Presidência do Conselho de Ministros (Presidency of the Council of Ministers)
Space activities have become increasingly important in contemporary societies, on account of several benefits stemming from products, services and technologies that use outer space, with a positive impact on the social and economic development of countries.
First of all, communications have become more resilient, more mobile, more ubiquitous and have reached a record level of widespread use. Earth observation satellites help collect useful data for areas as diverse as agriculture, forestry, territorial planning (including cartography, meteorology, hydrology and oceanography), disaster prevention and combat, in addition to management of road, air and sea traffic. Space products and technologies are also a fundamental element in State defence and security activities.
Not only have space activities contributed towards the development of science and research, but also the space sector has become a relevant economic sector itself, in particular in the applications area. The sector of new space industries (known as New Space) integrates a new range of business stakeholders and models capable of attracting private funding, namely for areas such as the launch and operation of mega-constellations of micro and nanosatellites, with significant developments in the access to low-earth and sun-synchronized orbits. This tendency opens up new opportunities for Portugal, especially at the level of the production and use of data resulting from space activities for social and economic activities.
In fact, the business space ecosystem has achieved in the last decade an economic return in excess of 120%, involving a total workforce of over 1400 people, including 300 highly qualified engineers, and generating a turnover directly related to space technologies of around €890 million between 2006 and 2015.
Portugal is reinforcing its commitment to the space sector, in particular through the increase of the national participation in the European Space Agency (ESA), as well as the approval of the Portugal Space 2030 Strategy by Resolution of the Council of Ministers No. 30/2018, of 12 March, which is based on three main lines: i) incentive to the exploitation of space data and signals through space-based services and applications, enabled by space technologies; ii) development, construction and operation of space equipment, systems and infrastructures and space data production services, and iii) continuous development of national capacity and competences through scientific research, innovation, education and scientific culture. In this context, the foundations for the establishment of the Portuguese Space Agency, which is required to integrate and boost all space-related national programmes, have been laid.
This Decree-Law aims to open up new horizons, establishing an innovative legal framework targeted at facilitating the development of space activities, products and services in and from the Country, attracting higher value-added and knowledge-based companies and operations, and encouraging research and development in this field.
After all, and without prejudice to the setting up of a specific legal framework for a future spaceport, a law governing space activities plays a key role in promoting new economic activities and developing technologically derived businesses, as well as in encouraging research and development in the public and private sectors, addressing the urgent need for provide space stakeholders with a law that governs these activities in a simple, effective, accurate and technologically neutral way - and, as such, that remains able to be applied to a sector in constant evolution.
This Decree-Law thus governs the exercise of space activities, streamlining its exercise at the same time. One example is the possibility to apply for a unitary license, which applies to the licensing of a single space operation, or for a global license, which applies to a series of space operations of the same type - and provision has been made for the joint licensing, granted to a single operator acting on its own behalf or on behalf of other operators, of space operations of the same type or of different types that include one or more launch and/or return operations, and corresponding command and control operations of launched space objects, even where such operations are conducted by more than one operator.
Moreover, the provision for the possibility, in certain cases, of a quicker licensing procedure for space operators, as well as for the prequalification mechanism, seeks to attract new operators to Portugal through the simplification of the licensing procedure, with the waiver of the requirement for submission of information included in the prequalification certificate for each licensing application. The liability and insurance regime now laid down also promotes and attracts the space business activity to Portugal. This Decree-Law thus contributes to the continuous democratisation of access to space through the inclusive involvement of both public and private science and technology companies and institutions, as well as of the Public Administration, encouraging the collective ambition of using and exploiting space to the benefit of human kind.
A fundamental component for the safe and sustainable development of private activity and for the research and development of the space sector is thus established, supporting the continuous social and economic development of the Country.
Self-government bodies of the Autonomous Regions, Autoridade de Supervisão de Seguros e Fundos de Pensões (the Authority for the Supervision of Insurance and Pension Funds) and Associação Portuguesa de Seguradores (the Portuguese Association of Insurance Companies) were heard.
Under point a) of paragraph 1 of article 198 of the Constitution, the Government hereby rules as follows:
This Decree-Law establishes the regime of access to and exercise of space activities, with a view to:
a) Regulating the exercise of space activities subject to the responsibility, authorization and supervision of the Portuguese Republic, in accordance with the international obligations to which it is subject;
b) Facilitating and promoting the access to and exercise of space activities to any operators established in Portugal and from the Portuguese territory;
c) Ensuring that space activities comply with international principles of use of the outer space, namely the peaceful use thereof;
d) Protecting the political and strategic interests of the Portuguese Republic, ensuring that private space activities are not contrary to them.
Scope of application
1 - This Decree-Law shall apply to space activities, considered to be space operations or launch centre operations:
a) Carried out on national territory, including sea space and airspace under Portuguese sovereignty or jurisdiction, on-board Portuguese vessels and aircraft or from facilities under Portuguese jurisdiction or sovereignty, regardless of the operator’s nationality;
b) Carried out outside the national territory by Portuguese operators or operators established on national territory.
2 - The application of this Decree-Law shall be without prejudice to compliance with Law No. 17/2014, of 10 April, and with Decree-Law No. 38/2015, of 12 March, as it stands.
3 - It is considered established in national territory the operators residing on national territory in accordance with the terms of the Personal Income Tax Code or in the Corporate Income Tax Code, depending if they are natural or legal persons.
4 - This Decree-Law shall not cover space activities pursued in the scope of national defence activities, aimed at protecting strategic, security or defence interests of the Portuguese Republic.
For the purpose of this Decree-Law, the following definitions shall apply:
a) «Launch centre» shall mean any fixed or mobile facility, intended for the launch or return of space objects, including all equipment of that facility required for launch or return purposes;
b) «Space object» shall mean:
i) An object that is launched or intended to be launched into space, namely into or beyond the Earth orbit;
ii) Any vehicle intended to launch objects provided for in the preceding sub-point or to carry out the respective return, even where it is operated without such objects, namely for development or validation purposes, hereinafter referred to as launcher;
iii) Any component part of space objects provided for in preceding sub-points;
c) «Launch centre operation» shall mean the management, administration or direction of a launch centre;
d) «Space operation» shall mean any operation of the following type:
i) «Launch and/or return operation» shall mean the activity through which space objects are intended to be sent or launched into space, with a view to their placing in or beyond orbit, as well as the return of space objects to the Earth’s surface, and where appropriate, the launch operation is deemed to start where it is irreversible and to end with the separation between the launcher and the object intended to be placed in space;
ii) «Command and control operation» shall mean the activity that consists in the exercise of effective control over the space object, which, where appropriate, is deemed to start with the separation between the launcher and the object intended to be placed in space and to end where the first of the following occurrences takes place:
a. Performance of the last deorbiting manoeuvres and passivation activities;
b. Loss of control of the space object;
c. Moment where the space object starts its return to Earth or fully disintegrates in the atmosphere;
e) «Launch centre operator» shall mean the natural or legal person that manages, administers or directs a launch centre;
f) «Command and control operator» shall mean a natural or legal person that carries out command and control operations of space objects in space, even if on a temporary or transit basis, or where the object cannot be controlled or guided, the natural or legal person that engaged its launching or that exploits it, as notified to the Space Authority in the prequalification and licensing procedure;
g) «Launch and/or return operator» shall mean the natural or legal person that carries out launch and/or return operations of space objects.
Exercise of space activities
Access and prequalification
1 - Space activities shall be subject to:
a) Compulsory license for launch and/or return operations, as well as for command and control operations; and
b) Registration of space objects.
2 - Space activities may also be subject to an optional prequalification of operators, as well as of systems, processes, characteristics and specifications, in accordance with the following article, with a view to simplifying the licensing procedure.
3 - Space activities referred to in point b) of paragraph 1 of article 2 shall not be subject to compulsory licensing where the operator attests, to the satisfaction of the Space Authority, that it obtained the required authorizations and complies with provisions of a State with which the Portuguese Republic has concluded an agreement that ensures compliance with international obligations to which the latter is subject.
1 - Operators shall be entitled to apply for prequalification of any of the elements indicated in the following paragraph from the Space Authority, which approves, by regulation, the respective granting procedure.
2 - Prequalification shall exempt operators from submitting information included in the prequalification certificate in the licensing procedure provided for in the following articles, and is intended to attest:
a) That the launch centre operator, the launch and/or return operator and the command and control operator have technical, economic and financial capacity for space operations intended to be carried out;
b) As regards the launch centre operator, that implemented systems and processes observe the applicable law and meet the requirements set out in the technical regulation approved by the Space Authority;
c) As regards the launch and/or return operator and the command and control operator, the characteristics and specifications of the respective space object;
d) As regards the command and control operator, systems and processes implemented at the command and control centre.
3 - Operators who have obtained a prequalification certificate shall be required to regularly update the information submitted, in accordance with provisions to be defined in the regulation referred to in paragraph 1.
4 - Where the update of information submitted, under the preceding paragraph, implies amendments to conditions on which the prequalification was based, the Space Authority shall notify the operator to assess whether it intends to open a new prequalification procedure, otherwise the certificate shall be lost.
5 - Prequalification shall terminate in the following cases:
a) Cessation of activity of the operator;
b) Surrender of the prequalification certificate, through a written declaration addressed to the Space Authority, not less than 90 days ahead of the date intended for termination to take effect, save where that body gives express consent to a shorter term;
c) Change of the conditions on which the grant of the prequalification was based, in accordance with the preceding paragraph, namely where such conditions affect the technical, economic or financial capacity of the operator, or the regular and appropriate operation of the verified elements;
d) Failure to comply with determinations imposed by the Space Authority, namely further to surveillance actions;
e) Constraints related to the safety of people or goods, determined by the competent authorities.
6 - Prequalification may also terminate by decision of the Space Authority in cases where it has been granted to a licensed operator whose license terminates, provided that the ownership of such license has had a relevant impact on the conditions for granting the prequalification.
7 - Termination of prequalification under points c), d) and e) of paragraph 5 and the preceding paragraph shall require the prior notification of the operator, which shall be entitled to assess the matter, in writing, within such time limit, being not less than ten days, as the Space Authority shall fix.
Types of license
1 - The license for the exercise of each type of space operation shall be obtained from the Space Authority, and may be of two types:
a) Unitary license, that applies to each type of space operation and is granted to the respective operator;
b) Global license, that applies to a number of space operations of the same type and is granted to the respective operator.
2 - It may also be jointly licensed operations of the same or different type, which include one or more launch operations and / or return and the corresponding command and control operations of launched space objects, even if conducted by more than one operator.
3 - The license provided for in the preceding paragraph may be unitary or global as appropriate and shall be granted to one of the operators involved on behalf of the others.
4 - The operator holding a global license shall notify in advance the Space Authority of licensed space operations, at least three days before the date such operations are expected to take place.
5 - Where space activities take place within the national sea space, the Space Authority shall immediately communicate the prior notice received under the preceding paragraph to Direção-Geral dos Recursos Naturais, Segurança e Serviços Marítimos (DGRM) (the Directorate-General for Natural Resources, Security and Maritime Services).
1 - The license shall be granted upon verification by the Space Authority that:
a) The applicant has technical, economic and financial capacity for space operations intended to be carried out;
b) The space operation provides appropriate safeguards against damage to the Earth’s surface, airspace and outer space, according to applicable national and international obligations;
c) The space operation guarantees the minimization of space debris, to the greatest possible extent, according to international principles and obligations;
d) The space operation is compatible with applicable public security standards, including those relating to public health and physical security of citizens;
e) The space operation does not jeopardise internal security and the strategic interests of the Portuguese Republic, nor does it violate international obligations upon it;
f) All other authorizations and certificates required for the purpose of the space operation have been issued by the respective competent bodies;
g) The a pplicant has the compulsory civil insurance as required under article 19.
2 - Criteria used to assess conditions provided for in the preceding paragraph may be densified by regulation to be issued by the Space Authority.
3 - The license may provide for compliance with conditions other than those provided for in paragraph 1, including those relating to environmental protection, which shall require the express consent of the operator, without which the license shall not be granted.
1 - The operation of the licensing procedure shall be defined by regulation to be approved by the Space Authority, and the decision to grant or refuse licenses shall be issued by the Space Authority within 90 days from reception of the full application.
2 - For the purpose of obtaining other authorizations that may be required, under point f) of paragraph 1 of the preceding article, the following procedure shall be followed:
a) In the case of the unitary license, information and documents required for other authorizations shall be submitted to the Space Authority together with information and documents required for obtaining the license for space operations;
b) In the case of the global license, and if the Space Authority so indicates, the information and documentation required for other authorizations may be submitted in advance of each operation, the operator not being allowed to carry out the space operation without the referred authorizations.
3 - The licensing of space activities that take place in the national sea space shall require a compulsory opinion from DGRM, in the scope of its competences, without prejudice to other opinions that are required under the law.
4 - The regulation to be approved by the Space Authority may lay down a special licensing regime covering the shortening of deadlines or the simplification of licensing procedures in situations where:
a) The license applicant is a public body or an international organization acting under international agreements concluded with the Portuguese Republic;
b) The intended space operation pursues exclusively scientific, research and development, educational or training purposes or involves activities with experimental goals that have been shown to have a reduced risk to the Earth’s surface, airspace and outer space, including to public health and physical security of citizens;
c) The license applicant has obtained authorization for the exercise of the space activity from another State whose legal regime ensures compliance with applicable international obligations.
5 - The Space Authority may require the holder of a global license to submit the information included in a prequalification certificate terminated in accordance with paragraphs 5 and 6 of article 5, for the performance of space operations under the global license, and such space operations shall not be performed without a written confirmation by the Space Authority that the referred information complies with this Decree-Law, which shall be issued no later than 30 days from the submission of the full information submitted by the operator.
Rights and duties of the license holder
1 - The grant of the license shall confer on its holder the right to carry out the corresponding space operations, under this Decree-Law and the contents of the respective license.
2 - The license holder shall carry out the following duties:
a) To comply with and abide by international space exploitation principles, namely in terms of space treaties to which the Portuguese Republic is bound, including those concerning the pacific exploitation, security and minimisation of space debris;
b) To register space objects it launches or controls, identifying the respective owner, under article 16;
c) To get the compulsory civil liability insurance required under article 19, and to maintain it valid;
d) To predict and duly safeguard against any damage to Earth and the outer space, either directly or indirectly, in accordance with applicable national and international obligations;
e) To comply with all legal and regulatory provisions in force, as well as with conditions provided for in the license granted, in accordance with paragraph 3 of article 7.
Term of the license
1 - Unitary licenses shall be granted for the period of time that corresponds to the licensed operation.
2 - Global licenses shall be granted for a specific number of operations or for a specific time limit after the respective issue.
Transfer of the license
1 - The transfer of a license shall be subject to a prior authorization from the Space Authority, following an application from the license holder, and shall only be granted where conditions for the respective grant are met.
2 - The application for transfer shall provide all elements relating to the identification and profile of the transferee, and attach a statement from the latter that it accepts the transfer as well as all the respective conditions.
3 - The Space Authority shall authorize the transfer within 60 days, and where the transfer is approved, it shall endorse the identification of the transferee in the operator license.
4 - The transferee shall be subject to the same duties, obligations and burdens on the transferor, as well as to any other that may be imposed in the transfer authorization.
5 - The authorization referred to in this article shall expire where the transaction relating to the transfer is not concluded by the deadline set therein.
Termination of the license
1 - Licenses shall terminate upon expiry, surrender or revocation, in accordance with the provisions of the following articles.
2 - Where the license expires on any of the grounds referred to in the preceding paragraph, the Space Authority shall be entitled to:
a) Order the operator to adopt, at its own expense, the necessary measures intended to ensure the temporary maintenance or the safe termination of the space operation, as well as to limit the risk of damage, the operator remaining bound to all obligations stemming from this Decree-Law and from its license for this purpose;
b) Transfer the exercise of the space operation to another interested operator, with a view to ensure the continuity of the operation, or to take, at the expense of the operator whose license terminated, the necessary measures to deorbit or destroy the space object.
3 - Without prejudice to compliance with the general notification duty, the license termination shall be disclosed at the Space Authority website.
Expiry of the license
The license shall expire in the following situations:
a) In case of termination of activity of the operator;
b) At the term of the period for which it was granted.
Surrender of the license
1 - The holder shall be entitled to surrender the license granted before the end of the respective period.
2 - The surrender notice shall be submitted to the Space Authority, not less than 120 days ahead of the date intended for the surrender to take effect, save where the Space Authority expressly consents to a shorter time limit.
1 - The license may be revoked by the Space Authority in the following situations:
a) Where the license holder fails to comply with its duties relating to the exercise of the activity, in accordance with the law and the respective license, including where, for any reason, the compulsory civil liability insurance ceases to be in force or does not allow applicable conditions to be ensured;
b) Where the license holder fails to comply with determinations imposed by the Space Authority, namely further to surveillance actions;
c) Where the license holder repeatedly fails to comply with its duty to submit information referred to in article 23 to the Space Authority;
d) Due to constraints related to the security of persons or property, determined by the competent authorities.
2 - The revocation decision shall not be issued without a prior notification being given to the license holder, which shall be entitled to assess the matter, in writing, within such time limit, being not less than ten days, as the Space Authority shall fix.
Registration and transfer of space objects
Registration of space objects
1 - Space objects for which the Portuguese Republic is the launching State shall be registered by and with the Space Authority, in accordance with international obligations upon it.
2 - The register shall include the following information:
a) Indication of the responsible launch operator;
b) Indication of the owner and responsible command and control operator;
c) Designation of the space object, register number and allocation number of frequencies assigned by competent authorities;
d) Date and site of the launch;
e) Basic orbital parameters, including nodal period, inclination, apogee and perigee;
f) General function of the space object.
3 - The following information shall also be subject to registration with the Space Authority:
a) Space objects, the launch, return or command and control of which are carried out by operators licensed in Portugal, including the respective technical characteristics and specifications, the respective licensed operator being responsible for promoting the registration;
b) The transfer of ownership of any space objects, the launch, return and command and control of which is carried out by operators licensed under this Decree-Law, the respective transferor being responsible for promoting the registration;
c) The end of the useful life of the space object operated and controlled by a command and control operator licensed in Portugal, the respective command and control operator being responsible for promoting the registration;
d) Any serious incident or accident suffered by the space object, the respective operator being responsible for promoting the registration.
4 - The Space Authority shall densify by regulation the elements to be registered in accordance with the preceding paragraph and shall also be entitled to determine the obligation to make available elements other than those provided for in the preceding paragraphs, including those that are required to comply with new international provisions or resolutions.
5 - The operator shall submit the information required for registration purposes to the Space Authority within two days from the launch of the space object.
6 - Any update or amendment to information included in the register shall also be notified by the operator to the Space Authority within two days.
7 - The register of space objects shall be public, and the Space Authority shall be required to develop mechanisms to protect any commercially sensitive information that may be included therein.
8 - The Space Authority, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, shall notify the UN Secretary-General of all information required for the registration of space objects with the United Nations, in accordance with applicable international obligations.
Transfer of space objects
1 - The transfer of ownership of space objects, the launch, return or command and control of which is carried out by licensed operators, shall be communicated to the Space Authority, in accordance with the terms and information to be defined in a regulation issued by the latter.
2 - The communication referred to in the preceding paragraph shall at least attach information on the identification of the transferee, with indication of the name or corporate name, address or registered office, share capital and contacts.
1 - Without prejudice to other legally applicable liability regimes, operators shall be liable for damage caused in the exercise of the space activity, as follows:
a) Objective liability for damage caused by the space operation on the Earth’s surface or to aircraft in flight; and
b) Liability in case of fault for damage other than where the preceding point applies.
2 - Where the Portuguese Republic, in accordance with international obligations to which it is bound, is accountable for any damage caused by a space object, the State shall have the right of recourse against the operator that, in accordance with this Decree-Law, is responsible for that space object, up to the limits provided for in an administrative rule to be approved by members of the Government in charge of the finance and science and technology areas.
3 - The limit of the State’s right of recourse shall not apply where the operator is liable under point b) of paragraph 1 by virtue of intentional fault and serious misconduct or fails to comply with paragraph 1 of article 4 and paragraph 2 of article 9.
1 - Operators licensed in accordance with this Decree-Law must have their liability covered by civil liability insurance, with minimum capital to be defined in an administrative rule to be approved by members of the Government in charge of the finance, science and technology, and marine areas, which may also govern other minimum standards of the insurance contract.
2 - The license holder shall present evidence of the insurance policy when the license is applied for and, subsequently, by 31 January every year, the effective coverage of the risk starting when the license is granted.
3 - Through an administrative rule to be approved by members of the Government in charge of the finance, science and technology, and marine areas, the insurance mentioned in the preceding paragraph may be waived with or its amount may be reduced in the following situations:
a) Operations that consist in the launch, return or command and control of space objects of small dimensions, as defined by the Space Authority;
b) Space operations exclusively pursued for scientific, research and development, educational or training purposes;
c) Where the operator presents a different financial guarantee as permitted by the referred administrative rule and accepted by the Space Authority;
d) Operations that prove to give rise to reduced risks, as defined by the Space Authority.
Reporting of incidents and accidents
1 - Operators shall be required to report to the Space Authority, within 24 hours from the moment they are aware of the occurrence, any incidents that have taken place in their facilities or in the scope of their space activity, as well as any manoeuvre, malfunction or failure of the space object, or any other circumstance resulting from or related to their space activity, from which a serious incident or accident may arise.
2 - Operators shall be required to immediately report to the Space Authority and to Autoridade Nacional de Proteção Civil (ANPC - the National Civil Protection Authority), as well as to Gabinete de Investigação de Acidentes Marítimos (Marine Casualty Office) and Autoridade para a Meteorologia Aeronáutica (the Aeronautical Meteorology Authority) as far as activities carried out within the national sea space are concerned, all serious accidents occurred in their facilities or in the scope of their space activity, likely to have outward implications.
3 - The Space Authority shall be responsible for forwarding the communication received in accordance with the preceding paragraphs to other competent authorities, acting in close cooperation therewith.
4 - ANPC shall act in the scope of Sistema Integrado de Operações de Proteção e Socorro (Integrated System for Relief and Protection Operations), in cooperation with bodies that participate therein.
5 - Without prejudice to the powers of other entities, where death, serious injury or relevant material loss result from incidents or accidents, the Space Authority is responsible for promoting the examination of the state of the facilities and other relevant elements of the operator and of other operators associated to the concerned activity, as well as for proceeding with the analysis of the circumstances of the occurrence, preparing a technical report.
6 - For the purpose of the preceding paragraphs, the Space Authority shall submit to ANPC a list of licensed operators and their location.
Regulation, supervision and surveillance of space activities
Scope, objectives and activities
1 - It shall be the Space Authority’s mission to undertake the regulation, supervision and surveillance of space activities, without prejudice to surveillance activities carried out by other bodies in the scope of the respective powers and tasks.
2 - In the performance of its tasks, the Space Authority shall act in an impartial, transparent and timely manner.
Tasks of the Space Authority
1 - The Space Authority shall undertake the following tasks:
a) To maintain the security of space activities;
b) To issue prequalification certificates, grant licenses and register space objects;
c) To cooperate with other national and international entities with competences relevant for the space sector;
d) To ensure the absence of discrimination in the treatment of bodies that carry out space activities under similar circumstances;
e) To elaborate regulations and instruct on practises to be followed for the purpose of compliance with provisions in this Decree-Law;
f) To monitor compliance with obligations set out in this Decree-Law;
g) To launch and examine breach proceedings, as well as to apply penalties provided for;
h) Any other tasks provided for in the respective bylaws, when it is set up.
2 - The Space Authority shall also undertake to assess and decide on any requests or complaints made by operators, seeking to settle any disputes related to obligations arising from this Decree-Law, between entities subject thereto, without prejudice to the possibility of recourse to courts.
3 - The Space Authority’s response to requests or complaints provided for in the preceding paragraph shall be notified to the interested parties within a maximum of six months from the date such requests or complaints were submitted, together with the statement of grounds thereof, and shall be published at the website of the Space Authority, without prejudice to the duty to safeguard commercial secrets.
4 - The Space Authority and other competent authorities and services shall cooperate between them, where required, on subjects of common interest and as necessary in order to appropriately pursue the objectives of this Decree-Law.
Obligations on operators with regard to supervision and surveillance
Operators shall be required, as far as the Space Authority is concerned, to:
a) Enable and facilitate the free access of technical staff to their facilities and associated dependencies, as well as to their apparatus and instruments;
b) Provide all information and support required for the performance of its supervision and surveillance tasks;
c) Maintain, at their facilities in Portugal, a properly organised and up-to-date archive that includes all relevant documents and records concerning space activities pursued and the licensing and prequalification procedures, namely all licenses, statements and opinions issued in this scope, surveillance reports and other relevant elements, so that information is available for access and consultation by the Space Authority.
1 - The following facts shall be deemed to be administrative offences:
a) The pursue of space activities by unlicensed operators;
b) Failure to comply, by the licensed operator, with any of the obligations set out in article 7, paragraph 2 of article 9, and in development regulations, as well as the failure to comply with specific conditions provided for in the license;
c) Failure to register space objects, in violation of article 16;
d) Failure to get or to maintain insurance, in violation of article 19;
e) Failure to report incidents and accidents, the report of false or incorrect information, or an untimely communication, in violation of article 20;
f) Failure to comply with obligations with regard to supervision and surveillance, in violation of article 23;
g) Provision of false or incorrect information in the scope of the licensing or prequalification procedure, in violation of articles 5 and 7;
h) Provision of false or incorrect information in the scope of the registration of space objects, in violation of article 16;
i) Provision of false or incorrect information in the scope of the license transfer, in violation of article 11;
j) Failure to provide information, or the provision of false or incorrect information, to obtain other authorizations, in accordance with paragraph 2 of article 8;
k) Failure to update information in the scope of prequalification, in violation of paragraph 3 of article 5;
l) Failure to communicate the transfer of a space object or the provision of false or incorrect information, in violation of article 17;
m) Failure to undertake the prior notification of space operations, in violation of paragraph 4 of article 6.
2 - Administrative offences provided for in points a) to f) of the preceding paragraph are punishable by a fine between (Euro) 1000 and (Euro) 3740.98 and between (Euro) 10 000 and (Euro) 44 891.81, according to whether they were committed by a natural or a legal person.
3 - The administrative offence provided for in point h) of paragraph 1 are punishable by a fine between (Euro) 500 and (Euro) 1500 and between (Euro) 5000 and (Euro) 25 000, according to whether it was committed by a natural or a legal person.
4 - Administrative offences provided for in points j), l) and m) of paragraph 1 are punishable by a fine between (Euro) 250 and (Euro) 750 and between (Euro) 2500 and (Euro) 15 000, according to whether they were committed by a natural or a legal person.
5 - Administrative offences provided for in points g), i) and k) of paragraph 1 are punishable by:
a) a fine between (Euro) 500 and (Euro) 1500 and between (Euro) 5000 and (Euro) 25 000, according to whether they were committed by a natural or a legal person, where:
i) For administrative offences provided for in points g) and i), the false or incorrect information was a crucial factor in the decision to grant or to maintain the license, prequalification or authorization to transfer the license;
ii) For administrative offences provided for in point k), the failure to update information was a crucial factor in maintaining the prequalification;
b) a fine between (Euro) 250 and (Euro) 750 and between (Euro) 2500 and (Euro) 15 000, according to whether they were committed by a natural or a legal person, where:
i) For administrative offences provided for in points g) and i), the false or incorrect information was not a crucial factor in the decision to grant or to maintain the license, prequalification or authorization to transfer the license;
ii) For administrative offences provided for in point k), the failure to update information was not a crucial factor in maintaining the prequalification.
6 - Administrative offences committed in their attempted form shall be punishable.
7 - In case of attempt or negligence, the minimum and a maximum threshold of the applicable penalty shall be halved.
8 - Administrative offences provided for in the preceding paragraphs shall be punishable on the grounds of negligence, in accordance with the legal framework for administrative offences, which shall apply to all matters not regulated by this Decree-Law.
1 - The additional penalty of prohibition to develop space activities for a period between six months and two years may be applied to the breach provided for in point a) of paragraph 1 of the preceding article.
2 - The additional penalty of license suspension or prohibition to develop space activities for a period between six months and two years may be applied to breaches provided for in points b), d), e), f) and g) of paragraph 1 of the preceding article, insofar as:
a) For breaches provided for in point e), incidents or accidents are proven to be the operator’s fault, in whole or in part;
b) For breaches provided for in point g), where the false or incorrect information submitted was a crucial factor in the decision to grant the license or prequalification.
Processing of administrative offences
1 - The establishment of administrative offences’ processing is a competence of the Space Authority, with the instruction thereof being ensured by its services.
2 - The application of fines and additional penalties provided for in this Decree-Law is within the responsibility of the Space Authority.
3 – The amount of fines shall revert at 60% to the State and 40% to the Space Authority.
4 - In the case of administrative offences committed within the national sea space or on-board vessels, proceeds from fines shall revert at 60% to the State, 30% to the Space Authority and 10% to Fundo Azul (the Blue Fund).
5 - The Space Authority shall be entitled to give adequate publicity to administrative offences and additional penalties that are applied under this Decree-Law, in accordance with general legal framework for administrative offences.
1 - This Decree-Law shall apply to the Autonomous Regions of Azores and Madeira, mutatis mutandis, without prejudice to the provisions in the following paragraphs.
2 - Procedures for the licensing of space activities, prequalification and registration and transfer of space objects relating to activities to be carried out in the Autonomous Regions of Azores and Madeira, as well as the respective economic and financial regime, shall be defined by regional legislative decree, subject to the issuance of a binding opinion by members of the G overnment in charge of the national defence and internal administration areas, where defence and national security issues are concerned.
3 - Proceeds from fees due for the issue of acts referred to in the preceding paragraph, as well as from fines applied for breaches related to activities to be carried out in the Autonomous Regions, shall constitute their own revenue.
4 - Until the entry into force of the regional legislative decree referred to in paragraph 2, procedures provided for therein related to activities to be carried out in the Autonomous Regions shall require a binding opinion from the respective Regional Government.
5 - Activities to be carried out in the Autonomous Regions shall mean those that are based on launch centres in the respective land or sea territory, including, in this case, sea areas adjacent to the respective archipelago.
Economic and financial regime
Without prejudice to paragraph 2 of the preceding article, the economic and financial regime of space activities carried out in accordance with this Decree-Law may be defined through decree-law, which shall promote the economic and financial sustainability of the Space Authority’s activity, namely through the collection of fees and contributions from companies and other entities subject to the respective supervision powers.
Regulations referred to in articles 5, 8, 16 and 17, as well as administrative rules provided for in articles 18 and 19, shall be approved within 180 days from the entry into force of this Decree-Law.
Until the establishment, through Decree-Law, of the Space Authority referred to in this Decree-Law, the respective tasks and competences shall be exercised by Autoridade Nacional de Comunicações.
Entry into force
This Decree-Law shall enter into force on the day following that of its publication.
Checked and approved in the Council of Ministers of 8 November 2018. - António Luís Santos da Costa - Mário José Gomes de Freitas Centeno - João Titterington Gomes Cravinho - Eduardo Arménio do Nascimento Cabrita - Manuel Frederico Tojal de Valsassina Heitor - Pedro Manuel Dias de Jesus Marques - Ana Paula Mendes Vitorino
Promulgated on 10 January 2019.
Let it be published.
The President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.
Counter-signed on 15 January 2019.
The Prime Minister, António Luís Santos da Costa.