Getting a parcel from a non-EU country: Do I need to pay customs when receiving it?

Getting a parcel from a non-EU country: Do I need to pay customs when receiving it?

2024-02-21 05:50:32

Sometimes, we all face such a situation: we buy something from an online vendor from a non-EU country, or a friend/family from your country of origin wishes to send you a holiday gift. What is the process of sending these parcels to Spain? This article will walk you through some regulations regarding this issue.


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1. When a company sends you a parcel from a non-EU country…

2. Why should you pay for a parcel received?

3. Can you get away without paying the import taxes?


Packing a box to be shipped internationally


1. When a company sends you a parcel from a non-EU country…


  • Many companies such as overseas eCommerce websites offer international shipping services. When you receive the parcel, you are usually not required to pay extra taxes.
  • But in some cases, you may need to pay taxes for the purchases made online.
  • When your family/friend sends you a parcel from a non-EU country… Your parcel may stay at the ADTpostales for a while (The customs delegates this job to this department of Correos) and you will need to pay import taxes. When you trace your parcels and see steps such as en tramitación aduanera, it means that your parcel is under inspection by customs.


2. Why should you pay for a parcel received?


If you are waiting for an international shipment, remember that all merchandise, even those purchased online, may be subject to restrictions, as well as the payment of customs and management amounts by Correos depending on its content, value, and other criteria that Customs applies to shipments:


  • Import customs expenses according to current legislation:
    • Payment of customs duties (European Union community tax) based on the content of the shipment.
    • Payment of national taxes (VAT) or local taxes (IGIC, AIEM, IPSI) as appropriate.
    • Payment of special taxes: tobacco, alcohol, etc.
  • Postal expenses for management and treatment of shipments:
    • Processing of the Import Single Administrative Document (DUA) Fee for presentation to Customs. (Ordinary DUA for shipments >150 EUR)
    • Customs management fee (shipments ≤ 150 EUR that do not come through IOSS)
    • Expenses are derived from border security controls, depending on the nature of the shipment (health, pharmacy, veterinary, etc.).
    • Any other expense derived from the necessary procedures for the customs management of the shipment.


It is essential to present the commercial invoice, proof of payment online for objects purchased online or for shipments with merchandise, or any other document that may be required.


In addition, Correos specifies that It is the responsibility of the recipient to know the import conditions of their shipment (prohibitions, restrictions, limitations, etc.) and to find out about the documents that may be required upon arrival: commercial invoice, certificate of origin, licenses, special authorizations for border controls, etc.



3. Can you get away without paying the import taxes?


On some sites, people share their experiences and techniques for avoiding unnecessary import tax payments. You can check this Facebook group for more related information and discussions.  


We know about the confusion and worries of most expats. Getting a parcel could become one of them, because of its opaque pricing.


Here in the official international office of innoinsure, you will never worry about the same problem. You can get accurate pricing for your case by clicking on “buy now” on the web page of medical insurance. It is the best expat insurance that meets all visa/ NIE requirements as well as reliable health insurance that can relieve you from any physical or mental discomfort.


If you like to know more about living in Spain, click one of these blogs below: 




DUA Importación. (2022). Retrieved 21 January 2022, from 


Our content will be updated according to the most recent legislation. 

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