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Practical Handbook VAT 2022

F) Exempt operations

1.Intra-EU acquisitions

We can make three classifications of these exemptions:

  1. Exemptions intended to put intra-Community acquisitions on the same footing as other taxable events.In this respect, intra-Community acquisitions of goods whose supply in the territory of application of the tax or import would have been non-taxable or exempt are exempt.

  2. Acquisitions made in a triangular operation.In this case, the acquisition is exempt when the following requirements are met:

    1. They are carried out by an entrepreneur or professional who:

      • is not established and identified for the purposes of VAT in the territory of application of the tax, and

      • He is identified for VAT purposes in another Member State of the Community.

    2. are made for a subsequent supply of the goods acquired, carried out within the territory of application of the tax by the purchaser himself.

    3. the goods are dispatched or transported directly from a Member State other than that in which the customer is identified for VAT purposes to the person for whom the subsequent supply is made.

    4. The recipient of the subsequent supply is a trader or professional or a legal person not acting as such, who is not affected by the non-taxation established for intra-Community acquisitions of goods and who has a VAT registration number supplied by the Spanish Administration.

  3. Intra-Community acquisitions of goods in respect of which the purchaser is entitled to a full refund of the tax due on them under the special procedure for refunds to non-established persons.


The Law of VAT lists a number of exempt transactions in relation to the entry into the country from third countries of certain goods as those whose supply within the country is exempt from tax;personal property on transfer of habitual residence;personal property by reason of marriage;goods under the traveller regime;goods destined for charitable or philanthropic organisations;goods for trade promotion purposes;fishery products, etc.

Furthermore, in order to avoid double taxation, imports of gas through the natural gas or electricity distribution system, heat or cold, are exempted from taxation.

The use of the non-customs warehousing procedure is structured to restrict the exemption of imports of goods that are linked to that procedure to:

  • Goods subject to excise duty under suspension of excise duty.

  • Goods coming from the customs territory of the Community.

  • Goods identified by the VAT Directive (potatoes, olives, cocoa, tin, copper, etc.).

  • Goods destined for duty-free shops at ports and airports.

The exemption shall also extend to services directly related to imports of these goods.

From 1 July 2021, imports of goods will be exempt when Value Added Tax must be declared under the special scheme applicable to distance sales and certain domestic supplies of goods and services provided for in Title IX, Chapter XI, Section 4 of the VAT Act, and the individual identification number assigned for the application of this special scheme is provided to Customs.