E-Commerce, Newsroom | 7. December 2022

“Amazon tax” – Online merchants have to pay in Barcelona because of environmental pollution

Barcelona is getting serious next year: online merchants who deliver goods worth more than one million euros directly to end customers in the city will be asked to pay in future. by

Barcelona claims 1.25 of companies profits
Barcelona claims 1.25 of companies profits

E-commerce companies that meet this criterion will then be required to pay 1.25 per cent of their profits. In Barcelona, 26 companies are affected by this – above all, Amazon. However, the tax will become obsolete if the ordered goods are delivered to a pick-up centre. The main aim is to “change habits”, as Deputy Mayor Jaume Collboni emphasised. The idea is to encourage people to go to collection points more – in this way, consumers contribute to environmental protection, not to mention clogged roads due to illegally parked delivery vehicles.

The cosmopolitan capital of Catalonia will introduce a so-called “Amazon tax” next spring, reports the Standard. The reason is the use of public spaces by the deliverers of products ordered online. “This city simply can no longer afford to have a parcel weighing an estimated 300 grams delivered by a vehicle weighing several tonnes,” says Jordi Marti, the city’s budget officer.

Active measure because of poor air quality

For years, the Spanish city has been trying to stay below the European limit values, above which it faces a fine for poor air quality. Environmental studies have also shown that around 3,000 people die prematurely yearly in the Barcelona area due to air pollution. Furthermore, studies have shown that delivery traffic in the city requires about 8,300 parking spaces for loading and unloading.

The ordinance is currently up for a vote in the city council, which will vote on it on 28 February 2023. According to the “Standard”, a majority for implementing the “Amazon tax” is considered inevitable. This would make Barcelona the first city in Europe to introduce such a levy. The project had been in preparation for three years, and the city administration had also sought talks with the large online platforms in advance. 

More on the subject: EU economy