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Export Customs Clearance

What is an export?

An export operation is based on the sale of goods or merchandise to a country located outside the customs territory of the European Union; otherwise it would be considered an intra-EU delivery.

All companies can export regardless of their type (SME, start-up, multinational, etc.). What is important is that you have a complete overview of the operation, especially in relation to the logistical and customs process, and that you also take into account the technical requirements of the destination market.

Who can export?

Nowadays, more and more companies are taking the step towards internationalisation in search of new opportunities to increase their sales. It is therefore essential to understand the export process and all that it implies, with its obligations and risks, in order to carry it out satisfactorily and with maximum guarantees.

How to register as an exporter?

Registration in the Register of Exporters
Necessary to obtain an EORI number, a code required by customs authorities to identify companies engaged in export and import activities.

Request EORI

You can apply for it through the Tax Agency’s electronic office. In the case of foreign companies located in the EU, they must link their NIF to a Spanish EORI in order to be able to operate.

Preferencial Agreement Free Trade

If you are exporting to a country with which there is a preferential free trade agreement, you must apply for Authorised Exporter Status or Registered Exporter Status (REX) depending on the type of agreement in place.

What documents do you need to prepare for the customs authorities?

Clearance authorisation. This consists of granting the customs agent the authorisation to carry out customs clearance on your behalf with the Tax Agency.

Commercial invoice. It must meet certain minimum requirements in terms of content and form. These are:

  • Exporter’s tax details (company name, tax ID number and address).
  • Importer’s tax details (company name, tax ID number and address).
  • Invoice number and date of issue.
  • Unit and total price of the goods.
  • Quantity of units of the goods.
  • Gross weight and net weight.
  • Detailed description of the goods.
  • Origin of the goods.
  • Tariff heading.
  • Terms of delivery: INCOTERM® of the transaction according to INCOTERMS® 2020.
  • Conditions of sale: “On consignment” or “Firm”.

Packing list.

Certificates issued by official bodies certifying that the product complies with mandatory regulations on health and safety standards, as well as labelling and packaging.

Proof of preferential origin required by the importing country in order to accredit the origin of the goods. The type of document requested will depend on the preferential agreement applied between the EU and the country of destination.

Other documents and declarations. Depending on the origin and nature of the product, the exporter must be able to provide any type of document required by the customs authorities.

What are the steps for an Export Customs Clearance?

Once the interested party has decided to carry out the export operation, he/she must contact his/her customs agent, who will advise and inform him/her about all the details that must be considered in order to carry out the transaction.

When the customs broker has all the documentation in his possession, and the merchandise is located in a customs area, he proceeds to initiate all the procedures related to the possible para-customs inspections if the operation itself requires it.

Para-customs inspections are carried out by the foreign health, animal health, plant health (FITO) and quality control (SOIVRE) agencies. These inspections are carried out at Border Inspection Posts (BIPs) by bodies independent of the Tax Agency.


The goods are authorised to leave the customs territory of the European Union.


Documentary control before authorising the exit of goods from the territory of the EU.


Documentary and physical control before authorising the exit of goods from the EU.

Who must file the customs declaration?

The person concerned may lodge the customs declaration himself by means of self-clearance. However, it is usually a customs representative who acts on behalf of the person concerned.

It is necessary to point out that any mistake in submitting the documentation may lead to penalties, both administrative and financial, by the AEAT.

Added to this are the complications that may arise when issuing certain certificates (sanitary, phytosanitary or conformity) due to lack of knowledge of the regulations, which may cause the goods to be blocked or even rejected by the customs office of destination.

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