Published in D.R. number 82 (Series I) of 26 April 2012
Assembleia da República (Assembly of the Republic)
Lays down the legal regime that governs the provision of postal services, under a full competition regime, on national territory, as well as of international services to or from national territory, transposing to the national legal system Directive 2008/6/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, of 20 February 2008.
The Assembleia da República (Assembly of the Republic) hereby decrees, pursuant to article 161 c) of the Constitution, as follows:
1 - This law lays down the legal regime that governs the provision of postal services on national territory, as well as of international services to or from national territory, transposing to the national legal system Directive 2008/6/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, of 20 February 2008, which amends Directive 97/67/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, of 15 December 1997, with regard to the full accomplishment of the internal market of Community postal services.
2 - This law brings the regime of access to and provision of postal services in line with Decree-Law No 92/2010, of 26 July, which transposes Directive 2006/123/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, of 12 December 2006, on services in the internal market.
3 - The regime of operation and use of postal services on national territory, as well as of international postal services to or from national territory, shall be laid down in a statutory instrument implementing this law.
1 - This law aims to:
a) Define the conditions for provision of postal services under a full competition regime;
b) Ensure a sustainable and efficient provision of a universal postal service; and
c) Establish the rights and interests of users, especially of consumers.
2 - In order to achieve the objectives established in this law the following principles must be observed:
a) To ensure the existence, availability, accessibility and quality of the universal service provision;
b) To ensure the economic and financial sustainability and viability of the universal service provision;
c) To guarantee the enforcement of and compliance with the essential requirements provided for in article 7;
d) To ensure the protection of users in their dealings with postal service providers, namely the handing and resolution of complaints;
e) To ensure equality in the access to the market.
Freedom to provide postal services
1 - The freedom to provide postal services shall be guaranteed, under this law.
2 - The preceding paragraph shall be without prejudice to:
a) The specific regime to which the universal service is subject;
b) Services or activities that, on grounds of public policy or security, or in the interest of the general good, may be reserved to specific postal service providers, such as the sitting of letter boxes on the public highway intended for the deposit of postal items, the issue and sale of postal stamps bearing the word “Portugal”, and the registered mail service used in court or administrative proceedings.
3 - The award of services and activities referred to in point b) of the preceding paragraph to a postal service provider shall take place according to selection procedures and criteria, pursuant to the Public Procurement Code.
4 - For the purposes of this law, postal service provider shall mean a natural or legal person that provides postal services, as provided for herein, and user shall mean any natural or legal person benefiting from the provision of a postal service as a sender or an addressee.
Provision of postal services
1 - The following operations integrate the postal service activity:
a) Clearance, which concerns the set of operations related to the deposit of postal items with a postal network, namely their collection by postal service providers;
b) Sorting, which consists in the handling of postal items so that they may be transported to the distribution centre of the area where they are addressed to;
c) Transport, which consists in the delivery of postal items through appropriate technical means from the point of access to the postal network to the distribution centre of the area where postal items are addressed to; and
d) Distribution, which concerns the set of operations from the sorting of postal items at the distribution centre of the area where such items are addressed to, to the actual delivery of postal items to their addressees, either natural or legal persons.
2 - The postal service provider shall use a set of human and material resources that constitute the postal network to ensure the clearance, sorting, transport and distribution of postal items.
3 - International postal services cover postal items received in Portugal from abroad or sent from Portugal to another country.
4 - For the purposes namely of paragraph 1 c), points of access shall mean physical facilities, including letter boxes provided for the public either on the public highway or at other public or private locations, namely the premises of postal service providers, where senders, natural or legal persons who are at the origin of postal items, may deposit the latter with the postal network.
Types of postal items
1 - Postal item shall mean an item addressed in the final form, which observes the physical and technical specifications that allows it to be sorted by a postal network as well as delivered at the address indicated on the object itself or on its wrapping, namely:
a) An item of correspondence, which consists on a communication in written form on any kind of physical medium, including direct mail;
b) Books, catalogues, newspapers and other periodicals;
c) A postal parcel, which is a package containing merchandise or objects with or without commercial value.
2 - For the purpose of point a) of the preceding paragraph, direct mail shall mean an item of correspondence comprising an identical message which is sent to a significant number of addressees, exclusively for advertising, marketing or publicity purposes.
3 - Postal items shall be known as registered items where they are provided with a flat-rate guarantee against risks of loss, theft, robbery or damage and the sender is supplied, upon request, with proof of the deposit of the postal item or of its delivery to the addressee.
4 - Postal items may also be classified as insured items, where the monetary value of their content is insured up to the value declared by the sender in the event of loss, theft, robbery or damage.
Coordination in emergency situations
It is incumbent upon the State to ensure an appropriate coordination of postal services in situations of emergency, crisis or war, under the law.
Essential requirements for the provision of postal services
1 - The following essential requirements shall be safeguarded in providing postal services:
a) The inviolability and secrecy of postal items, subject to the restrictions and exceptions provided for in criminal law and other applicable legislation;
b) The security of the network as regards the transport of dangerous goods;
c) The confidentiality of information transmitted or stored;
d) Protection of personal data and of privacy;
e) Environmental protection and regional planning;
f) Respect for the terms and conditions of employment and for social security schemes, laid down by law, regulation, administrative provision and by collective work agreement.
2 - The inviolability and secrecy of postal items and data protection mentioned in the preceding paragraph shall cover specifically:
a) The prohibition to read any postal items, even when they are not enclosed in sealed wrappings, and to even open sealed postal items;
b) The prohibition to disclose to third parties the contents of any message or information one may have duly or unduly become aware of, as well as the identities and relations between senders and addressees and their addresses.
National regulatory authority
National regulatory authority
1 - ICP - Autoridade Nacional das Comunicações (ICP-ANACOM) shall be the authority responsible for pursuing regulatory, monitoring and enforcement powers within the postal service sector, under this law and its Statutes, approved by Decree-Law No 309/2001, of 7 December.
2 - ICP-ANACOM shall be specifically responsible for:
a) Drawing up and approving regulations required for the implementation of the regime established herein;
b) Representing the State in international organisations, within the scope of postal services, under its Statutes;
c) Issuing individual licenses for the provision of postal services;
d) Issuing statements proving the entry in the register of postal service providers;
e) Overseeing the universal service provision;
f) The enforcement of legal and regulatory provisions on the provision of postal services, as well as the application of relevant penalties.
3 - This law and the Statutes of ICP-ANACOM guarantee:
a) Its independence as a body separated from the Government at organic, financial and functional levels, endowed with the means required to perform its tasks;
b) Its independence as a body separated from postal service providers at organic, financial and functional levels;
c) The effective separation of the regulatory functions from activities associated with ownership or control of companies of the sector owned or controlled by the State.
4 - ICP-ANACOM and authorities and services entrusted with the implementation of competition law and consumer protection law shall cooperate on matters of common interest.
5 - ICP-ANACOM shall cooperate with the European Commission and with other national regulatory authorities on matters concerning the application hereof.
1 - Where, in the exercise of competences provided for in this law, ICP-ANACOM intends to adopt any measure with a significant impact on the market, it shall publicize the respective draft decision and grant the possibility of assessing the matter to whoever wishes to do so, for at least 20 days.
2 - In situations of duly substantiated urgency, ICP-ANACOM is entitled to decide not to carry out the public consultation provided for in the preceding paragraph or to grant a shorter time-limit.
Universal postal service
Universal service scope
1 - The existence and provision of the universal service is hereby ensured, involving the supply of postal services defined herein, of a specified quality and permanently available throughout the territory, at affordable prices for all users, aiming to meet the communication needs of the population and those of economic and social activities.
2 - For the purpose of the preceding paragraph, the State shall take steps to ensure that the density of access points takes account of the needs of users.
3 - The public or private postal service provider supplying the universal service or components thereof, under this law, within the national territory or parts thereof, shall be known as the universal service provider.
Characteristics of the universal service
1 - The provision of the universal service shall ensure the fulfilment of the following needs:
a) The provision of a postal service at affordable prices for all users;
b) The provision of appropriate quality standards, namely as regards routing times, density of access points, regularity and reliability of services;
c) The service provision under conditions of equality and non-discrimination;
d) The continuity of the service provision, save for situations of force majeure;
e) The development of the service in response to the technical, economic and social environment and to the needs of users;
f) Compliance with obligations related to the universal service provision to which the Portuguese State is bound at international level.
2 - Universal service providers shall publish in an appropriate manner and regularly supply users and postal service providers with sufficiently detailed and up-to-date information regarding the particular features of the universal service offered, with special reference to the general conditions of access to and use of these services, prices and quality standard levels.
Universal service scope
1 - The universal service comprises a postal service, of a national and international scope, for postal items, excluding direct mail, and also for catalogues, books, newspapers and other periodicals up to 2 Kgs and postal parcels up to 10 Kgs, as well as services for registered items and insured items.
2 - The universal service shall not cover express mail services, which refer to added value services, characterized by the clearance, sorting, transport and distribution of postal items with an increased promptness, differing from regular postal services for a set of additional characteristics, such as:
a) Predefined delivery deadlines;
b) Registered postal items;
c) Guarantee of provider liability, by means of insurance through which the sender is previously aware of how he may be compensated of damages suffered;
d) Tracking and tracing of postal items along the provider’s operational circuit, allowing the identification of the delivery status and the provision of information to the customer.
3 - The universal service covers also the delivery within the national territory of postal packages received from other Member States of the European Union and weighing up to 20 kgs.
4 - Universal service providers shall guarantee one clearance and one delivery of postal items covered by the universal service at least once a day every working day, save in exceptional circumstances or geographical conditions previously defined by ICP-ANACOM.
5 - The delivery referred to in the preceding paragraph shall be made to the home of the addressee or, in the cases and conditions previously defined by ICP-ANACOM, to appropriate installations.
Obligations of the universal service provision
Quality of the universal service
1 - Parameters of quality of service and performance objectives associated to the universal service provision, for each year, related in particular to routing times, the regularity and reliability of services, as well as rules on their measurement, monitoring and disclosure shall be set out by ICP-ANACOM, having heard universal service providers and consumer organizations, pursuant to article 43.
2 - Parameters of quality of service and performance objectives referred to in the preceding paragraph shall be compatible with quality standards for intra-Community cross-border services and other international services.
3 - Universal service providers shall implement a system for measuring levels of quality of service actually provided, which shall comply with rules that apply to the measurement of quality of universal service, namely intra-Community cross-border services, this performance monitoring being carried out at least once a year by independent external bodies.
4 - The results of the check referred to in the preceding paragraph shall be the subject of a report published at least once a year by universal service providers.
5 - ICP-ANACOM shall ensure that levels of quality of service provided by universal service providers are submitted to audits and other control mechanisms independently carried out by external bodies, in order to ensure the accurateness and comparability of data provided by universal service providers.
6 - Results of audits and of other control mechanisms referred to in the preceding paragraphs shall be the subject of a report published at least once a year in ICP-ANACOM’s website.
1 - Tariffs of postal services forming part of the universal service comply with the following principles:
a) Accessibility to all users;
b) Cost-orientation, giving incentives for an efficient universal service provision;
c) Transparency and non-discrimination.
2 - Special tariffs and associated conditions of postal services that integrate the universal service provision, applied by universal service providers, namely for services for businesses, bulk mailers or consolidators of mail from different users, shall also:
a) Take account of the avoided costs, as compared to the standard service covering the four operations integrated in the postal service;
b) Be applied equally, regardless of the type of beneficiary;
c) Be available to users who post under similar conditions, in particular individual users and small and medium-sized enterprises.
3 - ICP-ANACOM shall establish for each year the criteria governing the setting of prices of postal services that integrate the universal service.
4 - Universal service providers shall notify ICP-ANACOM on an annual basis of prices to be applied for postal services integrating the universal service provision, including any amendment thereto, at least 30 days ahead of the date on which such prices take effect.
5 - By the deadline referred to in the preceding paragraph, where ICP-ANACOM deems that prices presented fail to comply with principles and criteria referred to in this article, it shall notify universal service providers of this fact, based on a substantiated decision, so that they may revise such prices within 15 days.
6 - Where prices are subject to the revision of universal service providers under the preceding paragraph, ICP-ANACOM shall assess new prices included in a new notification within 15 days at the most from the date of reception thereof.
7 - Where ICP-ANACOM remains silent by the deadline set out in paragraph 5 or in the preceding paragraph, universal service providers are entitled to practise notified prices.
8 - In the scope of postal services that integrate the universal service provision, ICP-ANACOM may:
a) Determine, for duly substantiated reasons relating to the public interest, that the price of postal items weighting less than 50 g shall comply with the uniform tariff principle, a uniform tariff being applied throughout the national territory, without prejudice to the right of universal service providers to conclude with users individual agreements on special prices;
b) Impose price control mechanisms, including price caps, to the extent necessary to promote effective competition or to protect the interest of users;
c) Determine that some postal services for the use of blind and partially-sighted persons are provided free of charge;
d) Determine the amendment of prices of postal services that integrate the universal service provision, as well as the amendment or removal of conditions associated to prices, duly substantiated as regards compliance with principles provided for in paragraphs 1 and 2 hereof, taking into account the quality of service provided, to the extent necessary to promote effective competition or to protect the interest of users.
Cost accounting system
General rules related to the cost accounting system
1 - The universal service provider shall be provided with a cost accounting system that allows a separation of accounts between each of the services and products which are part of the universal service and those which are not, so that the net cost of the universal service may be calculated.
2 - The cost accounting system shall also allow the separation between costs associated to the various operations integrating the postal service, as defined in article 4.
3 - The accounting system shall operate on the basis of consistently applied and objectively justifiable cost accounting principles.
Allocation of costs
1 - Without prejudice to the following paragraph, the cost accounting system referred to in the preceding article shall allow costs which can be directly assigned to a particular service or product to be so assigned.
2 - The cost accounting system referred to in the preceding article shall allow common costs, which cannot be directly assigned to a particular service or product, to be allocated as follows:
a) Whenever possible, common costs shall be allocated on the basis of direct analysis of the origin of the costs themselves;
b) When direct analysis is not possible, common cost categories shall be allocated on the basis of an indirect linkage to another cost category or group of cost categories for which a direct assignment or allocation is possible;
c) The indirect linkage referred to in the preceding point shall be based on comparable cost structures;
d) When neither direct nor indirect measures of cost allocation can be found, the cost category shall be allocated on the basis of a general allocator computed by using the ratio of all expenses directly or indirectly assigned or allocated, on the one hand, to each of the universal services and, on the other hand, to the other services;
e) Common costs, which are necessary for the provision of both universal services and non-universal services, shall be allocated appropriately, being applied the same cost drivers to both categories of services.
3 - Universal service providers may apply other cost accounting systems only if they are compatible with paragraph s 1 to 3 of the preceding article and have been approved by ICP-ANACOM, such systems being then used for the purposes of this law.
4 - It is incumbent on ICP-ANACOM:
a) To approve cost accounting systems within at the most 200 days from the date on which they are submitted by universal service providers;
b) To ensure that compliance with the cost accounting systems described in this section is verified by a competent body which is independent of universal service providers;
c) To publish every year a statement concerning compliance of cost accounting systems applied by universal service providers and of results obtained.
Mechanisms for providing the universal service
Providing the universal service
1 - Having expired the deadline indicated in paragraph 1 of article 57, the universal service provision may be ensured through the following mechanisms:
a) Efficient market operation, under an individual license regime;
b) Designation of one or more postal service providers to provide different elements of the universal service or to cover different parts of the territory.
2 - The mechanisms adopted shall be the most efficient and appropriate so as to guarantee the availability of the universal service throughout the national territory.
3 - The mechanisms adopted shall also respect the principles of transparency, non-discrimination and proportionality, thereby guaranteeing the continuity of the universal service provision, by taking into account the important role it plays in social and territorial cohesion.
4 - In the case provided for in point b) of paragraph 1, the designation of universal service providers shall be sufficiently long so as to guarantee a return on required investments, and shall be reviewed periodically and examined against the conditions and principles set out in paragraphs 2 and 3.
5 - Where more than one universal service provider is designated, it should be ensured that there is no overlap in the universal service obligations.
6 - The designation referred to in point b) of paragraph 1 shall take the form of a concession contract, being applied the procedures provided for in the Public Procurement Code.
Financing of the universal service
Compensation of net cost of the universal service
1 - Universal service providers are entitled to a compensation for the net cost of the universal service where it represents an unfair financial burden on them.
2 - For the purposes of the preceding paragraph, ICP-ANACOM shall define the concept of unfair financial burden, as well as terms governing its determination, namely the criteria used, within 180 days from the entry into force of this law.
3 - Where universal service providers consider that the provision of the universal service entailed a net cost that represents an unfair financial burden, they shall submit to ICP-ANACOM a request for compensation within six months after the end of the reporting year, attaching thereto the calculation carried out pursuant to article 19 as well as all the information deemed to be relevant.
4 - Universal service providers shall make available all relevant accounts and information concerning the calculation referred to in this article, which shall be audited by ICP-ANACOM or by any other independent body and later approved by ICP-ANACOM.
5 - Where universal service providers estimate that they will incur in a given year in net costs of the universal service, they shall inform ICP-ANACOM by the end of the current year, and at least four months before submitting the request for compensation provided for in paragraph 3, attaching an estimate of the value of net costs.
6 - ICP-ANACOM shall decide, within 120 days at the most from the date on which the compensation request referred to in paragraph 3 is submitted, whether an actual net cost results from the universal service and whether it is deemed to be an unfair financial burden.
7 - ICP-ANACOM’s decision referred to in the preceding paragraph shall be communicated to the member of the Government in charge of the communications area as well as to universal service providers.
Calculating the net cost
1 - The net cost of the universal service consists in the difference between the net cost incurred by universal service providers operating with the universal service obligations and the net cost of the same providers operating without such obligations.
2 - It is incumbent on ICP-ANACOM to define the methodology for calculating the net cost of the universal service, according to principles and rules laid down in this section, within 180 days from the entry into force of this law.
3 - The calculation of the net cost shall take into account the following elements:
a) Benefits, including both tangible and intangible benefits, which accrue to the respective universal service provider;
b) The entitlement of the universal service provider to a reasonable profit, represented by the cost of capital related to investments required to provide the universal service, which must reflect the risk incurred;
c) Appropriate incentives for the respective postal service provider to provide universal service obligations cost efficiently.
4 - The calculation of the net cost shall be based upon the costs attributable to:
a) Elements of the identified services which can only be provided at a loss or provided under cost conditions falling outside normal commercial standards, including specifically the provision of a postal service throughout a specified geographical area, as well as uniform prices in that geographical area, and the provision of specific free services for blind and partially-sighted persons;
b) Specific users or groups of users who, taking into account the cost of providing the specified service, the revenue generated and any uniform prices imposed by ICP-ANACOM, can only be served at a loss or under cost conditions falling outside normal commercial standards.
5 - Point b) of the preceding paragraph covers users or groups of users that would not be served by a commercial operator that did not have an obligation to provide universal service.
6 - The calculation of the net cost of specific aspects of universal service obligations shall be made separately and so as to avoid the double counting of any direct or indirect benefits and costs.
7 - The overall net cost of universal service obligations shall be calculated as the sum of the net costs arising from the specific components of universal service obligations, taking account of all intangible benefits.
1 - Where the net cost of the universal service represents an unfair financial burden on the respective provider, it shall be compensated by means of a mechanism for sharing the net cost among postal service providers, a compensation fund being established by Decree-Law, in line with the principles of transparency, non-discrimination and proportionality.
2 - The fund referred to in the preceding paragraph shall be established within 120 days from the end of the first full year following the approval of the cost accounting system, under article 16.
1 - The compensation fund provided for in the preceding article shall be financed, either as alternatives or cumulatively, through the following means:
a) Contributions made by all postal service providers providing one or more services covered by the universal service scope defined under article 12, including the designated universal service providers;
b) Gifts or bequests made by any natural or legal person who wishes to finance the universal postal service;
c) Income from the administration of the compensation fund, namely income from deposit accounts where the fund’s liquid assets are held;
d) Proceeds from fines and from the application of periodic penalty payments, under paragraph 4 c) of article 51 and paragraph 5 of article 52.
2 - The form and criteria for contributing to the compensation fund shall be defined by administrative rule of members of the Government in charge of the areas of finance and communications, in line with the principles of transparency, non-discrimination and proportionality.
3 - ICP-ANACOM shall be heard in the scope of the determination of criteria for contributing to the compensation fund.
4 - The Government may choose to exempt providers that do not meet the turnover requirement set out in the administrative rule referred to in paragraph 2 from contributing to the compensation fund.
Administration of the compensation fund
1 - The compensation fund shall be administered by ICP-ANACOM or by any other body designated by the Government that is independent from universal service providers, which in this case remains under the supervision of ICP-ANACOM.
2 - The body that administers the fund shall:
a) Receive the respective contributions, using a transparent and neutral mechanism for collecting contributions that avoids a double imposition of contributions;
b) Oversee the transfer and payments due to universal service providers;
c) Break down and separately identify for each provider the respective charges related to the sharing of the cost of universal service obligations.
3 - ICP-ANACOM shall ensure that cost sharing criteria and components of the mechanism used are made publicly available.
Additional mandatory services
Provision of additional mandatory services
Additional services, apart from postal services integrating the universal service, may be made available by Decree-Law, however they shall be compensated through means other than the compensation fund referred to in the preceding articles.
Provision of postal services
General provisions on postal services in an open market environment
1 - The provision of postal services is subject:
a) To the regime of individual licence, in the case of services covered by the scope of the universal service defined under article 12 and access to the activity does not require designation, pursuant to paragraph 1 b) of article 17; or
b) To the regime of general authorization, in the rest of the cases.
2 - The provision of postal services subject to individual licence or general authorization may be carried out by natural persons who have opened their activity at the finance services as well as by legally constituted legal persons, with principal or secondary establishment in the national territory, whose corporate purpose includes the provision of postal services, being bound to comply with the applicable conditions for the pursue of the activity, namely those laid down in article 37.
3 - The provision of postal services subject to individual licence or general authorization may also be carried out by legally constituted postal service providers established in a Member State of the European Union or of the European Economic Area who wish to provide those services on national territory, being bound to comply with the conditions for the pursue of the activity that apply to them, namely those laid down in article 37.
4 - For the purpose of the preceding paragraph, when analysing the conditions required to provide postal services, ICP-ANACOM shall take due account of equivalent requirements and conditions, or those that are comparable as regards their purpose, to which the service provider has already been subject in the national territory or in another Member State of the European Union or of the European Economic Area.
5 - It is incumbent on ICP-ANACOM to approve the procedural rules, models and forms required to provide postal services.
Single point of contact
Without prejudice to the possibility of using other forms of communication, all communications and notifications provided for in this chapter, as well as the sending of documents, applications and information, shall be made electronically through the electronic single point of contact, referred to in article 6 of Decree-Law No 92/2010, of 26 July.
Register of postal service providers
1 - ICP-ANACOM shall maintain, regularly update and disclose, namely on its website, a register of postal service providers, which shall include the following information:
a) Full identification of the provider, including its permanent address or registered place of business, and where appropriate, the location of its secondary establishment in Portugal;
b) Indication of the postal network over which the provider operates on national territory;
c) Services provided on national territory;
d) Geographic area of action on national territory;
e) Date on which the activity started on national territory;
f) Indication that postal services are provided on national territory under a regime of free provision of services, where appropriate.
2 - Where it is impossible to notify postal service providers for more than 90 days, due to the fault of such providers, ICP-ANACOM is entitled to suspend the entry of the provider in the register, without prejudice to the immediate settlement and collection of fees due and to the imposition of applicable fines.
Regime of individual license
Handling the license application
1 - The individual license is an administrative permission issued through an act of ICP-ANACOM, before the activity starts, submitting the operations of the relevant provider to specific obligations.
2 - Bodies who wish to obtain an individual license for the provision of postal services shall submit to ICP-ANACOM an application attaching the particulars required by this Authority, according to the approved model, namely:
a) Elements that enable their full identification, in the case of natural persons, a simple copy of the identification document and evidence that their activity has been opened at the finance services or, in the case of legal persons, the access code to the permanent certificate or a simple extract of the respective entry in the commercial register, with the indication of the identification number of the legal person, or otherwise, in the case of a body legally established outside the national territory, a copy of the documents issued by competent authorities of the country of origin;
b) Description of activities already pursued in the scope of postal services, where appropriate;
c) Information on agreements concluded or to be concluded with third parties for the provision of the intended postal service;
d) Description of the project to be implemented, namely the nature, characteristics of the service and covered areas, postal network over which they operate, levels of quality of service to be ensured and measures expected to be implemented to ensure the operation, reliability and quality of the postal service;
e) Date on which the activity is expected to start;
f) Information on the technical and human capacity required to guarantee compliance with the essential requirements provided for in article 7.
Granting of licences
1 - After the application has been submitted, it is incumbent on ICP-ANACOM:
a) To notify the applicant that the application has been received, providing information on the legal deadline for the issue of a final decision, the effects resulting from the failure to issue a final decision by that deadline and applicable means of administrative reaction;
b) To verify whether the application attaches all required particulars and, if not, to request the necessary additional documents;
c) To request, in a substantiated manner, the necessary clarifications on aspects mentioned in paragraph 2 of the preceding article.
2 - The application shall be rejected where:
a) It fails to observe the requirements imposed under articles 24 and 27;
b) The applicant party is suspended or prevented from pursuing the respective activity under article 48;
c) The applicant party is a company that directly or indirectly holds a share in, controls, is a subsidiary of or is controlled by a natural or legal person in the situation referred to in the preceding point.
3 - The licensing application shall be decided within at the most 40 days.
4 - On expiry of the period provided for in the preceding paragraph, a document certifying the tacit approval of the application shall be automatically issued.
5 - The period referred to in paragraph 3 shall be suspended in the cases provided for in points b) and c) of paragraph 1, until the requested particulars have been received.
The license shall cover specifically the following elements:
a) Identification of services covered;
b) Geographic area of action;
c) Time-limit to start up operations;
d) Rights and obligations of the provider;
e) Period of validity and expiry date of the license.
Validity and renewal of licenses
Licenses shall be issued for a 10-year period and shall be automatically renewable for equal periods of time, without prejudice to their amendment, revocation or expiry.
1 - Licenses may be amended in the following cases:
a) On the initiative of ICP-ANACOM, further to the publication of standards that are approved and that lay down requirements and conditions not foreseen at the time of their issue, according to the principles of pursuit of the public interest and proportionality;
b) At the request of the licensed body, which shall be duly substantiated and subject to the authorization by ICP-ANACOM.
2 - For the purpose of point a) of the preceding paragraph, ICP-ANACOM shall notify the licensed body of the amendment intended to be introduced in the respective license, granting thereto a time limit of no less than 10 days to assess the matter.
Transfer of licenses
Licenses shall be transferable with the prior authorization of ICP-ANACOM, granted under articles 27 and 28 hereof, duly adapted, and the body receiving the license shall observe the requirements laid down herein, undertaking all rights and obligations attached to the license.
Extinction of licenses
1 - Licenses shall be extinguished on expiry or revocation.
2 - The following situations shall be considered grounds for license expiry:
a) Termination of the activity on the part of the license holder;
b) Extinction of the legal person holding the license; or
c) Occurrence of any event that makes it absolutely impossible to further pursue the concerned activity.
3 - In the case licensed bodies fail to comply with provisions in this law, respective implementing instruments or conditions set out in licenses, such licenses may be revoked by decision of ICP-ANACOM, under article 48.
1 - Bodies who wish to provide postal services not subject to an individual license shall previously submit to ICP-ANACOM, according to the approved model:
a) Elements that enable their full identification through means provided for in point a) of paragraph 2 of article 27;
b) Description of the service they intend to provide;
c) Geographic area of action;
d) Postal network over which they operate;
e) Date on which the activity is expected to start;
f) Intention to establish themselves in Portugal, in case they do not wish to pursue their activity under a regime of free provision of services in this country.
2 - Bodies shall obtain proof that the application referred to in the preceding paragraph has been sent, by means of any legally recognised postal or electronic acknowledgement of receipt.
3 - Notifying bodies in the situations below shall not provide postal services under the general authorization regime:
a) Those that are suspended or prevented from pursuing the respective activity under article 48;
b) Companies that directly or indirectly hold a share in, control, are a subsidiary of or are controlled by a natural or legal person in the situation referred to in the preceding point.
4 - Without prejudice to the preceding paragraph, after the communication has been submitted, attaching all due particulars according to paragraph 1, notifying bodies may start operating immediately.
Entry in the register of providers
It is incumbent on ICP-ANACOM, within 10 consecutive days after the communication referred to in the preceding article has been received, to issue a statement certifying the entry of the notifying body in the register of postal service providers.
Rights and obligations of postal service providers
Rights of postal service providers
Postal service providers shall enjoy the following rights:
a) To pursue the activity of postal service provider;
b) To establish, manage and operate a postal network;
c) To negotiate hereunder with other postal service providers the access to the respective networks and to access them;
d) To negotiate hereunder with other postal service providers the access to the respective postal infrastructure elements or services provided by the latter, and to access them;
e) To conclude contracts with third parties to carry out operations integrating postal services;
f) To set freely prices of services provided, including prices of access to postal services and postal infrastructure elements, without prejudice to pricing rules provided for herein.
Obligations of postal service providers
1 - Without prejudice to other obligations indicated herein, the following obligations fall on postal service providers:
a) To comply with essential requirements provided for in article 7;
b) To comply with legal and regulatory standards that apply to the activity, as well as with determinations issued by ICP-ANACOM;
c) To publish in an appropriate manner, namely on their website, and regularly supply users with sufficiently detailed and up-to-date information regarding the features of the service offered, with special reference to the general conditions of access to and use of these services, prices and quality standard levels;
d) To publish in an appropriate manner, namely on their website, the total or partial extinction of services provided on national territory, at the latest 30 days in advance;
e) To disclose in an appropriate manner, namely on their website, the total or partial suspension of services provided on national territory, , at the latest 10 days in advance, save for unforeseeable circumstances or force majeure;
f) To ensure the handling of user complaints as provided for herein;
g) To provide other postal service providers with access to their own network or elements of their postal infrastructure or to services provided, as provided for herein;
h) To communicate to ICP-ANACOM any alterations on elements entered in the register referred to in article 26, within 30 days from their occurrence;
i) To provide to ICP-ANACOM all information requested, under article 45;
j) To grant ICP-ANACOM with access to the respective premises, equipment and documents for verification and monitoring of obligations to which they are subject, in the scope of this Authority’s powers, established as such in its Statutes, according to provisions that apply to the relevant type of procedure or process;
k) To pay applicable fees, under article 44;
l) To pursue the activity in conformity with the respective license or with the communication submitted to ICP-ANACOM under article 34, as applicable;
m) To identify in each postal item the respective name as postal service provider.
2 - Licensed postal service providers shall also comply with the following specific obligations:
a) To contribute financially to the universal service compensation fund, pursuant to article 21;
b) To be provided with a cost accounting system that allows the separation of accounts between services covered by the scope of the universal service defined pursuant to article 12 and other services provided, where they contribute financially to the fund for compensation of costs of the universal service;
c) To measure and publish, without prejudice to point c) of the preceding paragraph, levels of quality of service actually provided, according to parameters and standards to be defined by ICP-ANACOM, including on the publication of the quality of service practised, and observing the defined periodicity, where this obligation is imposed by ICP-ANACOM.
3 - Obligations imposed pursuant to point c) of the preceding paragraph shall be transparent, affordable, non-discriminatory, proportional, accurate and clear, published duly in advance, based on objective criteria and duly justified by ICP-ANACOM, in order to ensure the protection of users.
4 - Postal service providers shall be responsible for full and timely compliance with obligations provided for herein, even where, to pursue their activities, they avail themselves of services provided by other bodies.
Access to networks and elements of the postal infrastructure
Access to postal networks
1 - Universal service providers shall ensure the access to their networks under transparent and non-discriminatory conditions, by means of agreements to be concluded with postal service providers which so request, the universal service network being deemed to mean the postal network over which the universal service is provided.
2 - Agreements concluded pursuant to the preceding paragraph shall be sent by universal service providers to ICP-ANACOM within 10 days of their signature.
3 - Where postal service providers do not reach an agreement on access conditions guaranteed pursuant to paragraph 1, any of the parties may appeal to ICP-ANACOM, according to the procedure provided for in article 54.
4 - In the cases referred to in the preceding paragraph, ICP-ANACOM may determine the terms and conditions for access, including prices, where necessary to ensure an effective competition or interests of users, and where the following requirements are met:
a) Where elements of the postal infrastructure are concerned and the lack of access thereto hinders the entry into the market of the postal service provider concerned;
b) Where the access is without prejudice to the security, effectiveness and integrity of the network or to the provision of the universal service.
5 - The decision referred to in the preceding paragraph shall be duly substantiated and terms and conditions imposed, including prices, shall observe the principles of transparency and non-discrimination with which universal service providers must comply.
6 - Where necessary to ensure an effective competition or the interests of users, ICP-ANACOM shall:
a) Order universal service providers to adequately publish the terms and conditions for grating access to the network, including prices;
b) Define the terms and conditions for access to universal service networks, information to be published pursuant to the preceding point, as well as the form and manner of publication;
c) Determine amendments to terms and conditions already published, at any time and where necessary, with retroactive effect.
7 - Other postal service providers may negotiate and conclude an agreement themselves on the technical and business modalities of access to the respective networks, ICP-ANACOM being entitled to intervene, pursuant to paragraphs 3 and 5, whenever necessary to promote effective competition or to protect the interest of users.
Access to elements of the postal infrastructure
1 - Without prejudice to the preceding article, all postal service providers may negotiate and conclude an agreement themselves on access to elements of their respective postal infrastructure or to services they provide, namely the postcode system, address database, post office boxes, information on change of address, re-direction service and return to sender service.
2 - Where parties do not reach an agreement on access to elements or services referred to in the preceding paragraph, and without prejudice to article 54, any of the parties may appeal to ICP-ANACOM, that is entitled to impose on postal service providers the access to elements or services referred to in the preceding paragraph, under transparent and non-discriminatory conditions, whenever necessary to protect the interest of users or to promote effective competition.
3 - Where there are several universal service providers with postal networks that fail separately to cover the entire national territory, ICP-ANACOM is entitled to impose conditions that ensure the interoperability of the various networks, in order to guarantee the universality of the service.
Postal service users
Right to use services
Everyone has a right to use postal services, upon payment of the respective prices and fulfilment of applicable standards.
1 - Without prejudice to Decree-Law No 156/2005, of 15 September, as amended by Decree-Law No 371/2007, of 6 November, Decree-Law No 118/2009, of 19 May and Decree-Law No 317/2009, of 30 October, all postal service providers shall guarantee that user complaints are handled:
a) By means of transparent, simple and free procedures that ensure that a timely and reasoned response is provided and that accountability is determined where more than one provider is involved;
b) By establishing appropriate reimbursement and compensation systems.
2 - ICP-ANACOM may define requirements to be observed in the procedures referred to in the preceding paragraph.
3 - The definition and operation of procedures and systems referred to in paragraph 1 shall take due account of applicable international standards related to the handling of complaints, namely those provided for in the scope of the European Union.
4 - In order to ensure the transparency referred to in point a) of paragraph 1, all postal service providers shall make available to users, both on their websites and establishments, updated information on complaint handling procedures and on reimbursement and compensation systems set up pursuant to the preceding paragraphs, as well as on out-of-court schemes available to users.
5 - Universal service providers shall measure indicators on complaints received at least once a year, ICP-ANACOM being entitled to establish such indicators, rules and measurement methods, in a proportional, non-discriminatory and transparent manner.
6 - Universal service providers shall publish information on the number of complaints and the manner in which they have been dealt with, under terms to be established by ICP-ANACOM, without prejudice to other information to be determined by this authority.
7 - ICP-ANACOM is entitled to determine that, in addition to the universal service provider, other postal service providers must collect, publish and submit to ICP-ANACOM information on complaints received, as well as to establish, in accordance with paragraph 4, the indicators, rules and methods for their measurement and disclosure.
1 - Postal service users, acting individually or jointly with consumer organisations, may bring before ICP-ANACOM cases where users’ complaints previously made to postal service providers have not been given a timely or reasoned response or have failed to be satisfactorily resolved.
2 - It is incumbent on ICP-ANACOM to analyse and respond to complaints lodged pursuant to the preceding paragraph.
Right to hearing
The definition by ICP-ANACOM of parameters of quality of service and performance objectives, as well as rules for setting prices of postal services integrating the universal service, according to articles 13 and 14, shall be preceded by the hearing of consumer organisations.
Fees, supervision and enforcement
1 - A fee shall be due for:
a) The issue, amendment and renewal of the licence;
b) The issue of the statement certifying the entry of the provider in the register of postal service providers;
c) Endorsements to the statement;
d) Substitution of the licence or statement, in case of loss.
2 - All postal service providers shall pay an annual fee for pursue of their activity.
3 - The amount of fees referred to in the preceding paragraphs shall be determined by administrative rule of the member of Government responsible for the communications area, in accordance with costs arising from administrative, technical and operational tasks related to the corresponding regulatory, monitoring and enforcement activities, and shall constitute income of ICP-ANACOM.
4 - For the purpose of the preceding paragraph, annual fees provided for in paragraph 2 shall be borne by postal service providers on the basis of costs resulting from regulatory, monitoring and enforcement activities concerning their services.
Monitoring and enforcement
Provision of information
1 - Postal service providers shall provide ICP-ANACOM, at its request, with all the information related to their activity, including:
a) Financial information and information concerning the provision of postal services;
b) Contracts or agreements concluded with third parties to develop operations integrating postal services they provide.
2 - For the purpose of the preceding paragraph, providers shall identify, in a duly substantiated manner, the information deemed to be confidential, attaching, where necessary, a non-confidential version of documents that include such information.
3 - ICP-ANACOM is entitled to request the information namely for the following purposes:
a) To ensure conformity with legal and regulatory provisions, as well as with decisions made in accordance therewith;
b) Clearly defined statistical purposes;
c) Compliance with the obligation provided for in paragraph 6.
4 - The information requests made by ICP-ANACOM shall be proportionate to their intended purposes and shall be duly reasoned.
5 - Requested information shall be provided within the timescales, in the form and to the level of detail required by ICP-ANACOM, and the situations and frequency with which they are sent may be established, and ICP-ANACOM shall not establish for the purpose a time-limit shorter than 10 days, save on grounds of urgency.
6 - ICP-ANACOM shall provide the European Commission, upon request, with appropriate and relevant information necessary for it to carry out its tasks under Directive 97/67/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, of 15 December 1997, as amended by Directive 2002/39/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, of 10 June 2002, and by Directive 2008/6/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, of 20 February 2008, including information obtained pursuant to the preceding paragraphs.
7 - Where information conveyed pursuant to the preceding paragraph is deemed by ICP-ANACOM to be confidential, ICP-ANACOM shall inform the European Commission of this classification.
1 - Without prejudice to powers granted to other bodies, the enforcement of provisions laid down herein shall be incumbent on ICP-ANACOM, through its enforcement officers or representatives duly accredited by its Management Board.
2 - In performing its activities, ICP-ANACOM shall be assisted by police authorities and by other authorities or public services whose assistance is requested.
In case of failure to meet performance objectives associated to the provision of universal service, set out pursuant to paragraph 1 of article 13, ICP-ANACOM shall apply mechanisms to compensate users of the universal service, according to the principles of proportionality, adequacy, non-discrimination and transparency.
1 - Without prejudice to other applicable sanction mechanisms, whenever ICP-ANACOM finds that a postal service provider fails to meet any of the obligations to which it is subject, the Authority shall notify the company of this fact giving it the opportunity to assess the matter within at the earliest 10 days.
2 - After holding a hearing pursuant to the preceding paragraph, ICP-ANACOM may:
a) Order the provider to adopt corrective behaviours or measures;
b) Apply periodic penalty payments, according to article 52.
3 - Orders issued pursuant to point a) of the preceding paragraph shall be complied with within 30 days, ICP-ANACOM being entitled to determine a shorter period of time in duly reasoned situations.
4 - In case of serious or repeated breaches of obligations, where measures imposed pursuant to paragraphs 2 and 3 are unsuccessful in leading to the desired compliance, ICP-ANACOM may determine the suspension, up to six months, of the provider’s activity or revoke licenses awarded, either in whole or in part.
5 - Where the provider complies with the necessary measures to remedy the situation in the course of the period of activity suspension determined pursuant to the preceding paragraph, ICP-ANACOM shall lift the suspension within 10 days at the most.
Administrative offences and fines
1 - The following actions shall be deemed to be administrative offences:
a) Violation of paragraph 1 of article 11;
b) Violation of paragraph 2 of article 11;
c) Violation of paragraph 4 of article 12;
d) Violation of paragraph 5 of article 12;
e) Failure to comply with parameters of quality of service and performance objectives laid down pursuant to paragraph 1 of article 13;
f) Violation of paragraphs 3 and 4 of article 13;
g) Violation of principles and criteria governing the setting of prices of postal services that integrate the universal service, pursuant to paragraphs 1, 2, 3 and 5 of article 14;
h) Violation of the notification obligation established in paragraph 4 of article 14;
i) Non-compliance with obligations imposed by ICP-ANACOM, pursuant to paragraph 8 of article 14;
j) Non-compliance with obligations provided for in paragraphs 1 to 3 of article 15;
k) Non-compliance with cost allocation principles provided for in paragraphs 1 to 3 of article 16;
l) The provision of postal services without holding a licence, in breach of point a) of paragraph 1 of article 24;
m) The transfer of licenses in breach of article 32;
n) Non-compliance with the obligation provided for in paragraph 1 of article 34;
o) Violation of the obligation provided for in point a) of paragraph 1 of article 37;
p) Violation of obligations provided for in points b), c), d), e), f), g), h), i), j) and m) of paragraph 1 of article 37;
q) Violation of the obligation provided for in point l) of paragraph 1 of article 37;
r) Failure to observe obligations provided for in points a), b) and c) of paragraph 2 of article 37;
s) Failure to observe paragraph 1 of article 38;
t) Failure to communicate and to send to ICP-ANACOM the agreements on postal network access, pursuant to paragraph 2 of article 38;
u) Non-compliance with determinations adopted by ICP-ANACOM under paragraphs 3, 4, 6 and 7 of article 38;
v) Non-compliance with determinations adopted by ICP-ANACOM under paragraphs 2 and 3 of article 39;
w) Violation of the right to use postal services, pursuant to article 40;
x) Non-existence of a user complaint procedure, pursuant to paragraphs 1 to 3 of article 41;
y) Failure to provide information pursuant to paragraph 4 of article 41;
z) Failure to observe paragraphs 5 and 6 of article 41;
aa) Failure to observe paragraph 7 of article 41;
bb) Non-compliance with paragraphs 1 and 5 of article 45;
cc) Non-compliance with ICP-ANACOM’s decision taken in a dispute settlement procedure, within the deadline set for the purpose, in breach of paragraphs 1 and 4 of article 54;
dd) Failure by the concessionaire to observe paragraphs 9 and 10 of article 57;
ee) Violation of the obligation provided for in paragraph 3 of article 59;
ff) Non-compliance with legitimate orders or warrants made by ICP-ANACOM and duly communicated to the respective addressees;
2 - Infringements provided for in points q) and ee) of the preceding paragraph shall be deemed to be minor offences.
3 - Infringements provided for in points b), c), d), f), h), j), k), l), m), n), p), r), s), t), w), x), y), z), aa), bb) and dd) of paragraph 1 shall be deemed to be serious offences.
4 - Infringements provided for in points a), e), g), i), o), u), v), cc) and ff) of paragraph 1 shall be deemed to be very serious offences.
5 - Minor offences shall be liable to the following fines:
a) Between (euro) 100 and (euro) 2500, where committed by a natural person;
b) Between (euro) 150 and (euro) 5000, where committed by a micro-enterprise;
c) Between (euro) 500 and (euro) 10 000, where committed by a small enterprise;
d) Between (euro) 1000 and (euro) 20 000, where committed by a medium-sized enterprise;
e) Between (euro) 2 500 and (euro) 50 000, where committed by a large enterprise.
6 - Serious offences shall be liable to the following fines:
a) Between (euro) 250 and (euro) 7500, where committed by a natural person;
b) Between (euro) 750 and (euro) 10 000, where committed by a micro-enterprise;
c) Between (euro) 1250 and (euro) 25 000, where committed by a small enterprise;
d) Between (euro) 2500 and (euro) 50 000, where committed by a medium-sized enterprise;
e) Between (euro) 5000 and (euro) 500 000, where committed by a large enterprise.
7 - Very serious offences shall be liable to the following fines:
a) Between (euro) 500 and (euro) 20 000, where committed by a natural person;
b) Between (euro) 1250 and (euro) 50 000, where committed by a micro-enterprise;
c) Between (euro) 2500 and (euro) 150 000, where committed by a small enterprise;
d) Between (euro) 5000 and (euro) 450 000, where committed by a medium-sized enterprise;
e) Between (euro) 10 000 and (euro) 1 000 000, where committed by a large enterprise.
8 - Where the offence results from the failure to comply with a legal duly or with an order issued by ICP-ANACOM, the application of the penalty or compliance therewith shall not exempt the offender from complying with the duty or order, where it is still possible to do so.
9 - In the cases referred to in the preceding paragraph, ICP-ANACOM may subject the offender to an injunction to comply with the relevant duty or order, and failure to comply therewith by the set deadline may determine the application of a periodic penalty payment, pursuant to article 52.
10 - Offences provided for in this law, where attempted or committed by negligence, shall be punishable.
In addition to fines set out in the preceding article, the following additional penalties may also be applied, where appropriate according to the seriousness of the offence and the fault of the offender:
a) Suspension of the exercise of the activity for up to two years;
b) Ban on engaging in the respective activity for up to two years.
Procedure and application
1 - The Board of Directors of ICP-ANACOM shall initiate offence proceedings, the examination thereof being incumbent upon the respective services.
2 - The application of fines and additional penalties provided for herein, as well as the decision to terminate offence proceedings shall be incumbent on the Management Board of ICP-ANACOM.
3 - Powers provided for in the preceding paragraphs may be delegated, with an option to further delegate.
4 - The amount of fines imposed shall revert:
a) At 50% to the State;
b) At 30% to ICP-ANACOM;
c) At 20% to the compensation fund referred to in articles 20 et seq., where it has already been set up.
5 - Where the compensation fund has not been set up, the amount referred to in the preceding paragraph shall be equally divided between the State and ICP-ANACOM.
6 - From the preceding paragraphs shall be excepted the offence provided for in point p) of paragraph 1 of article 49, where it results from the failure to comply with the obligation provided for in point d) of paragraph 1 of article 7, being incumbent on Comissão Nacional de Proteção de Dados (the National Commission for Data Protection) to initiate and examine offence proceedings, as well as to apply the respective fines, the amount of which shall revert to the State, to this body and to the compensation fund referred to in articles 20 et seq., in the proportions provided for in paragraphs 4 and 5.
Periodic penalty payments
1 - Without prejudice to other applicable penalties, in case of failure to comply with ICP-ANACOM decisions imposing administrative penalties or, in the exercise of legally assigned powers, ordering postal service providers to adopt behaviours or measures, ICP-ANACOM is entitled to impose a periodic penalty payment, namely in cases provided for in points b), c), d), f), g), j), k), m), o), p), q), r), s), t), u), v), x), y), z), aa), bb), cc), dd) and ff) of paragraph 1 of article 49.
2 - The periodic penalty payment shall consist of the imposition on the postal service provider of the payment of a pecuniary amount for each day of non-compliance beyond the deadline set for such compliance.
3 - The sanction referred to in the preceding paragraphs shall be determined according to criteria of reasonability and proportionality, having regard to the turnover of the offender in the preceding civil year, and with regard to the negative impact of the non-compliance on the market and on users, the daily amount of which penalty shall range between (euro) 500 and (euro) 100 000.
4 - The amounts established pursuant to the preceding paragraph may vary for each day of non-compliance, in an increasing trend, and shall not exceed the maximum amount of (euro) 2 000 000 and a maximum period of 30 days.
5 -The amount of the applied penalty shall revert to the State, to ICP-ANACOM and to the compensation fund provided for in this law, in the proportions provided for in paragraphs 4 and 5 of the preceding article.
6 - The acts of the NRA practiced under the present article can be brought before the court for competition, regulation and supervision, when practiced within the scope of administrative offence proceedings, and before administrative courts, in all other cases.
Provision of information by ICP-ANACOM
Publication of information
1 - It is incumbent upon ICP-ANACOM to make available and update information that contributes to an open and competitive market, in particular information on the following matters:
a) Application of the present regulatory framework;
b) Rights, obligations, procedures, fees and decisions concerning the individual license and general authorisation regimes;
c) Register of postal service providers;
d) Levels of quality of service provided by universal service providers and, pursuant to point c) of paragraph 2 of article 37, by other companies providing postal services covered by the scope of the universal service;
e) Mechanisms for lodging complaints;
f) Complaints received and handled by universal service providers and, in the cases provided for in paragraph 7 of article 41, by other postal service providers;
g) Information on the net cost of the universal service and on contributions made to the compensation fund, where it has been set up and is effectively operating;
h) Statistic data on traffic, human resources and other market data.
2 - ICP-ANACOM shall publish regularly a report with information on complaints presented by consumers on services and other features provided by postal service providers, covering all types of complaints, regardless of the method and form of presentation.
3 - The report provided for in the preceding paragraph shall cover at least the volume of presented complaints, identify the providers and services concerned and, within each service, the issue giving rise to the complaint.
4 - The information referred to in the preceding paragraphs shall be made available, in particular, in digital form over the Internet, at the headquarters of ICP-ANACOM and at all its delegations, as well as in its official publication, according to the nature of the matter.
Administrative dispute resolution
Administrative dispute resolution
1 - ICP-ANACOM is charged, at the request of the parties, with the resolution, by way of a binding decision, of any dispute between postal service providers connected to the obligations arising under this law or regulations and determinations issued by ICP-ANACOM, without prejudice to the possibility of judicial review or of other out-of-court settlement procedures.
2 - ICP-ANACOM’s intervention shall be requested by either party within at the most 12 months from the date on which the dispute commenced.
3 - ICP-ANACOM’s decision shall be issued no later than four months following the date on which the request was made, except in exceptional circumstances.
4 - ICP-ANACOM’s decision shall be duly substantiated and establish a deadline for compliance, being notified to the parties and published, provided that commercial confidentiality is safeguarded.
Refusal of the request for dispute resolution
1 - ICP-ANACOM may only reject a request to resolve a dispute made pursuant to the preceding article in the following cases:
a) Where the request does not concern compliance with the obligations arising from the present law, implementing statutory instruments or regulations or determinations issued by ICP-ANACOM;
b) Where the period specified in paragraph 2 of the preceding article has expired;
c) Where the NRA deems that other mechanisms, including mediation, exist which are more suitable for the resolution of the dispute in a timely manner.
2 - The NRA shall notify the parties without delay in case it decides to reject a request, and, in the case set out in point c) of the preceding paragraph, of the most suitable means for the resolution of the dispute.
3 - In the case set out in point c) of paragraph 1, ICP-ANACOM may, at the request of either party, initiate the procedure set forth in the preceding article, where cumulatively:
a) The parties have initiated the out-of-court settlement procedure indicated by ICP-ANACOM under the preceding paragraph;
b) More than four months and less than six months have elapsed since the rejection of the request was notified;
c) The dispute has not been yet resolved;
d) Court proceeding have not been initiated for the purpose of resolving the dispute;
e) Both parties agree on the termination of the out-of-court settlement procedure which was initiated in the meantime.
1 - The decisions, orders or other measures adopted by ICP-ANACOM in the scope of offence proceedings, resulting from the application of the regulatory framework on postal services, may give rise to proceedings before a court, under the law.
2 - Other acts performed by the NRA shall also be subject to the right to apply to the courts, pursuant to applicable law.
Final and transitional provisions
1 - CTT - Correios de Portugal, S. A., is the universal postal service provider on national territory until 31 December 2020.
2 - The conditions under which postal services are supplied shall be reviewed every five years by the Government, having heard ICP-ANACOM and consumer organisations, in order to adjust them to the market evolution as well as to principles underlying the provision of the universal service.
3 - Until the end of the period referred to in paragraph 1, CTT - Correios de Portugal, S. A., shall remain as the exclusive provider of reserved activities and services mentioned in point b) of paragraph 2 of article 3.
4 - The concessionaire shall comply with the regime provided for herein, with the specificities laid down in the following paragraphs.
5 - All obligations determined in the basis for the universal postal service concession, approved by Decree-Law No 448/99 of 4 November, as partially revoked by Decree-Law No 150/2001, of 7 May, and amended by Decree-Laws No 116/2003, of 12 June, and 112/2006, of 9 June, shall remain in force, unless they are incompatible with the regime approved by this law.
6 - The Government shall amend the bases of concession referred to in the preceding paragraph in accordance with the regime laid down herein.
7 - The quality convention and the price convention concluded between ICP-ANACOM and CTT - Correios de Portugal, S. A., on 10 July 2008, shall remain temporarily in force, as far as the universal service in concerned, as defined herein, respectively, until the determination provided for in paragraph 1 of article 13 has been approved and criteria governing the setting of prices according to paragraph 3 of article 14 of this law have been established.
8 - The concessionaire CTT - Correios de Portugal, S. A., is entitled to provide postal services other than those covered by the concession, being exempted from procedures provided for in articles 27 and 34.
9 - The concessionaire CTT - Correios de Portugal, S. A., shall inform ICP-ANACOM of the postal services provided pursuant to the preceding paragraph within 60 days from the entry into force hereof.
10 - Where the concessionaire CTT - Correios de Portugal, S. A., begins to provide postal services other than those covered by the concession, it must give ICP-ANACOM advance notice of this fact.
1 - Provisions of the Public Postal Service Regulation , approved by Decree-Law No 176/88, of 18 May, as well as regulatory measures adopted under it that are not incompatible with provisions herein shall remain in force until the implementing statutory instrument provided for in paragraph 3 of article 1 takes effect.
2 - Any net cost of the universal service that may have been incurred shall only be deemed to be overdue after the compensation fund provided for in article 20 has been established.
Adjustment of qualifying documents
1 - It is incumbent on ICP-ANACOM to make all necessary amendments and adaptations to licenses and authorizations issued under Decree-Law No 150/2001, of 7 May, as amended by Decree-Law No 116/2003, of 12 June, and payment of the corresponding fee is hereby waived.
2 - Licenses and authorizations issued under Decree-Law No 150/2001, of 7 May, as amended by Decree-Law No 116/2003, of 12 June, shall remain in force until the adjustment referred to in the preceding paragraph takes place.
3 - For the purpose of the preceding paragraphs, postal service providers operating on the date this law enters into force shall inform ICP-ANACOM of postal services they provide, within 60 days from that date.
Calculation of time limits
Rules laid down in article 72 of the Code of Administrative Procedure shall apply to the calculation of time limits provided for herein.
1 – The following statutory instruments are hereby repealed:
a) Law No 102/99, of 26 July;
b) Decree-Law No 150/2001, of 7 May;
c) Decree-Law No 116/2003, of 12 June, except for articles 3 and 5;
d) Point b) of paragraph 1 and paragraph 4 of article 1 of Law No 88-A/97, of 25 July.
2 - All references made to legislation repealed pursuant to the preceding paragraph shall be deemed to be made to rules provided for herein.
Entry into force
The present law shall enter into force on the day following that of its publication.
Approved on 9 March 2012.
The President of the Assembly of the Republic, Maria da Assunção A.Esteves.
Promulgated on 16 April 2012.
Let it be published.
The President of the Republic, ANÍBAL CAVACO SILVA.
Countersigned on 17 April 2012.
The Prime Minister, Pedro Passos Coelho.