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Newsletter July 2020

Legal Updates

Simplification of proceedings in SEF as a response to Covid-19’s impact

The exceptional situation caused by Covid-19 led SEF to simplify, through Order No. 5793-A/2020 of May 26th, the procedure for granting/renewing residence permits.

The approval of exceptional and temporary measures allows a reduction of the number of cases pending before SEF, as well as guaranteeing  the administrative efficiency of these public services and a reduction of  the negative impact on citizens who need to apply for residence permits during the period of calamity state.

It should be noted that for the instruction of applications for residence permits with visa waiver (in accordance with Article 88 (2) and Article 89 (2) of Law No. 23/2007, of July 4th), the documents submitted jointly with the application for visa waiver (expression of interest) serve as a proof  of the facts therein certified, regardless of their period of validity and as long as they were valid at the time of submission.

Furthermore, through the Public Administration information system, SEF will confirm whether the applicants are registered within the tax administration and, if applicable, the regularity of their social security contribution status (the absence of contributions from March 2020 onwards is not relevant).

This Order will be in force until May 27th, 2021.

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Boosting SMR's in the Tourism Sector

In response to the substantial financing need of Portuguese companies and the strategic importance that the tourism sector assumes in the Economy, the product “Tourism Bonds 2019” (“Obrigações Turismo 2019”) was launched in 2019, motivated by Turismo de Portugal, I.P..

This product allows the joint issuance of bonds by a group of companies, having  as  advantages the access to the capital market by companies that otherwise would not have it, as well as the access to financing support for a significant period.

The Economic and Social Stabilization Program has strengthened the continuity of this instrument and introduced new measures, such as the Open Call 202020, which allows access to an instrument  characterized by the sale and subsequent long-term lease of real estate, safeguarding the right to buy it back and as the financing line “COVID-19: Tourism Companies Support “, with applications open until 31.12.2020, which allows companies to finance their treasury needs under better conditions, price and deadline.

These additional initiatives are fundamental for the recovery of a vital sector for Portugal.

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Business Updates

Investment opportunity in solar parks

The procedure for the second solar auction is in progress, auctioning around 700 MW, divided into 12 lots, for solar power stations in Alentejo and Algarve.

The auction is based on an anonymous procedure, consisting of a series of rounds and the price will be the only valorization factor of the offers submitted by the competitors.

The minimum bidding capacity per lot will be 10 MW for AT/MT points and 50MW for MAT points, and companies in the same group may not exceed 50% of the capacity.

The applicable remuneration schemes will be (i) guaranteed remuneration and (ii) general remuneration, according to two sub-models, depending on whether their stations are equipped with a storage system or not.

Depending on the characteristics, potential contractors may be remunerated according to one of three remuneration models, to be in force for a period of 15 years.

The applications will take place until July 31st and the bidding is expected to take place on August 24th and 25th of this year.

In the first auction, in 2019, around 1400 MW were adjudicated at an average tariff of 20,4 euros per MWh, with one lot assigned at 14,7 euros/MWh.

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Strengthening of commercial relations between Lisbon and Rio de Janeiro

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Rio de Janeiro (CCI RJ) was recognized on May 19th, 2020 as an overseas Portuguese commerce and industry chamber.

CCI RJ is a non-profit civil association with the aim of increasing commercial, technical and cultural relations between Portugal and Rio de Janeiro, as well as supporting international business, allowing the approximation between various companies and entrepreneurs that seek a competitive insertion in the global scenario.

Besides CCI RJ, there are 17 other Chambers of Portuguese Commerce in Brazil, namely the Chambers of Commerce of Bahia, Ceará, Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso Sul, Minas, Pernambuco, Paraíba, Rio Grande do Norte, São Paulo and Santa Catarina.

With this recognition, another step is taken in the densification of the network of Portuguese Chambers of Commerce in Brazil and in the promotion of interactions between Portuguese and Brazilian investors and companies, enabling the strengthening of the economic relation with Brazil and increasing bilateral investment.

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