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Trade Profile

In this page: Foreign Trade in Figures | Trade Compliance | Standards

 

Foreign Trade in Figures

Trade represents over 60% of the Spanish GDP (2015). The country's trade balance is structurally negative, but strong exports helped reduce the deficit in 2016. From January to October 2016, exports reached a record level of EUR 210.29 billion, while imports declined by 1.6%, amounting to EUR 225.35 billion. The deficit over this period decreased by 26.6% to EUR 15.06 billion.

The main trade partners are the countries of the European Union, France being the first destination of Spanish exports. France imports Spanish food products, cars, chemical and textile products. Spain also has good trade relations with the Maghreb (North African) countries.

 
Foreign Trade Indicators 20112012201320142015
Imports of Goods (million USD) 376,606337,338340,598358,924309,292
Exports of Goods (million USD) 306,551295,250317,833324,536281,836
Imports of Services (million USD) n/a63,90562,71668,01364,579
Exports of Services (million USD) n/a121,870125,639132,044117,442
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) -0.8-6.4-0.56.55.6
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 7.41.14.34.24.9
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 29.229.229.030.230.7
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 28.930.732.232.733.2
Trade Balance (million USD) -61,819-37,629-18,690-29,712-24,102
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 58.159.961.262.963.9

Source: World Trade Organisation (WTO) - 2016; World Bank - 2016

 

Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
2016
France 15.1%
Germany 11.3%
Italy 8.0%
United Kingdom 7.5%
Portugal 7.1%
United States 4.5%
Netherlands 3.2%
Belgium 3.1%
Morocco 2.7%
Turkey 2.0%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2016
Germany 13.5%
France 11.1%
China 8.7%
Italy 6.6%
United States 4.8%
Netherlands 4.3%
United Kingdom 4.1%
Portugal 3.9%
Belgium 2.5%
Morocco 2.1%

Source: Comtrade, 2015

 

Main Products

281.8 bn USD of products exported in 2016
Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, incl. station wagons and racing cars (excl. motor vehicles of heading 8702) 12.6%
Parts and accessories for tractors, motor vehicles for the transport of ten or more persons, motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, motor vehicles for the transport of goods and special purpose motor vehicles of heading 8701 to 8705, n.e.s. 3.5%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 3.0%
Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed products for therapeutic or prophylactic uses, put up in measured doses incl. those in the form of transdermal administration or in forms or packings for retail sale (excl. goods of heading 3002, 3005 or 3006) 2.7%
Motor vehicles for the transport of goods, incl. chassis with engine and cab 2.1%
Meat of swine, fresh, chilled or frozen 1.3%
Olive oil and its fractions obtained from the fruit of the olive tree solely by mechanical or other physical means under conditions that do not lead to deterioration of the oil, whether or not refined, but not chemically modified 1.2%
Citrus fruit, fresh or dried 1.2%
Parts of aircraft and spacecraft of heading 8801 or 8802, n.e.s. 1.2%
Wine of fresh grapes, incl. fortified wines; grape must, partly fermented and of an actual alcoholic strength of > 0,5% vol or grape must with added alcohol of an actual alcoholic strength of > 0,5% vol 1.1%
302.5 bn USD of products imported in 2016
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude 6.2%
Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, incl. station wagons and racing cars (excl. motor vehicles of heading 8702) 6.0%
Parts and accessories for tractors, motor vehicles for the transport of ten or more persons, motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, motor vehicles for the transport of goods and special purpose motor vehicles of heading 8701 to 8705, n.e.s. 5.5%
Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed products for therapeutic or prophylactic uses, put up in measured doses incl. those in the form of transdermal administration or in forms or packings for retail sale (excl. goods of heading 3002, 3005 or 3006) 3.4%
Petroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbons 2.2%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 1.9%
Transmission apparatus for radio-telephony, radio-telegraphy, radio-broadcasting or television, whether or not incorporating reception apparatus or sound recording or reproducing apparatus; television cameras; still image video cameras and other video camera recorders; digital cameras 1.3%
Automatic data processing machines and units thereof; magnetic or optical readers, machines for transcribing data onto data media in coded form and machines for processing such data, n.e.s. 1.3%
Women's or girls' suits, ensembles, jackets, blazers, dresses, skirts, divided skirts, trousers, bib and brace overalls, breeches and shorts (excl. knitted or crocheted, wind-jackets and similar articles, slips, petticoats and panties, track suits, ski suits and swimwear) 1.0%
Human blood; animal blood prepared for therapeutic, prophylactic or diagnostic uses; antisera and other blood fractions and modified immunological products, whether or not obtained by means of biotechnological processes; vaccines, toxins, cultures of micro-organisms (excl. yeasts) and similar products 0.9%

Source: Comtrade, 2015

 
 
 

Main Services

253.7 bn USD of services exported in 2014
Travel
51.33%
Other business services
18.07%
Transportation
13.14%
Computer and information services
9.94%
Financial services
3.10%
Insurance services
1.72%
Construction services
1.57%
Royalties and license fees
1.14%
131.1 bn USD of services imported in 2014
Travel
27.50%
Other business services
24.75%
Transportation
20.34%
Computer and information services
10.16%
Royalties and license fees
6.83%
Financial services
5.76%
Insurance services
4.37%
Construction services
0.28%

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, Last Available Data

 

Exchange Rate System

Local Currency
Euro (EUR)
Exchange Rate Regime
Floating exchange regime.
Level of Currency Instability
Very limited exchange risk since the euro is a major currency.
 
 
Monetary Indicators 20112012201320142015
Euro (EUR) - Average Annual Exchange Rate For 1 USD 0.720.780.750.750.90

Source: The European Central Bank - 2016.

 
 

Trade Compliance

International Conventions
Member of World Trade Organisation
Member of OECD
Party to the Kyoto Protocol
Party to the Washington Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
Party to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal
Party of the International Coffee Agreement 2007
Main International Economic Cooperation
European Union
European Economic Area
Party of the ATA Convention on Temporary Admissions and Use of the Carnets
Yes

As a Reminder, the ATA is a System Allowing the Free Movement of Goods Across Frontiers and Their Temporary Admission Into a Customs Territory With Relief From Duties and Taxes. The Goods Are Covered By a Single Document Known as the ATA Carnet That is Secured By an International Guarantee System.
Look Up the Other Member Countries And Read the Web Pages of the World Customs Organization Devoted to the ATA Carnet.
Party of the TIR Convention
Yes

As a Reminder, the TIR Convention and its Transit Regime Contribute to the Facilitation of International Transport, Especially International Road Transport, Not Only in Europe and the Middle East, But Also in Other Parts of the World, Such as Africa and Latin America.
The UNCTAD Website Allows You to Read the TIR Convention, See the List of Member Countries And to Find Further Information.
Accompanying Documents For Imports
The goods movement within the community area is exempted from customs duty and customs formalities.

Documents required for an intercommunity delivery:
- Sales invoice (two copies)
- Delivery note (optional document)
- Sanitary and phytosanitary certificate (for living animals)
- Unique Data Folder, UDF (for exchanges with the Overseas Departments, Channel Islands and Canary Islands).

Additional documents for an extra-community transaction:
- Import licenses
- Approvals
- Single Administrative Document (SAD)
- Health certificate
Free Zones
For Further Information
Agencia Tributaria (Customs agency)
Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Commerce
European Union
Non Tariff Barriers
Spain applies the community regulations valid in the entire European Union.
There are a certain number of restrictions for agricultural products ensuing from the application of CAP (Common Agricultural Policy).
Besides, for health reasons, the presence of GMO must be systematically specified on the packages.
It is forbidden to import hormone-fed beef.
The BSE crisis (the "mad cow's" disease) prompted the authorities to strengthen phytosanitary measures to ensure the quality of meat entering and moving on the territory of the Union. The principle of precaution is henceforth preferred to a greater extent: in case of doubt, the import is forbidden until proof of harmlessness of the products is established.
Sectors or Products For Which Commercial Disagreements Have Been Registered With the WTO
Assessment of Commercial Policy
The pages of WTO dedicated to Spain
Barriers to exchanges, inventoried by the United States

Learn more about How to Export to Spain on Globaltrade.net, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

 

Standards

National Standards Organisations
Spanish Association for standardization and certification (AENOR)
Integration in the International Standards Network
At European level:
- European Committee for Standardization (CEN)
- European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC)
- European Telecommunications Standardization Institute (ETSI)

At the international level:
- International Standard Organization (ISO)
- International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)
- International Telecommunications Union (ITU)
Obligation to Use Standards
Obligatory. Products are subject to the European Union's legislation (General product safety Directive, technical legislation) as well as to the national Spanish legislation.
Classification of Standards
UNE, national certification mark.
CE, European certification mark.
Assessment of the System of Standardization
Spanish consumers are particularly standard-conscious since standards grants the quality and safety of products and give them information about their features.
Online Consultation of Standards
The catalog of Spanish standards
The catalog of European standards
The ISO catalog
The IEC catalog
Certification Organisations
Accredited certification companies

 

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Last Updates: June 2017