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Spain Encryption

Issues related to trading with Spain, such as importing regulations, documentation requirements, custom information, etc.

Spain Encryption

Postby bridgat » Mon Nov 17, 2008 1:40 am


Spain is a member of the Wassenear Arrangement and the European Union, and controls export of cryptographic products according to the EU Regulations. The Ministry with responsibility in this area is the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

Encryption Policy

According to the Spanish Act 3/1992 and Royal Decree 491/1998, on double-use material, encryption software is considered a “double use product or technology”. The import and export of any encryption software, whether escrowed or non escrowed, key recovery or non key recovery, is in general terms subject to the previous authorization of the Spanish Inter-ministerial Board for International Commerce of Defense and Double-Use Materials. The members of the Board are representing of the Spanish Ministries of Commerce, Defense, Home Office, External Affairs and Economy.

License Requirements

Royal Decree 491/1998 set forth-different categories, also subject to different license requirements. For definitive exportation and temporary exportations, exporters must obtain an individual authorization, For Intra-community trade, the EU Regulation 3381/94 shall apply.

Domestic Encryption

Section 52.1 of the Spanish General Telecommunications Act 11/1998 allows the use of encryption technologies in the provision of telecommunication services. Nevertheless, Section 52.3 of this Act 11/1998 sets forth that service providers intending to use such encryption technologies may be required, according to any developing regulation, to provide the Spanish Administration with the decoding equipments used by such service provider, which provision must be free of any charges to the Administration. No developing regulation in this sense has been approved in Spain.
According to said Section 52.3, the provision of the decoding equipments must be made "for supervision purposes". Nevertheless, it is unclear whether such "supervision" refers to the tests conducted by the Administration so as to determine compliance of the decoding equipments with general technical requirements (pursuant to Directive 99/5 on telecommunications terminal equipment), or if said "supervision" refers to the ability of the Administration to intercept any such encoded communications. To date, the sole legislation dealing with use of encryption technologies (i.e., Royal Decree-Act 14/1999 on digital signatures, as further developed by the Order of 21st February 2000 issued by the Ministry of Public Works), does not impose any specific technical standard, nor requires service providers (the certification authorities) to provide the Administration with the algorithms used by said providers.

Encryption for Government-Run networks

There are no regulations that specifically influence the purchase of encryption software for government-run networks in Spain. However, some regulations on public procurement apply to the purchase of software products. The main provisions on this issue are the following:

For the purchase of products of a certain amount or which need a long support service, the public bodies may require the companies to be previously qualified. By means of qualification, a corporation is classified in a specific category depending on its financial standing and technical capacity. The qualification is granted for a period of 2 to 4 years. The qualified corporations are registered at the Official Public Procurement Registry.
The Spanish Public Administration has recently established a Centralized System for Supplies. This Centralized Systems or Supplies, in the creation, consist of an Official Catalog that lists the products suitable to be supplied to public bodies. Candidates must fulfill the pre-qualification criteria within a public supply contest for including their product in the catalog. The public bodies will directly purchase products listed in the catalog.

Source: Baker & McKenzie, Madrid, Spain, For further information please contact Javier Fernández-Lasquetty at + (34-1) 391 59 50 or
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