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Decree Law No. 166/2019

Publication: Republic Diary No. 210/2019, Series I of 2019-10-31
  • Issuer: Presidency of the Council of Ministers
  • Diploma Type: Decree Law
  • Number: 166/2019
  • Pages: 2 - 58

Summary in plain english

What is it?

This decree-law creates the new legal scheme for the professional activity of seafarers.

Seafarers are individuals who can exercise functions on board vessels (e.g. commercial and fishing vessels).

What is going to change?

The categories of seafarers are reduced.

The principle of flexibility between categories is established, which allows greater mobility of workers.

Staying in the category of practising seaman is limited to a period of three years. During this period, qualification must be obtained for the transition to another category.

A minimum number of Portuguese seafarers as crew members of national ships and vessels is established.

The minimum number of seafarers also includes citizens of the Portuguese-speaking countries, Portuguese being the working language on board.

Communications with the services involved are made through the Electronic Sea Desk, accessible through the ePortugal portal.

The citizens may also opt for the face-to-face service, through the local bodies of the competent entities.

The possibility of attendance by services of the autonomous regions or municipalities that wish to do so is envisaged.

What advantages does it bring?

This decree-law clarifies, unifies and harmonizes the legal scheme regarding the professional activity of seafarers, and promotes the mobility of workers.

When does it enter into force?

This decree-law enters into force five days following its publication and takes effect from 1 January 2020.

Original Version


  • Legal translator is the translation of texts within the field of law


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.