Both the production and import of alcohol and spirits are subject to excise duties. Since each geographical area has its own requirements, it is necessary to consult the import requirements at the corresponding Customs Office.

Excise duties are indirect taxes levied on specific consumption and levied, at a single stage, on the manufacture, import and, where appropriate, introduction into the internal territorial area of certain goods, in accordance with the rules of the specific law of each country.

The Excise Number, known as CAE (Código de Actividad de Establecimiento) in Spain, is used so that, when purchasing, the importer does not have to pay the excise duties derived from obtaining spirits. In this way, the spirits are tax-suspended. The accrual of the tax on alcohol and derived beverages will occur when the intermediate products leave the factory, i.e., once the sale is made to the customer, and not on importation itself.

The requirements for a bonded warehouse depend both on the product concerned and the number of outlets.  Warehouses must have numbered storage tanks, be located in facilities that do not communicate with each other and keep stock accounts. In Spain, a CAE code card is required to obtain authorisation. For more information, Bulk Wine & Spirits advises to contact the respective Customs Delegations. As you have seen, having a bonded warehouse can offer very interesting advantages, benefits that should be taken into account especially when starting to import spirits.


Bonded warehouse: Establishment where, by virtue of the authorisation granted, under the conditions and requirements established by regulations, products subject to special manufacturing taxes may be stored, received, dispatched and, where appropriate, processed under suspension of excise duties.