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Decree Law No. 159/2019

Publication: Republic Diary No. 205/2019, Series I of 2019-10-24
  • Issuer: Presidency of the Council of Ministers
  • Diploma Type: Decree Law
  • Number: 159/2019
  • Pages: 3 - 24

Summary in plain english

What is it?

This decree-law establishes the scheme for the exercise of armed private security activities on board of Portuguese ships crossing areas at high risk of piracy.

What is going to change?

Portuguese ship owners may, as long as they cross areas at high risk of piracy, hire private security companies to provide on-board security services using weapons.

The armed private security activity on board aims to protect ships against piracy.

Who can carry out armed private security activities on ships?

Companies established in accordance with European standards. These companies can only have as their corporate purpose the provision of private security services.

Licensed private security companies (with a permit) must have a security director, who is responsible, for example:

    • To choose the security team coordinator;
    • To develop and propose the plan against acts of piracy.

The National Directorate of the Public Security Police (PSP) is in charge of investigating the cases and issuing the professional license and card for the exercise of security activities on board.

The request for the assignment of the license is made in its own model, in electronic format, and addressed to the government member responsible for internal administration.

The application for a professional card is sent to the National Directorate of the PSP.

Anyone providing on-board security services without a licence is punished with a penalty of up to five years' imprisonment.

The supervision of private security activities on board is the responsibility of the PSP, GNR, the General-Directorate of Natural Resources, Security and Maritime Services and the National Maritime Authority.

What advantages does it bring?

Measures are created to guarantee the safety of people and goods on board.

The competitiveness of the national maritime sector is promoted.

The protection capacity of national ships is assured.

When does it enter into force?

This decree-law enters into force 30 days following its publication.

Original Version


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Legislative consolidation integrates the various amendments and rectifications made into an original legal diploma in order to make its consultation more accessible to the citizen.