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MOVING TO SPAIN
Espagne / España / Espanha / Spanien
A Guide to Relocating to Spain
Want to move to Madrid? Considering moving to Barcelona? Or thinking about an international removal to Malaga? Whether it’s for a job, to retire, or to simply enjoy the Spanish way of life, many people find themselves preparing for an international relocation to Spain. If that’s the case for you, you’re going to need a helpful and informative moving to Spain guide that answers all your questions. Here's the information you’ll need for any international removal to Spain…
Everything you need to help you plan your international move to Spain.
Moving Household Goods And Personal Effects To Spain
Please note: many of these things will not apply to you if you are moving to Spain from another EU (European Union) State and/or you are a citizen of the EU (European Union) due to the free movement of goods throughout the EU.
Below is a list of the documents you will need when planning an international removal to Spain:
- Original of Passport (Of the individual moving/importing the goods)
- Original of DNI (for Spaniards) or NIE (residence permit for foreigners)
- Detailed moving inventory, valued and signed in Spanish
- Original certificate of change of residence (“Baja Consular”) issued by the Spanish Consulate at origin
- Spanish resident card / work permit
- Original bill of lading (OBL) / air waybill (AWB) – We will take care of this if completing the entire international removal to Spain for you.
- “Alta de Empadronamiento” issued by the local authorities of the place of residence in Spain
- Diplomatic Franchise (applicable only to diplomatic relocations / diplomats moving)
- Application form for duty-free importation
Note: Customs regulations may differ between cities. It is important to contact agent for specific information prior to importation.
We recommend providing these as soon as possible to reduce delays with your removal to Spain. Late receipt of documentation can lead to missed shipments, additional charges and penalties at Spanish Customs. For your own protection, we will almost never ship your goods without the above in place.
Cost of Shipping Furniture to Spain
The cost of shipping furniture to Spain is on average £2000 but this will vary depending on the amount of furniture you have and its size. For example, the cost of shipping the entire contents of a 4 bed house is £5500.
If your furniture can be taken apart, then this could save you a significant amount of money as shipping costs are usually calculated on the space required for your items. This also means that if you only want to ship a select few items then you can significantly lower your costs. We have put together a table for the average cost of shipping to Spain from the UK;
|Shipping Size||Average Cost UK to Spain|
|250 cubic feet (small flat)||£1200|
|500 cubic feet (large flat)||£2100|
|1000 cubic feet (small house)||£3100|
|2000 cubic feet (large house)||£5500|
Moving to Spain After Brexit From the UK
For British citizens moving to Spain, the requirements for moving have changed since Brexit. Prior to Brexit, British citizens were able to freely move to EU countries without limitations or visa requirements. The break with the EU, however, will drastically chance how Britons can move from the UK to Spain after Brexit. We’ve written a helpful blog post all about moving to Spain after Brexit which will tell you everything you need to know.
Additional Removal Advice
- Household goods are duty free if meeting the following conditions:
- Goods are owned and used by the owner of the goods for a minimum of 6 months
- The shipment is imported into Spain within 12 months after owner of the goods arrival
- The owner of the goods must have lived abroad for a minimum of 1 year
- If a Spanish Residence permit is not available, a Bank Guarantee between 40% and 60% of the total value declared in the moving inventory and the presentation of the Work Permit will be required for Customs clearance.
- The Bank Guarantee will be returned when regularization is completed within 6 months upon presentation of the permit.
- Owner of the goods must be registered at the National Tax Office / Revenue Service; if the owner of the goods has not obtained a Residence Permit, the owner of the goods’ employer, company or a person already registered at National Tax Office must represent the owner of the goods at Customs clearance.
- Owner of the goods must obtain Diplomatic Franchise from the Foreign Affairs Ministry, which takes approximately 2-3 weeks.
We always recommend speaking directly to the relevant embassy for the most accurate and up to date moving advice:
Popular Destinations in Spain
Global Moving Services is vastly experienced in international removals to cities all over the globe. Our long history and detailed knowledge of different countries makes them the perfect choice for your move. Here are some of the most popular destinations we are asked to move people to in Spain:
Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, Zaragoza, Málaga, Murcia, Palma-Mallorca, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria – Canary Islands, Bilbao, Alicante, Córdoba, Valladolid, Vigo, Gijón, Granada, Santa Cruz de Tenerife – Canary Islands, Pamplona, Almería, Cádiz. Get a quote to one of these places
Quality of Life in Spain
Are you thinking of taking on an international move to Spain? Anyone making a change and moving to a different country would understandably have questions about what it’s actually like to live in said country. So, what is the quality of life in Spain like for expats and newcomers? Find out what you need to know about the quality of life in Spain – how happy its inhabitants are, job opportunities and the housing market by reading deeper into our guide to moving to Spain.
According to The Olive Press, the Spanish people are among the happiest in the EU. 65% of Spaniards are said to consider themselves to be either happy or very happy. This is much higher than the average for the rest of Europe, which sits at 50%. Furthermore, the Better Life Index ranks Life Satisfaction in Spain at 5.5 out of 10, however ranks other important elements much higher. For example, Safety in Spain is ranked at 9.2, while Work-Life Balance in Spain is rated 8.8.
When it comes to employment, the Better Life Index reports that just over 60% of people between 15-64 are carrying out paid work in Spain which is slightly below average. Housing in Spain, however, is on the recovery after a sharp drop as a result of the financial crisis of 2008. Since 2014, property in Spain has been on the rise. In 2020, a new build home in Spain cost nearly €2,500 per square metre.
Moving Your Money
If you’re moving to Spain, it’s very likely you’ll have to exchange a large amount of currency. Many people waste thousands doing this through their bank as they think there is no alternative; but we partner with Global Reach who specialise in doing just this. Global Reach will offer all Global Moving Services customers preferential rates when exchanging currency and guarantee to beat other rates you’re receiving. Ask one of our move managers about this, to find out more click here or give us a call: +44 121 392 1720.
We always advise taking out an insurance policy with us on every move. Although we like to think we’re the best in the industry, the odd accident can occasionally happen. For added peace of mind, make sure to speak to one of our move managers about this.
If you have already contracted us for your international removal to Spain, then you can download the insurance form and email the completed form back to your international relocation manager.
Moving Your Car Or Motorcycle
Below is a list of the documents you will need when planning to move your vehicle to Spain:
- Original vehicle purchase invoice
- Original documents of the car (e.g., certificate of title and registration, insurance, etc.)
- If the model of the car is not sold in the EU, owner of the goods must obtain from the manufacturer a document stating to what EU model his car matches.
- The car must be built to fit EU standards.
Additional Import Advice
- Vehicle must have been used by owner of the goods for a minimum of 6 months.
Relocating Your Pets to Spain
These documents will be required when planning to relocate your pet to Spain
- International health certificate
- Vaccination record
Additional Import Advice
- Pets must be identifiable through microchip or a tattoo.
- Muzzles are required for dogs in some areas of Spain; check with agent for specific locations.
- Pets subject to examination by a Customs veterinarian.
Restricted & Dutiable/Taxable Items
Think very carefully before moving these items to Spain. Items on this list will be taxed and/or require specific permission to import. In all cases they must be declared prior to you relocating to Spain:
- Fur coats may undergo Customs examination.
- There are no limits on the amount of alcohol and tobacco imported from countries in the European Union; however, Customs is more likely to investigate if bringing more than the quantities indicated:
- Cigarettes (800), cigarillos (400 or 3 g each), cigars (200), smoking tobacco (1 kg)
- Spirits over 22% (10 L), spirits under 22% (20 L), Wine (90 L but no more than 60 L of sparkling wine), beer (110 L)
- The following items may qualify for imported by persons 18 years and older within the limits indicated:
- Cigarettes (200), cigarillos (100), cigars (50), smoking tobacco (250 g)
- Alcohol exceeding 22% volume or un-denatured ethyl alcohol 80% volume and over (1 L), alcohol not exceeding 22% volume (2 L), still wine (4 L), beer (16 L)
Do not move any of these items to Spain:
- Firearms and ammunition (permit is required)
- Liquor and alcohol (small quantities)
- Pictures, sculptures, Persian carpets and other art items
- Protected species and products made from them per the Washington Convention (CITES), such as ivory, tortoise shells, coral, reptile skins, etc.
- Antiques (permit is required)
The following additional items are prohibited in GMS Baggage/Courier Consignments:
- Aerosols (all kinds, Hairspray, Deodorant etc)
- Aftershaves / Perfumes / Fragrances
- Alcoholic Drinks or Bottles
- Ammunition of any kind
- Animals of any kind (Dead or Alive)
- Any items containing Petrol (Liquid, Gas or Fumes)
- Biological Samples
- Car Batteries
- Cash & Cards (Credit / Debit)
- Cheques (Bank)
- Christmas Crackers
- Counterfeit Currency
- Dangerous Goods
- Driving Licence
- Drugs (Including Prescription)
- Excrement / Filth
- Fire Extinguishers
- Fish (Dead or Live)
- Foodstuffs (all kinds)
- Hazardous Goods
- Human Remains (including ashes)
- Infectious Substances
- Laptop Computers, Mobile/Smart Phones or Tablets
- Lottery Tickets
- Nail Varnish / Nail Varnish Remover
- Perishable Goods (All)
- Plants / Seeds etc
- Printer Toner
- Seatbelt Tensioners and Steering Wheels
- Weapons (all kinds, including replicas)
Disclaimer: Customs regulations can change at any time with or without notice. This information is provided as a guide only. While Global Moving Services has exercised reasonable care in publishing this information, Global Moving Services makes no representation, either expressed or implied, as to its accuracy or applicability.