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Taxes applicable to the export of cultural assets

Authorisation for permanent export or temporary export with option to sell (when it is actually exercised) of assets outside of the European Union is subject to a set fee.

Therefore, asset exports are exempt from paying fees when:

  • Destined for countries in the European Union.
  • When their import was declared in accordance with article 32 of Law 16/1985.
  • Exported temporarily.
  • They are less than a hundred years old and not included in the General Inventory of Personal Property.
  • They are 50 and 100 years old and destined for non-EU member countries, if their value is less than those established in EC Regulation 116/2009.
  • They are less than 50 years old.

The Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport is responsible for dealing with this fee through the Office of Historical Heritage Protection. The money is deposited with the Treasury and set aside for the acquisition of assets of interest to the Spanish Cultural Heritage.

Amount subject to the fee:

  • Permanent Exports: the value declared on the export permit application. Once payment has been made, the applicant must send the receipt to the Office of Historical Heritage Protection. The export permit will be issued once the receipt has been received.
  • Temporary Export with Option to Sell: the actual sale price, when the option is exercised. The applicant will have to pay the export fee only if the work is sold abroad. Therefore, the export permit will be issued prior to paying the fee.
    • The applicant will have one year to notify the Office of Historical Heritage Protection whether the work was sold or returned to Spain.
    • In the event of sale, following notification from the applicant, the Office of Historical Heritage Protection will calculate the amount to be paid by the applicant, issuing a notification in writing. A self-copying fee payment form will be attached to the notification. Once payment has been made, the applicant must send the receipt to the Office of Historical Heritage Protection.

Fee Calculation

Fee Scales

The fee is not calculated directly on the total value of the asset to be exported, but rather different percentages are applied according to the following scale

  • Up to ?6,000: 5%.
  • From ?6,001 to ?60,000: 10%.
  • From ?60,001 to ?600,000: 20%.
  • ?600.001 and over: 30%.

Example: in the case of an export valued at ?10,000, the fee would be calculated as follows:

5% for the first ?6,000 and 10% for the remaining ?4,000, with which the amount to be paid would be: 300 + 400 = ?700.

Fee Calculation for Individual Lots

In order to make the application of the fee more fair and proportionate for the applicant, the fee is calculated separately for each lot included in the export.

Example: in the case of an export valued at ?10,000, which includes two assets worth ?5,000 each, a 10% fee would not be applied to the ?10,000, rather 5% would be applied to each of the works.

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