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Transport and Customs

Productions whose technical/human resources come, either entirely or partially, from another country, as well as Spanish companies that want to film abroad, have to plan and organise their activity in accordance with current transport and customs legislation. This does not require making any declaration or paying any fees, in the case of transporting material between European Union countries, due to the abolition of tax borders between member states.

The European Union has twenty-five member states: Germany, Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, United Kingdom, Czech Republic and Sweden. In addition to these countries, another four states (Bulgaria, Croatia, Rumania and Turkey) have applied for membership, although they are not yet part of the Union.

Transporting material between non-EU countries is governed by conditions of the so-called ATA Carnet, a form issued by each country’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (or its equivalent) that enables audiovisual equipment to be exported temporarily. Each country determines the amount of the bank guarantee or cheque that is required as a deposit.

Countries that Require a Deposit of 100% of Total Material.

Algeria, Botswana, Croatia, Estonia, India, Israel, Lesotho, Lebanon, Lithuania, Macedonia, Morocco, Namibia, Russia, South Africa, Swaziland, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey and China.

Countries that Require a Deposit of 50% of Total Material.

Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, South Korea, Ivory Coast, Slovakia, Slovenia, United States, Gibraltar, Guadeloupe, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Japan, Malaysia, Malta, Martinique, Mauritius, Norway, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Poland, Czechia, Rumania, Saint Pierre et Miquelon, Senegal, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Tahiti and Cyprus.

The Canary Islands and Andorra require a deposit of 25% of total material, except in the case of musical and theatre groups. The rest of the territories not included in the previous lists do not require any kind of deposit. However, it is advisable to contact the corresponding consulate for detailed information. Re-importing the material has to be done while the ATA Carnet is still valid.

Transporting animals between non-EU countries requires prior authorisation from the Agriculture Ministry. However, if the transportation is between EU countries, such authorisation is given by the Environment Department. This authorisation is subject to certain restrictions, according to which all animals have to be examined by a vet; this may result in a quarantine being imposed.

Transporting film material (exposed or developed) always involves an exportation process. The film should be sent to the country of origin as an ordinary re-exportation, even if it has been exposed or developed in Spain. When the film has not been processed, the film canister should bear the words “Do Not Open” and “Do Not X-Ray” in order to avoid film damage by it being opened or exposed to X-rays.