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Decree Law No. 16/2020

Publication: Republic Diary No. 74/2020, Series I of 2020-04-15
  • Issuer: Presidency of the Council of Ministers
  • Diploma Type: Decree Law
  • Number: 16/2020
  • Pages: 7 - 12

Summary in plain english

What is it?

This decree-law creates measures to allow the practice of acts by means of distance communication within the scope of:

    • Urgent proceedings under the Justices of the Peace;
    • Procedures and acts of registry;
    • Procedures conducted by the Instituto Nacional da Propriedade Industrial, I. P. (National Institute of Industrial Property)

Given the public health emergency of international scope, declared by the World Health Organization on 30 January 2020, as well as the classification, on 11 March 2020, of the COVID-19 disease as a pandemic, the Government has been approving a set of extraordinary and urgent measures in several matters.

What is going to change?

In the Justices of the Peace

The necessary conditions are created for these courts to continue to practice the acts in urgent cases, using the means of remote communication such as email, telephone, teleconference or video calling.

In procedures and acts of registry:

Civil, vehicle, commercial and land registry requests that cannot be made online through the IRN, I. P. website, may be sent to the email address of the respective registry service, or by other electronic means as defined by the IRN, I. P. board of directors.

The declaration of the death of any person on national territory must be made by email, with a copy of the death certificate sent by the registry office, which is valid namely as a burial guide.

The verbal birth declaration in the context of nationality proceedings shall be replaced by a declaration sent by email to the registry office where the application for nationality is pending registry.

Appeals against the registry services' decisions on applications for registry may also be submitted by email.

Where one of the parties has made the declaration online, the registration of ownership of vehicles acquired by verbal contract of sale may be carried out on the basis of the other party's request sent by post.

The registry services may make notifications by email.

In the procedures conducted by the Instituto Nacional da Propriedade Industrial, I. P. (National Institute of Industrial Property)

The use of online services is mandatory and you may be notified by email.

What advantages does it bring?

This decree-law allows the economy to continue to function by resorting to the practice of acts at a distance, in order to give continuity to urgent proceedings in Justices of the Peace, facilitate registry requests not yet available online and give continuity to registry procedures and acts.

These measures also enable the spread of the COVID-19 virus to be contained.

When does it enter into force?

This decree-law enters into force on 16 April 2020 and remains in force until 30 June 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.