Newsletter July 2016

Legal Updates

European cooperation for a legal procedure applicable to international couples

The European Commission, by means of MEP Vera Jourová’s proposal, together with the European Parliament and 18 Member States (including Portugal), have undertaken to cooperate for the regulation of the legal procedures applicable to national couples of different Member States.

This regulation is considered necessary, since there have been over sixteen thousand international couples from the moment of implementation of European mobility. These couples, by establishing their residence in a Member State of which they are not national citizens, are submitted to the complex workings of International Private Law and therefore lack legal certainty in matters such as those related to the court and law applicable to their dealings, including marriages and non-marital partnerships.

These new rules are expected to be carried out and fully implemented on a maximum period of two and a half years. They shall set down, among other aspects, which Court shall be competent to settle these matters as well as which law shall be applicable, and they could go as far as to allow the parties to choose the applicable law between the residency law and the nationality law.


ISV on imported used cars

The Court of Justice of the European Union (EU) has considered on June 16th, 2016, that the tax on used and imported vehicles (ISV) applied in Portugal breaches European rules. The decision notes that the Portuguese Republic has been acting in violation of article 110 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union in what concerns the ISV settlement. According to the CJEU, article 11 of the Portuguese Vehicles Tax Code (CIV) sets out negative discriminations against imported used vehicles from other EU countries, particularly in what concerns the devaluation tables.

Portugal had already been notified in this respect and had, in turn, put forward a solution that was not approved by the European Commission, leading to the present jurisprudential decision.


Business Updates

Brexit: The exit of United Kingdom from the EU without any impact on Portuguese tourism

The United Kingdom has played an important part on the development of Portuguese economy, mainly and particularly in relation to the exportation of services. According to the Agency for the Investment and External Trade of Portugal (AICEP), the United Kingdom was the fourth largest consumer of Portuguese goods and services, representing 8,3% of all Portuguese exportations in 2014, and, also, the sixth supplier, representing 4,6% of Portuguese importations. From a Portuguese standpoint, Brexit takes on three different aspects that must be considered: that of the Portuguese Community in the United Kingdom, the matter of commercial exchanges between Portugal and the United Kingdom and the impact of the devaluation of the pound, which the IMF estimates to be high.

In relation to the tourism sector, according to the survey conducted by Algfuturo, the case is not alarming. There is, nevertheless, some concern over the unreliability of British economy, particularly over the devaluation of the pound and its effects on the pressure over the accommodation price, its effects on the decrease of the number of touristic travels, as well as the effects on the decrease of expenses of those travelling to Portugal.

On this matter, the President of the Portuguese Hotel Business Association, Raúl Martins, has expressed its view that there will not be an impact on Portuguese tourism.


São Paulo: The third biggest consumer market of Latin America

The State of São Paulo is located on the southeast of Brazil and it is the richest state of the country, also with the largest population. On top of that, therein are located the largest industries of the southern hemisphere and it possesses the largest GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of all Brazilian States.

Because of the several industries spread out across this State, the same is prone to attract any kind of investment. The sectors of agribusiness, property market, oil and natural gas are some examples of industries apt to attract new international investments to Brazil.

The economic development expected for 2017 may facilitate the entry of international companies eager to bet on the Brazilian market. As such, an event is to be held in September 2016 in São Paulo, organized by the Chamber of Commerce and the PPCC, in partnership with the Portuguese Chamber of São Paulo, aiming to bring together Brazilian and Portuguese companies wishing to export or invest in the Brazilian market. This event should facilitate exchanges between these companies, and allow them to meet the main market operators and to learn more about the business environment of the country.