Law 37/1992 of Value Added Tax in Spain establishes a VAT exemption for those supplies of goods and objects that are incorporated on board to ships and aircrafts that are linked to international maritime or air navigation, as well as to ships linked exclusively to rescue, maritime assistance or coastal fishing and warships, but excluding vessels and aircrafts destined for sports, recreation or, in general, private use.

In relation to this article and treatment for VAT purposes, through the binding tax ruling number 32/2019 of September 13, the Spanish General Tax Directorate (DGT) responds to the query raised by a company that is dedicated to the sale and repair of electronic communication and maritime navigation equipment, frequently carried out on ships linked to international navigation and for which need to carry spare parts that may or may not be used in the repair, as regard the procedure that must be followed to declare the spare parts incorporated into the vessel, as well as for the entry and exit from the customs area of the remaining ones.

In accordance with Regulation (EU) 952/2013, which establishes the Union Customs Code, and its article 269.2, are out from export procedure “goods delivered, VAT or excise duty exempted, as aircraft or ship supplies, regardless of the destination of the aircraft or ship, for which a proof of such supply is required”.  However, the same Regulation establishes that in these cases the formalities related to export declarations will apply.

Therefore, the DGT mentions that, for deliveries of products to ships that are exempt from VAT or excise duties, when meeting the requirements set forth in the VAT Law, the customs export procedure will not apply, but must be formalized and process as such. Thus, for the elements incorporated into the ship, an export declaration must be submitted, which will be the customs shipping document, together with the receipt signed by the captain or other responsible person.

With respect to products (spare parts) that are not incorporated into the vessel, it will be the responsibility of the corresponding customs authority to authorize it and take the measures it deems necessary to record the entry and exit of these.

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