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Newsletter January 2021

Legal Updates

Towards the development of a sustainable energy system: what has changed?

It was published on December 7th the Decree Law 101-D/2020 which establishes the requirements applicable for buildings to improve their energy performance, as well as regulates the System of Energy Certification of Buildings.

This diploma transposes into the Portuguese legal system the “Clean Energy Package”, presented by the European Commission in November 2016, aimed at establishing the practical and normative framework for the energy transition in the decade of 2021-2030 and at creating the Union of Energy and Climate Action in the European Union, ensuring compliance with the Paris Agreement on climate change and global warming.

The new regime seeks to improve the mechanisms provided for in the law by giving priority to energy efficiency and the evaluation of energy performance and by strengthening the commitment to renewable energies. The new regime also seeks to adjust the allocation of financial measures and incentives according to the improvements obtained or the energy performance of the constructive solutions or equipment used. It should be noted that the energy efficiency gains of buildings are important factors in combating climate change.

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ASF approves new Regulatory Standards on information provision and insurance distribution

The Insurance and Pension Funds Supervisory Authority (ASF) approved three Regulatory Standards, namely 10/2020-R and 11/2020-R, both of 3 November 2020, and 13/2020-R, of 30 December 2020.

Regulatory Standard No. 10/2020-R is relevant for insurance and reinsurance companies, as it aims to adjust the reporting to the ASF to the evolving requirements of the supervisory process.

In turn, Regulatory Standard No. 11/2020-R, on the provision of information for supervisory purposes to the ASF by pension fund management companies, defines the set of reports and the financial, statistical, and behavioral elements that these entities must submit to the ASF.

Finally, Regulatory Standard No. 13/2020-R establishes the requirements applicable to the new category of the ancillary insurance intermediaries, the revision of the procedures applicable to the assessment of suitability and control of qualifying holdings and the implementation of the applicable duties regarding the policy for the treatment of policyholders, insured persons, beneficiaries and injured third parties and the management of complaints.

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Business Updates

Approved the transitional regime for the provision of financial services by entities based in the United Kingdom

Decree Law 106/2020 of 23 December was published, approving the transitional regime applicable to the provision of financial services by entities based in the United Kingdom.

The Decree-Law in question defines a transitional regime through which credit institutions, investment firms and management entities based in the United Kingdom, which are authorized to provide investment services and activities or services relating to collective investment undertakings, in Portugal, may continue to do so on a transitional basis until 31 December 2021.

This transitional period is intended to allow entities to have the necessary time to cease ongoing contracts and associated investments or, if they intend to continue to operate in Portugal, to instruct the necessary authorization processes, notification or communication with the competent national authorities.

This diploma rules a variety of subjects, being important to refer that said Decree-Law would only take effects on January 1, 2021, if the EU and the United Kingdom had not reached an agreement. As this was the case, the matters regulated in said diploma and those considered in the Trade and Cooperation Agreement shall be articulated.

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Flexibility of the National Support Program for the Wine Sector

As a result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequent restrictions on circulation, the Portuguese government considered necessary to speed up measures for the economic recovery, particularly in the wine sector, where promotion is of particular importance.

To this end, the first amendment to Ordinance No. 311/2018 of December 4 was published, which establishes the complementary rules for community support to the promotion of wines in third country markets, under the national support program for the wine sector for the period 2019-2023.

This program allows to give visibility and recognition to Portuguese wines in third markets, contributing to the increase of their export, as well as to the development of a strategy based on competitiveness, quality and environmental and social sustainability.

The changes introduced aim to allow the inclusion of new markets in requests for modification of projects, review the forecasts for penalties and provide for the possibility of submitting two payment requests under certain conditions, also updating the list of eligible expenses.
Support is granted through a public contest, and applications for tender no. 1/2021 are currently open until January 22nd.

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