• Vega Baja regions (Alicante) under Military Zone area as new house buyers apply for Military licence
  • Quote: ‘Cartagena is one of Spain’s important Naval bases which includes the delimitation line from Cabo Cervera in Torrevieja to Punta Negra, Mazarron; also running through San Miguel de Salinas, Torrevieja, Orihuela, and Pilar de la Horadada’.

By Andrew Atkinson

New buyers of properties in Spain from countries outside the EU face applying for a Military licence under a law that came into force in 1975.

Zones of interest for National Defence run along the coast of Spain including the Costa Blanca and Costa Calida regions.

The Military licence was introduced by General Franco which was enshrined in Royal Decree 689 of 1978.

Documentation from potential purchasers outside the EU are forwarded to the Military authorities in Barcelona in the case of the Costa Blanca and in Sevilla for Murcia.

The Vega Baja regions (Alicante) are under the Military Zone area.

Cartagena is one of Spain’s important Naval bases which includes the delimitation line from Cabo Cervera in Torrevieja to Punta Negra, Mazarron; also running through San Miguel de Salinas, Torrevieja, Orihuela, and Pilar de la Horadada.

The Military licence affects about 1,500 municipalities in Spain. The areas included in the 1975 law are called ‘areas of restricted access to ownership by foreigners’ and its limitations are applied, solely to rural land, not to urban land.

Non-EU citizens cannot buy rural land without Military authorisation, due to a law dating back to 1975, which has specific consequences when it comes to buying this type of land.

The Ministry of Defence has the right to oversee the purchase of properties by non-EU foreigners.

Obtaining a Military authorisation beforehand is a compulsory requisite for a successful purchase operation. If you do not have such an authorisation when it comes to signing the deed, the Notary will refuse to notarize the purchase contract and thus the buyer will not be registered as the new owner in the Property Registry.

After Spain became part of the European Community, citizens from member states were placed on the same level as Spanish ones, which meant they were exonerated from requesting the Military authorisation from the Ministry of Defence, as they are citizens from countries that do not belong to the EU, but do belong to the Schengen area (Iceland, Norway and Sweden).

The regulations apply also to legal persons, which means that a Spanish Limited Society that is made up by more than 50% of physical persons who are non-EU or non-Schengen citizens will also require a Military authorisation in order to buy land located in a restricted area.

With British citizens leaving the EU after Brexit on January 1, an English buyer will have to request a Military authorisation if they want to buy a rural property.

To get a Military license you will need:

– A notarised photocopy of the applicant’s passport.

– A criminal record certificate from the country where the person normally resides.

– A map with the location of the property where the distance to the closest military installation must be indicated.

– A detailed description of the property according to the Property Registry.

Spain and the UK are continuing discussions surrounding National security and Defence since leaving the EU at the turn of the year.

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