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Newsletter December 2020

Legal Updates

New operating conditions and identification of Local Accommodation Establishments

Ordinance no. 262/2020, of November 6, comes to introduce minimum operating and identification conditions for Local Accommodation establishments and impose a set of sustainability conditions.

Among other measures, it becomes mandatory to provide a reception and information service, which can be carried out in person or not in person and implement certain hygiene and cleaning conditions.

Additionally, hotels with more than 50 beds or users, must have at least one room and a sanitary facility adapted to users with conditioned mobility, with some exceptions. As for the nameplate, it must be near the entrance of the establishment.

With regard to sustainability conditions, it should be noted that Local Accommodation establishments must have environmental certification or quality seal and adopt, exclusively, detergents and biodegradable products.

These measures apply to all types of Local Accommodation, whether houses, apartments or accommodation establishments.

For local accommodation establishments that are already registered in the National Register of Local Accommodation, shall run an adaptation period of 12 months from the date of entry into force of the diploma.

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Draft bank activity code subject to public consultation

With a view to reviewing the legal framework applicable to banking activity, the Bank of Portugal presented a draft Code of Banking Activity, aimed at replacing the General Framework for Credit Institutions and Financial Companies. The Bank of Portugal submitted this draft for public consultation until 4 December 2020.

If approved, the draft will update the legal framework of banking law, aiming at objectives such as promoting the resilience of the banking system, strengthening the instruments of internal government, increased transparency and mitigation of conflicts of interest in the activity of credit institutions, as well as strengthening the capacity of intervention of the supervisor.

We highlight changes in the following areas: supervision and transparency measures; organizational culture and Corporate Governance, from a prudential point of view, also establishing specific rules on behavioral matters; conflicts of interest; prohibition of carrying out cross-border operations with entities based in non-cooperative countries; and provisional disqualification of voting rights and determination of the sale of qualified shareholdings.

The results of the public consultation will be later disclosed, aiming at the presentation of a revised version of this draft.

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Business Updates

Injection of Optimism into Financial Markets

Following the pandemic outbreak generated by Covid-19, the world, and, by dragging, the economy, struggled with a multitude of changes and delays to their claims for this year of 2020.

However, last week, the US stock market finally opened up again following the election results of the US Presidential and the news of encouraging results in the vaccine to fight Covid-19 by Pfizer and Moderna.

While it is early to move forward with certainty on a possible economic recovery in the global outlook, these indicators given by the market and its investors are clearly positive and hopeful.

These indicators gain greater projection when the Wall Street stock market at the end of the week closed in the green, with quarterly gains that completely concealed Covid’s record number of daily cases.

We believe that the markets, the economy and the world are learning to deal with this pandemic situation in a way that enables not only economic growth, but also the safeguarding of what already existed.

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Postponement of the delivery of the declaration of rents that reduces IMI

The deadline for landlords to submit the declaration of rents that allows them to benefit from the regime that reduces the amount of IMI will run from January 1 to February 15, 2021, according to an order issued by the Assistant Secretary of State and Tax Affairs.

For that purpose, this will be the period that landlords will have, in order to calculate the IMI of 2020, paid in 2021, and not the period that was previously under the law, which was between November 1st and December 15th.

This is a special regime that applies to landlords with housing leases celebrated before 1990 or non-housing leases celebrated before 1995.

This is a regime that aims to prevent the amount of IMI paid by the owner from exceeding the amount of the rents, so the landlords must present, in the indicated period, a participation in which the value of the last monthly rent due and the tax identification of the tenant are stated, in order to calculate the IMI according to the value of the rent, and not according to the real taxable patrimonial value of the property.

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