Barcelona authorities are concerned about the overtaking of urban spaces by delivery companies, Source: Depositphotos

Barcelona, first Spanish city to set a tax on e-commerce deliveries

Barcelona, first Spanish city to set a tax on e-commerce deliveries

The local authorities are taking the bold step as a way to declutter the urban streets from delivery traffic

Barcelona aims to be the first city in Spain to levy a fee on e-commerce companies as a way to push back on their crowding of public spaces with delivery vehicles. The pioneering initiative still needs to go through various levels of approval, but it is expected that it can start being applied sometime after February next year.

The Covid pandemic boosted the popularity of online shopping and home deliveries of a wide range of products. One and two years ago that was a welcomed development in light of the need to isolate at home. Also, the streets were fairly deserted from daily traffic. Now, that normality is back, however, the increase in delivery vehicles is severely burdening the street flow and increasing noise pollution.

Curbing the power of e-commerce giants

The new tax will be specifically applied to large and established players in the e-commerce sector. More specifically, companies that exceed 1 million euros in annual gross income, derived from final customer deliveries.

The amount of the fee is fixed based on a percentage of the gross income invoiced by the company, once the operations excluded from taxation have been deducted. The amount to be paid by the operators cannot exceed the limit set for the benefit, which has been quantified at 2.6 million euros.

The fee will also be applied in the event that any subject company subcontracts the activity to other companies or self-employed individuals. The ordinance, however, provides that the delivery operator will have to pay it. In the case of groups of companies, it will have to be paid by the company with the highest annual turnover.



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