British Exporters to Portugal
Trade Partners UK offers British companies a range of subsidised commercial publicity services designed to assist and enhance their export strategies.
BBC World Service
The BBC World Service broadcasts throughout the world, in English and 43 other languages. An important part of their output deals with developments in British industry, science and technology.
New products and processes, developed by firms in this country, are featured prominently in news and other programmes, with the name of the manufacturer mentioned, where appropriate. All enquiries reaching the BBC as a result of the broadcasts, are passed on to the firms concerned.
The BBC World Service welcomes as much information as possible from industry. It is interested in new processes and products, contracts involving new technology and innovative exhibits at trade fairs abroad. Information can be e-mailed to : firstname.lastname@example.org
British exporters are advised to consult their advertising agents before embarking on an advertising campaign. Alternatively, exporters can seek advice from:
Overseas Press and Media Association15 Magrath Avenue
Contact: Jackie Dunn
Tel/Fax: 01223 512631
Whilst it is preferable for correspondence to be in Portuguese, it may also be conducted in English or French. Companies should avoid the use of Spanish. Trade literature should be in Portuguese. English is by far the favoured second language used in the field of commerce.
Trade Partners UK's National Languages for Export Campaign can help companies develop effective language and cultural strategies to succeed in non-English speaking markets.
You must quote in euros. Preparations are more advanced in the financial sector and in large businesses than in small and medium-sized businesses. Large importers are already using the euro, given the advantages of lower transaction costs and transparent pricing between euro-zone countries.
Export Finance & Insurance
The Trade Partners UK Export Finance team encourages the availability of competitive export finance to all UK companies seeking to export goods or services or invest overseas. For further information on how we can help you, please see the Export Finance pages.
Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD)
The ECGD can provide insurance or arrange medium/long-term finance packages in a wide range of markets worldwide for UK exporters of capital goods and projects. They can also provide contacts for private sector insurance for UK exporters of consumables. For more information on how ECGD may be able to help you visit the EGCD website or contact their helpline: E-mail:email@example.com. Tel: 020 7512 7887
Insurance for short-term creditA number of companies provide insurance for short-term credit to guard against non-payment, such as:
Tel: 0046 85 66 221 00
Fax: 0046 82 16 158
Euler Trade Indemnity
Tel: 020 7512 9333
Fax: 020 7512 9186
Association of British Insurers
Tel: 020 7600 3333
Fax: 020 7696 8999
Tel: 020 7325 7500
Fax: 020 7325 7699
You will need to get your products and services to the customer on time.
The main options for Portugal are road, airfreight, sea freight, post, air parcel post, express or courier service and rail freight.
The decision is based upon a mix of four requirements: speed, cost, reliability and product requirement (e.g. fragile or hanging garments)
For all methods, except post, it is often easier to use a freight forwarder. Forwarders should be approached in the early stages of market research rather than waiting until the goods are ready to go.
The British International Freight Association's New Importer / Exporter Initiative aims to provide specialist help and assistance to companies who are new to exporting. This service, available through selected BIFA registered members, offers up to one day's free consultancy to advise companies on such matters as modes of transport, distribution methods, costing, documentation and payment terms. They can be contacted on 020 8844 2266.
All Portuguese telephone numbers (fixed and mobile) have nine digits. The first digit for all telephone numbers of the fixed network is '2'. The second digit indicates the town. When in Portugal dial e.g.:
British Embassy in Lisbon: 21 392 4000
British Consulate on Oporto: 22 618 4789
When dialling from the UK dial:
00 351 21 3924000
00 351 22 6184789
As regards the mobile telephone numbers, they start with '91' or '93' or '96' or '92'. There is detailed information available (in Portuguese and in English) on pricing on ICP website www.icp.pt.
Emergency services in Portugal can be contacted by dialling 112.
Available at fax bureaux and large hotels in major cities. Like telephone numbers, all fax numbers have 9 digits. See above for method of dialling.
Post Offices (correios) are usually open 0900-1800 Monday to Friday. Central post offices and those at airports are open Saturday. Airmail to European destinations from continental Portugal and the Azores takes three days; from Madeira, up to five days. The Portuguese equivalent of the Royal Mail is Correios de Portugal. Their website is www.ctt.pt .
All major courier services will deliver to Portugal.
TNT's international operations are focused on the key areas of world trade in Europe, Asia, North and South America. TNT also have strong domestic networks in Australia.
DHL World-wide Express maintains offices around the world in over 200 countries
Standards & Techincal Specifications
The Portuguese Standards/Technical regulatory authority is:
Technical Help for Exporters (THE) is a service provided by the British Standards Institution (BSI) to provide information and advice on compliance with overseas statutory and other technical requirements.
THE produces a wide range of publications and provides a special updating service of information in some product fields. THE can supply detailed information on foreign regulations; identify, supply and assist in the interpretation of foreign standards and approval procedures; research and consult on technical requirements for a specific product; and provide translations of foreign standards, items of legislation and codes of practice.
Fees vary according to the amount of work involved.
Labelling & Packing Regulations
In 1986 the Portuguese Government passed a general law (Decree Law 238/86 of August 1986) stipulating that the Portuguese language must be used on all labels, packaging, brochures, catalogues, instruction manuals, trade literature, contracts, advertising, invoices, receipts, price-lists and all or any other printed or verbal material in any way relating to the provision of goods and services in the Portuguese market.
Between the 1970s and the present time, a plethora of specific laws have been passed regulating the provision of specific goods or services but all have been unanimous in stipulating that the description of such goods or services must be in the Portuguese language.
As this led to heated debates in Portugal about the validity of these laws under the terms of the Portuguese Constitution and EU requirements, the Government sought advice from the Attorney General. The lengthy opinion produced by the Attorney General was published in the 'Diário da República' of June 1993. The bottom line is that the Portuguese consume is entitled to full information on the product or service on offer and the information must be provided in the Portuguese language. The opinion even goes as far as stipulating that the words 'Made in…' must be translated into 'Fabricado em…'.
From the UK exporter's perspective a label containing the requisite information in the Portuguese language, may be affixed over the original label - but the lettering must be the same size (or larger) than on the original label. The labels in Portuguese only need to be affixed prior to the goods being put up for retail sale.
With regard to packaging, from the 1 January 1998 new Portuguese legislation came into effect for the prevention and reduction of the impact which packaging is having on the environment (in particular consumer goods packaging). There are two options open to companies supplying to the Portuguese consumer goods market:-
- Sale and return of packaging against deposit
- Join the 'Green Point' scheme run in Portugal by Ponto Verde
Sociedade Ponto Verde
Largo la Lagoa 7-E
Tel: 00 351 1414 7300
Fax: 00 351 1414 5246
Patents and Trademarks
Portuguese Patent Office:
For information on obtaining a Patent, contact:
European Patent Office:
Erhardstrasse 2780331 Munich
Tel: (0049) 89 2399 4538 Fax (00 49) 89 2399 4465
For information on registering a Trademark, contact the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market:
Avenida de Aguilera 2003080 Alicante
Tel: (00 34) 96 513 9333
Fax: (00 34) 96 513 9173
The UK Patent Office supplies information on Patents, Designs, Trademark and Copyright, including free information packs. For further information e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the Central Enquiry Unit on 08459 500 505.
Export Controls and Licensing
The UK Government maintains export controls to prevent the export of goods, including technology, for a variety of reasons including:
- the collective security of the UK and its allies in NATO
- national security and foreign policy requirements
- international legal obligations and commitments
- non-proliferation policy
- concerns about terrorism
- internal repression
- other human rights violations
- If goods or technologies are subject to UK export controls, a licence is required to gain the legal authority to export them. The Department of Trade and Industry is the licensing authority.
The DTI's Export Control Organisation's Helpline is the first point of contact for information on export controls. The Helpline provides advice on many issues, including how to establish whether or not specific goods need an export licence, the different types of export licences, how to complete export licence application forms and how long they take to process. The Helpline is also the point of contact for Export Control Organisation publications and licence application forms.
The Defence Export Services Organisation (DESO) can provide information concerning the export of defence related equipment.
For information concerning export controls on antiques and works of art, please visit the Department for Culture, Media and Sport website.
Goods which are in free circulation within the European Union (i.e. those which are not liable to pay customs duty in the EU as they either originate there or the duty has already been paid) can move between Member States without any documentation. This does not apply to excise or controlled goods which still need documentation.
However it is advisable to still send normal commercial documentation with the export (e.g. invoices, packaging lists) for despatches to Portugal.
SITPRO - Simplifying International Trade
SITPRO is the UK's trade facilitation agency. It is dedicated to encouraging and helping business trade more effectively and simplifying the international trading process. Its field is within the procedures and documentation associated with international trade.
SITPRO manage the UK aligned system of export documents and license the printers and software suppliers who sell the forms, laser and export document software. SITPRO's other services, many of which are free of charge include:
- a trade efficiency help desk
- an extensive library of briefings covering topics from general export to payment and finance advice and individual country information
- management guidelines booklet for traders
- Letter of Credit (L/C) checklists
- quarterly newsletter and comprehensive seminar programme.
For further information contact:
Customs Duties & Additional Taxes
If goods are produced in the UK (or in any other EU member state) they are not liable to pay import duty on entry into Portugal. If goods have entered the EU from a non-member country and had any necessary import duty paid on them, they can enter Portugal without any further import duties being levied.
HM Customs and Excise can help you locate your local Customs Advice Centre and your local Excise and Inland Customs Advice Centre who are the first line of enquiry for routine tariff classification advice down to the 6 digit Harmonised System subheading level, used worldwide.
The Customs Classification Helpline can also provide advice on tariff classification numbers. The Helpline is open from 08.30-17.00, and a voicemail service is available outside these hours. Tel: 01702 366 077
Tariff information for many countries is available from the Market Access Database
As of 1 January 1986 Portugal abolished all taxes and surcharges which were imposed prior to accession to the EU and introduced VAT (IVA).
The standard rate of VAT is currently 23%, but a lower rate of 6% applies to some basic foodstuffs and 13% for certain services, transferal of assets, certain exports etc.
The VAT rate for goods imported into Madeira and the Azores (although treated in exactly the same way as those imported into mainland Portugal) is 22%, 12% and 5% (Madeira) and 18%, 10% and 5% (Azores).
Associação Portuguesa dos Industriais de Alimentos Compostos para Animais
Association of composed food for animals industry
- Automobiles: Components, Spare Parts and Sales
Associação do Comércio Automóvel em Portugal
Motor car trade association
Associação de Fabricantes para a Indústria Automóvel
Portuguese Association of car components manufacturers
- Ceramic (also domestic utilities)
Associação Portuguesa da Indústria da Cerâmica
Representative association of Portuguese ceramics industry
Associação de Comércio Electrónico em Portugal
E.commerce Portuguese Association
Associação Portuguesa dos Centros Comerciais
Portuguese Shopping Centers Association
- Construction and Public works
AECOPS – Associação de Empresas de Construção e Obras Públicas
Public works and construction companies association located in the South of Portugal
AICCOPN - Associação dos Industriais da Construção Civil e Obras Públicas do Norte
Public works and construction companies association located in the North of Portugal
Associação Portuguesa dos Comerciantes de Materiais de Construção
Portuguese Association for retailers of building materials
Aneop - Associação Nacional de Empreiteiros de Obras Públicas
Building Contractors Association
Associação Portuguesa de Projectistas e Consultores
APPC is a non-profit Trade Association representing the Portuguese Autonomous Sector of Engineering, Architecture and Management Studies and Projects
APEB - Associação Portuguesa das Empresas de Betão Pronto
Concrete Industry Professional Association
- Construction/Building Materials
Associação dos Industriais Metalúrgicos Metalomecânicos e Afins
Metallurgy and Metal Industries Association
Associação Portuguesa dos Industriais de Mármores,Granitos e Ramos Afins-Assimagra
Portuguese Industry of Marble, Granite and Similar Stones Association
APCOR - Associação Portuguesa de Cortiça
Portuguese Cork Association represents and promotes the Portuguese cork industry and all products made of cork.
- Electric and Electronics
ANIMEE - Associação Portuguesa das Empresas do Sector Eléctrico e Electrónico
Association representing Portuguese manufacturers of Electrical Equipment and Energy, Electronics and Information Technology, Informatics, Telecommunications and Medical Imaging products, Consumer Electrical and Electronic Equipment.
- Energy and Telecommunications
Direcção Geral de Energia
Body of the Portuguese Administration responsible for the conception, execution and evaluation of energy policy
APDC - Associação Portuguesa para o Desenvolvimento das Comunicações
Non-profit making institution of public interest whose main objective is to promote and contribute to the vulgarisation of the realities and prospects of the Communications Sector
National Association for Timber Packaging Recovering and Recycling Residues
ANCIPA - Associação Nacional dos Comerciantes e Industriais de Produtos Alimentares
National Association of Foodstuff Traders
FIPA - Federação das Indústrias Portuguesas Agro-Alimentares
Foodstuffs Industry Federation
Associação Nacional dos Industriais de Conservas de Peixe
National Association of the Fish Canning Industrialists
Associação dos Industriais de Laticínios
Dairy Products Association
Casa do Azeite
Association who supports the producers and packers of Portuguese Olive Oil
ANIRSF - Associação Nacional dos Industriais de Refrigerantes e Sumos de Frutos
Association representing Portuguese producers and packers of soft drinks, fruit juices and nectars
Agência Portuguesa de Segurança Alimentar
Agency responsible for food safty and higine
Associação Portuguesa dos Industriais de Calçado, Componentes, Artigos de Pele e Seus Sucedâneos
Shoemaking and components, leather association
Associação das Indústrias de Madeira e Mobiliário de Portugal
Furniture and Wood Association
APIMA - Associação Portuguesa das Indústrias de Mobiliário e Afins
Furniture manufacturers association
Associação Empresarial de Portugal
Business information portal
- Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals
Associação de Grossistas de Produtos Químicos e Farmacêuticos-Groquifar
Association representing Portuguese wholesalers of chemical products, pharmaceuticals, for food and animal health
Pharmaceutical industry association representing more than 130 companies active in the Production and Import of Proprietary Medicinal Products for Human and Veterinary Use, Sera, Vaccines, Active Substances for Medicinal Products and Auxiliary Diagnostic Products
- Information Technology and Electronics
Associação Portuguesa de Software
Promotes, defends and divulgation of legality, quality and integrity of software in Portugal
ANETIE - Associação Nacional das Empresas das Tecnologias de Informação e Electrónica
Information and Technology Business Portal
- Metal and electromechanical industry
Associação Nacional das Empresas Metalúrgicas e Electromecânicas
National Association of Metalworking Industries
Associação Nacional da Indústria de Moldes
Mould Industry Association
- Paper and pulp industry
Associação Portuguesa das Indústrias Gráficas, de Comunicação Visual e Transformadoras do Papel
Graphic arts, Visual Communication and Paper Transformation Portuguese Industry Association
Celpa- Associação da Indústria Papeleira
Portuguese paper industry Association
Associação Nacional dos Industriais de Papel e Cartão
Association representing the paper and cardboard manufacturers and recyclers
- Plastic Industry
ACEPE –Associação Industrial de Poliestereno Expandido
Association representing the Portuguese manufacturers of EPS (Expanded Polystyrene)
- Ports and Harbours
Associação dos Portos de Portugal
Ports statistics and information
- Services to companies
Associação Portuguesa de Certificação
Portuguese Association of Quality and Environment Management Certification
Instituto de informação em Franchising
Training and information about franchising opportunities in Portugal
Câmara de Comércio e Indústria Portuguesa-Associação Comercial de Lisboa
Portuguese Chamber of Commerce
Associação Portuguesa para a Qualidade (APQ)
Association which main objective is promote Quality in order to improve Portuguese Economy competitiveness
Associacao Portuguesa dos Industriais de Curtumes
Portuguese Leather Association
- Textiles and Clothing
Associação Portuguesa das Indústrias de Malha
Knitted and non-knitted apparel, embroidery, stamping industry association
Associação Nacional das Indústrias de Vestuário e Confecção
National Clothing and Ready-Made Garments Association
Associação Nacional dos Industriais de Lanifícios
Woollen manufacturers National Portuguese Association
Associação Nacional dos Transportadores Públicos Rodoviários de Mercadorias
Association of Goods Transporters
Associação Nacional dos Transportadores Públicos Rodoviários Nacionais
Public Transport Association
- Wines and Breweries
Associação das Empresas de Vinho do Porto
Port Wine Exporters Association