For members


Brexit news roundup: All the latest info for Brits in Spain

Stay up-to-date with the latest developments, news and concerns regarding Brexit for UK nationals who live in Spain. This week we look at charges for receiving parcels, passport stamps, and driving licence deadlines.

Brexit news roundup: All the latest info for Brits in Spain
Brexit news roundup. Photo: Free-Photos / Pixabay

Residents in Spain are being charged to receive parcels from outside the EU

New EU regulations mean people now have to pay VAT charges to receive even small parcels from outside the bloc. Until June 30th, 2021, packages imported into the EU with a value of less than €22 were exempt from import VAT charges. That exemption was abolished on July 1st, meaning that VAT is now due on all goods imported into the bloc.

The EU says the change was made to combat fraud via the widespread under-reporting of the value of goods to dodge the tax, and to make things fairer for companies trading within the EU.

It was supposed to come into effect from the start of January, but was pushed back to July because of pandemic-related delays.

Remember, the abolition of the €22 ‘low-value consignment’ threshold that kicked in from July is an EU-wide regulation that applies to imports from every country outside the EU, not just the UK.

READ ALSO: Why post to and from the UK from Spain is more expensive after Brexit

UK government sets out new timetable for import controls

The UK government has set out a new timetable for introducing full import controls on goods being imported from the EU to the UK.

Full customs declarations and controls will now be introduced on January 1st, 2022 as previously announced, although safety and security declarations will now not be required until July 1st, 2022.

Businesses, particularly those in the agriculture and food sector, have been facing a tough time in recent months. New requirements on importing products of animal origin were due to be introduced from next month, but the UK government has now pushed this back to give businesses more time to adjust.

“Businesses will now have more time to prepare for these controls which will be phased in throughout 2022”, said Minister of State at the Cabinet Office, Lord Frost.

British nationals in Spain concerned about passport stamps

British nationals resident in the EU have become concerned in recent months as their passports have been stamped when returning home from abroad.

British residents in Spain shouldn’t have their passports stamped when they are entering Spain, because they live there and are not limited to the 90-day rule. 

When approaching passport control, going either in or out of Spain, you should present both your passport and proof of residency, such as your TIE card or green residency certificate.

Don’t wait to be asked for this, because at busy borders officers will just assume that anyone presenting only a passport is a tourist.

If you do however accidentally get a stamp in your passport, the British Embassy in Spain has said that the stamp does not alter your rights of residency and incorrect stamps do not need to be annulled.

UK driving licences are only valid in Spain until October 31st 2021

Although the deadline for those who registered their intention to exchange their driving licence before December 30th 2020 has now been extended until December 31st 2021, it’s important to remember that your UK driving licence will only be valid to drive in Spain until October 31st 2021.

This means that you only have a month and a half left to use your UK driving licence in Spain, even though you can still exchange it for a Spanish one up until the end of the year, if you already registered your intention to do so.

READ ALSO – EXPLAINED: What the licence exchange extension means for British drivers in Spain

Brexit events in Spain 

The British Embassy and Consulates regularly hold events across Spain to update British citizens on Brexit news and how it affects them. 

Residency and legal support clinics in Malaga province:

  • In Periana on Thursday, September 23rd from 10am – 2pm
  • In Torrox Costa on Friday, September 24th from 10.30am – 2pm 
  • In Sabinillas on Wednesday, September 29th from 10am – 2pm
  • In Sabinillas on Thursday, September 30th from 10am – 2pm 

    Click here for more info and how to book your place. 

    Member comments

    Log in here to leave a comment.
    Become a Member to leave a comment.


    Reciprocal healthcare agreements between Spain and Gibraltar end

    The Spanish government has confirmed that it will not extend its reciprocal healthcare agreements with Gibraltar, meaning that from July 1st 2022, it will come to an end.

    Reciprocal healthcare agreements between Spain and Gibraltar end

    When the UK left the EU on December 31st 2020, both sides agreed that the UK’s EHIC European healthcare cards could still be used until their expiry dates.

    This card provided British travellers with free state-provided medical care in the EU in case of emergencies.

    Beyond their five year period of validity, EHIC cards are no longer valid and travellers have to apply for the new Global Heath Insurance Card (GHIC) instead. 

    Spain made a separate agreement with Gibraltar under its Royal Brexit Decree in which unilateral arrangements would be maintained in the territory and extended until June 30th 2022.

    During the meeting of the Spanish Council of Ministers on Tuesday, the Spanish Government decided not to extend the agreement further, meaning that residents of Gibraltar will no longer be able to benefit from it.

    In a statement the government of Gibraltar said: “It would have been HMGoG’s preference for these arrangements, which deeply affect citizens on either side of the border on matters as essential as healthcare, to have been maintained. Indeed, HMGoG was prepared to continue with them”.

    “However, because reciprocity is a key element to these arrangements which cannot work without coordination and provisions for reimbursement of costs etc., HMGoG is left with no option but to discontinue them also in so far as treatment in Gibraltar is concerned,” it continued. 

    What does this mean?

    Gibraltar residents insured under Gibraltar’s Group Practice Medical Scheme will, after 30th June 2022, no longer be able to access free emergency healthcare in Spain during a temporary stay in the country. 

    Those who are residents in Spain who travel over to Gibraltar will not have access to free healthcare on The Rock either. 

    As a consequence, if a resident of Gibraltar falls ill or has an accident while over the border in Spain or the same for a Spanish resident in Gibraltar, they will have to pay for healthcare.

    The government of Gibraltar is encouraging its citizens from July 1st 2022 to have appropriate travel insurance with medical cover each time they visit Spain.

    This means that even those who are hopping over the border for few hours such as for a shopping trip or going out for dinner will have to make sure that they have adequate health insurance. 

    “Where medical attention is required the costs incurred may be considerable, so you should ensure you have adequate insurance cover or alternatively the means to pay,” the Gibraltar government said in their statement.