled plastic contained in the tax products must be certified by an Accredited Entity to issue the certification under the UNE-EN 15343:2008 standard “Plastics. Recycled plastics. Traceability and conformity assessment of recycled plastics recycling and recycled content” or the standards that replace them. In the case of chemically recycled plastic, this quantity shall be attested by the certificate issued by the relevant accredited or licensed entity. 
The certifying bodies must be accredited by the Spanish National Accreditation Body (ENAC), or by the national accreditation body of any other Member State of the European Union, in accordance with the provisions of EC Regulation 765/2008, or by any other accreditation body with which ENAC has an international recognition agreement.  
In this sense, it is not necessary for all the operators in the chain to have the certification issued by the accredited entity; it is sufficient for the taxpayers submitting the self-assessments of the tax, i.e. manufacturers, importers or intra-Community purchasers, to have it. The information contained in the certification will be transferred, where appropriate, in the corresponding invoices or certificates. 

In summary, it can be said that the certification provides proof that the plastic is recycled and should therefore not be included in the tax base.
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