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Barcelona Delivery Tax: At last! A European city taking the fight directly to the big delivery companies.

February 28, 2023

At last! A European city taking the fight directly to the big delivery companies whose vans are clogging up streets and polluting our air.

The city of Barcelona has announced they will be implementing a yearly tax on transport companies specialising in home deliveries. The tax will apply to all delivery companies with a turnover of over one million euros annually and pay an income tax of 1.24 %. The initiative will also nudge people towards utilising delivery depots and hubs instead of getting deliveries delivered to their door.

The tax is also designed to support brick-and-mortar shops inside the city centre. Currently, they are expected to pay a range of city taxes while delivery companies don’t as they are based outside of the city.

Jordi Castellana, a city councillor from the opposition party that is in favour of the proposal says “[E-commerce] makes really intense use of the public space, The delivery at home [means] that there are many vans and other vehicles,” adding that on top of that a lot of those deliveries are “failed deliveries.”

It is estimated that parking costs in Barcelona amount to around €2.6 million, this is based on parking costs and average parking time. The new tax is to be capped at that level for now, however, the ethos of the tax is not for profit but to usher in a behavioural change.

The new tax is a great example of how local city municipalities can protect and promote local businesses, and clean up our air while also bringing some of the biggest delivery companies to heel.

The new initiative has not gone unchallenged though. UNO Logistica, one of Spain’s big logistical companies has called the new tax “discriminatory” and claimed that businesses impacted will have to pass the new costs on to their customers.

Barcelona’s example is starting to get noticed by other cities, particularly in Paris. David Belliard, Deputy Mayor of Paris believes that a similar tax on some of the biggest delivery companies can help address some of the big issues concerning space and pollution in the city centre.

In an interview last month, Belliard stated “In Ile de France [the broader region around Paris], a million packages are delivered a day. An eco-contribution of 50 cents per package, that makes €180 million collected for the funding of our transport,” Belliard said, illustrating that Barcelona’s proposal may not be alone for long.You can learn more about the delivery tax initiative in this article by Deputy Mayor of Barcelona Jaume Collboni by clicking here.

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