British Exporters to Portugal

Product Promotion

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 :

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 Association

15 Magrath Avenue

Contact: Jackie Dunn
Tel/Fax: 01223 512631

Sales Promotion

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.

to top of page

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: Tel: 020 7512 7887

Insurance for short-term credit

A number of companies provide insurance for short-term credit to guard against non-payment, such as:

Gerling NCM
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

Coface UK
Tel: 020 7325 7500
Fax: 020 7325 7699

to top of page


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.

to top of page



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

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 .

Courier services

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

to top of page

Standards & Techincal Specifications

The Portuguese Standards/Technical regulatory authority is:

Instituto Portugues de Qualidade
Rua C a Avenida dos Tres Vales
2825 Monte da Caparica
Tel: 00 35121 2948100
Fax: 00 35121 2948101

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.

For further information visit the British Standards Institution (BSI) website or e-mail:

to top of page

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:-

  1. Sale and return of packaging against deposit
  2. Join the 'Green Point' scheme run in Portugal by Ponto Verde

Sociedade Ponto Verde
Largo la Lagoa 7-E
2795 Linda-a-Velha
Tel: 00 351 1414 7300
Fax: 00 351 1414 5246

to top of page

Patents and Trademarks

Portuguese Patent Office:

Instituto Nacional de Propriedade Industrial
Campo das Cebolas
1149-035 Lisbon
Tel: 00 351 21 888 1101
Fax: 00 351 21 887 5308
Internet :

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: or contact the Central Enquiry Unit on 08459 500 505.

to top of page

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.

to top of page


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:

Tel: 020 7467 7280
Fax: 020 7467 7295

to top of page

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

Additional taxes

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).

Telephone Directory

Trade Associations

to top of page

Event Calendar

March 2018
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
No Image
Business Cocktail Evening 22nd March 2018from 6:00pm onwards Lady in Red – Galeria de ArteEdifício Adega de Lagoa, E.N. 1258400-395 Lagoa Sponsored by: [...]
Date :  Thursday, 22 March 2018
No Image
Inscrições para:
Date :  Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Featured Member

Useful Information

Copyright 2014 - British-Portuguese Chamber of Commerce, Portugal | Desenvolvido por microeuropa 2014