Customs entering Spain

Customs entering Spain

Customs control entering Spain is undertaken by the Guardia Civil who wear Green uniforms. At airports and sea ports if the aeroplane or ship is arriving from outdise the EU passenger will be routed past a Guardia Civil customs control. some passengers will be asked to put luggage through a scanner. At some airports susch as Malaga if your luggage tag does not have the green stripes on the edges the luggage will need to be collected from a different conveyor belt and you will need to pass the Guardia Civil Customs control point.

Personal Items


Travelers entering Spain from any EU country may take in the following generous quantities of alcohol and tobacco: 200 cigars, 3,200 cigarettes, 400 cigarillos, 10 litres of spirits, 110 litres of beer, 20 litres of fortified wine and/or 90 litres of wine. However, given that Spain is one of the cheapest EU countries for both alcohol and tobacco, it is hardly worth bothering.


Pets may be brought with you as long as they as cipped and you have a bilingual Health Certificate for the animal signed by an officially recognised vet from the country of origin, which indicates the dates of the last vaccines and, in particular, that of an anti-rabies shot.

Outside the EU

From countries that are not part of the European Union, visitors age 15 and over may enter Spain duty-free with up to 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars, up to a litre of alcohol over 22 proof and up to 2 litres of wine.

If you are entering from outside the European Customs Union. (UK, Gibraltar, Andorra, Cueta, Melilla, Switzerland are outside this Customs union). VAT (IVA) is payable on the importation of goods above the above allowances.

Export holiday purchases - VAT refund

Non EU residents who will export their holiday purchases may be able to reclaim the VAT paid at time of purchase. Larger department stores such as the Corte Ingles and up-market shops in tourist areas will help with the paperwork. They often display “VAT Free” sign. In short, complete an application form at time of purchase, have this stamped by customs on departure, (airport and ports have an office manned by the Guardia Civil for this purpose) post this copy back to the shop who will make the refund probably to your credit card. There is a minimum amount of about 100 € and often an administration fee of 10 to 20€ so the exercise is only worth while for large amounts. Here is a detail example of the VAT refund procedure at Malaga Airport.

Living in Andalucia