The current fragmented trade regulation in the Spanish market, resulting essentially from the existence of 17 different regional regulations, causes in Spain legal difficulties and costs that represent arround 4.6% points of the Spanish GDP, according to the Government.
In order to stimulate and promote the economic activity in the country, the Congress approved last 28th of November a new Act to ensure the Market Unity, which will reduce in a 35% the current administrative charges and procedures, creating a new and much favorable environment for investment and raising the competitiveness of the whole Spanish economy.
The Law 20/2013, of 9th December, entered into force after its publication in the Official State Gazette (B.O.E.), but it will not be in full effectiveness until its implementation, within the three following months. It is based on the principle of simplification or single license, implying that many of the existing regional administrative proceedings will have national efficiency.
Consequently, the agencies of valuation, accreditation, certification and others established within the country will have full capacity to operate throughout all the national territory and their acts will have full effect on it, without additional requirements or other regional formalities in reference to:
- Authorizations, licenses, accreditations, professional qualifications obtained from competent authorities for the exercitation of an activity, for the production or for the introduction to the market of a new product or service;
- Communications from competent authorities permitting new economic activities;
- Registrations for the exercise of economic activities, or
- Any other legal requirements to set up or pursuit an economic activity.
Thus, producers and service suppliers who sell their products or services throughout all the country will be only subject to the regional legislation, based where they operate, without the obligation of being subject to all the specific regulations and special permits to operate in each region.
Consequently, when an agent operates in more than one region, then the applicable legislation will remain in his own choice, being able to choose any Autonomic Community where he operates, with the only requirement to communicate the choice. If such communication has not been done, then the pertinent legislation will be the one where the effective management is exercised or administrative management centralized, conduct of business or, in any case, the one referred to the place where the business activity was established for the first time.
Another new contribution of this Law, based on the principles of collaboration, cooperation and non-discrimination between the different regional Administrations is the creation of the National Council of Market Unification, chaired by the Minister of Finance and assisted by a technical Secretary, responsible for the correct application of the Law. Such body will promote the required changes in order to eliminate all the barriers to reach the desired trade simplification, making different regional regulations converge, standardizing the elements of control and supervision between administrations and, that in any case, they do not require different conditions in the different Autonomous Communities.
In addition, the new regulation allows any economic operator may manifest the failure of the desired unification through the National Commission of Markets and Competition (CNMC), by filing an administrative appeal against any general action or inaction contrary to the mentioned Law, against the freedom of establishment or against movements between competent authorities, also being able to initiate an administrative procedure before Court.
The information contained in this note should not be regarded in itself as specific advice on the matter discussed, but only a first approach to the subject. Therefore it is highly recommended that the recipients of this note search professional advice about their particular case before taking specific measures or actions.