Access to activity

The legal regime governing the provision of postal services in full competition in the national territory, as well as provision of international services to and from Portugal, is established by Law no. 17/2012https://www.anacom.pt/render.jsp?contentId=1127982 of 26 April.

Transposing Directive no. 2008/6/EChttps://www.anacom.pt/render.jsp?contentId=986233, this Law establishes a system of individual licensing applicable to the provision of postal services within the scope of universal service; other provisions of postal services remain subject to the general authorisation scheme.

1. Postal services subject to licensing

Items weighing up to 2 kg

Items of correspondence (excluding direct mail), including registered and insured mail

Books, catalogues, newspapers and other periodicals

Items weighing up to 20 kg weight

Postal parcels received from other Member States of the European Union

Items weighing up to 10 kg

Other postal parcels

1.1 Individual licensing scheme

The following undertakings may be granted licences:

  • Individuals with an open activity registered with tax office.
  • Properly constituted legal persons having their principal or secondary establishment in Portugal, whose object of business includes exercise of the activity of provision of postal services.
  • Postal service providers legally established in a Member State of the European Union or the European Economic Area who intend to provide the same services in Portugal.

1.2 Licence applications

To apply for a licence, applicants must submit an application with the following information and documentation:

Full identification details

Individuals

Simple copy of identification document and proof that the individual has an open activity registered with the tax office

Legal persons

Access code to the legal person's certidão permanente do registo comercial (permanent certificate of company registration) or simply extract of the inscriptions in force in the commercial registry and the legal person's identification number.

Undertakings legally established outside the national territory

Copy of documentation issued by the competent authorities of the country of origin (*)

Description of postal service activities which the applicant already provides, where applicable

Information on the agreements concluded or to be concluded with third parties with a view to exercising the intended postal service activities

Description of the project which the applicant proposes to implement, including details on the nature of the project, characteristics of the service and areas of coverage, the supporting postal network, levels of quality to be provided and the measures envisaged to ensure execution, reliability and quality of the postal service

Date scheduled for commencing the activity

Information on the technical and human capacity required to ensure compliance with the essential requirements of article 7 of Law no. 17/2012 of 26 April

The inviolability and secrecy of postal items, with the exceptions and limitations provided for in criminal law and other applicable legislation

The security of the postal network, particularly as regards the transport of dangerous substances

The confidentiality of transmitted or stored information

The protection of personal data and privacy

The protection of regional planning and the environment

Respect for the terms and conditions of employment and for social security schemes, as laid down by law, regulation, administrative provision and by collective work agreement.

(*) Commercial companies which do not have their registered office in Portugal, but which perform activities under the freedom to provide services in accordance with the provisions of Decree-Law no. 92/2010 of 26 July, are not required to establish permanent representation in Portugal, as is determined by article 4 of the Código das Sociedades Comerciais (Companies' Code).

The application can be delivered at ANACOM's Public Attendance Service, sent by post to ANACOM's head office (or regional offices)https://www.anacom.pt/render.jsp?categoryId=282675 or sent by email to info@anacom.ptmailto:info@anacom.pt.

A form to be completed by licence applicants will soon be available on ANACOM's website and on the Portal do Empreendedor (Entrepreneurs' Website). Until this is made available, there is no specific model for applications.

Following receipt of the application, ANACOM will:

  • Acknowledge receipt of the application, informing the applicant of the time-limit for its final decision, informing the applicant about what happens if no final decision is made within that period and the available options of administrative appeal;
  • Check if the application is complete and, if not, request any additional documentation that may be needed;
  • Request, in a reasoned manner, any clarifications on the items submitted by the applicant as may be necessary.

The licence application is to be decided within 40 working days from the date of its receipt by ANACOM. If no decision is made within this period, proof is issued automatically to determine the application's tacit approval.

If the application is incomplete or when clarification is requested, this period of 40 working days is suspended until ANACOM receives the information requested from the applicant.

The application will be denied if:

  • The applicant does not meet the stipulated requirements;
  • The applicant is suspended or prohibited from exercising the respective activity following the imposition of a penalty by ANACOM;
  • The applicant is an undertaking that directly or indirectly participates in, dominates, or is dominated by an individual or undertaking that is in the situation described in the previous point.

2. Postal services subject to general authorisation

Items weighing more than 2 kg

Items of correspondence, including registered and insured mail

Books, catalogues, newspapers and other periodicals

Items weighing more than 20 kg

Postal parcels received from other Member States of the European Union

Items weighing more than 10 kg

Other postal parcels

Direct mail

The general authorisation scheme also covers other services, present or future, which are encompassed within the definition of postal service but which, as value-added services, are not covered by the definition of universal service, including those whose provision is enabled through technological development and which differ from traditional services. The following services are included in this category:

a) the operation of document exchange centres.

b) The provision of express mail services (courier services), which are characterised by the acceptance/collection, processing, transmission and distribution, with increased speed, of postal items, being differentiated from basic postal services by a set of supplementary characteristics, such as:

  • Pre-defined delivery times.
  • Registration of sent mail.
  • Guarantee of responsibility of the provider, by means of insurance, by which the sender knows the formula for compensation for damages in advance.
  • Control of mail routes by operating circuit of the authorised provider, allowing identification of the status of deliveries and customer information.

2.1 General authorisation scheme

General authorisation may be granted to:

  • Individuals with an open activity registered with tax office.
  • Properly constituted legal persons having their principal or secondary establishment in Portugal, whose object of business includes exercise of the activity of provision of postal services.
  • Postal service providers legally established in a Member State of the European Union or the European Economic Area who intend to provide the same services in Portugal.

2.2 Application for general authorisation

Full identification details

Individuals

Simple copy of identification document and proof that the individual has an open activity registered with the tax office

Legal persons

Access code to the legal person's certidão permanente do registo comercial (permanent certificate of company registration) or simply extract of the inscriptions in force in the commercial registry and the identification number of the legal person.

Entities legally established outside the national territory

Copy of documentation issued by the competent authorities of the country of origin (*)

Description of the service proposed

Geographic zone served

Postal network supporting the service

Date scheduled for commencing the activity

Intention to establish in Portugal, where there is no intention to exercise the activity under the freedom to provide services

(*) Commercial companies which do not have their registered office in Portugal, but which perform activities under the freedom to provide services in accordance with the provisions of Decree-Law no. 92/2010 of 26 July, are not required to establish permanent representation in Portugal, as is determined by article 4 of the Código das Sociedades Comerciais (Companies' Code).

The notification can be delivered at ANACOM's Public Attendance Service, sent by post to ANACOM's head office (or regional offices)https://www.anacom.pt/render.jsp?categoryId=282675 or sent by email to info@anacom.ptmailto:info@anacom.pt.

A form to be completed by providers will soon be available on ANACOM's website and on the Portal do Empreendedor (Entrepreneurs' Website). Until this is made available, there is no specific model for applications.

3. Decision

Undertakings will obtain proof of having made the notification by means of legally recognised acknowledgment of receipt (postal or electronic).

As soon as notice has been properly completed and presented, the notifying undertaking may commence the activity immediately.

The following undertakings are prohibited from pursuing the activity of provision of postal services under the general authorisation scheme:

  • Undertakings which are suspended or prohibited from exercising the respective activity following the imposition of a penalty by ANACOM;
  • Undertakings which directly or indirectly participate in, dominate, or is dominated by an individual or undertaking that is in the situation described in the previous point.

Within 10 consecutive days of the notification's receipt, ANACOM will issue a declaration attesting to the provider's inclusion in the register of postal service providers.