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Decree Law No. 73/2020

Publication: Republic Diary No. 186/2020, Series I of 2020-09-23
  • Issuer: Presidency of the Council of Ministers
  • Diploma Type: Decree Law
  • Number: 73/2020
  • Pages: 2 - 25

Summary in plain english

What is it?

This decree-law regulates the exercise of commercial sea fishing and establishes the legal scheme applicable to the authorisation, registry and licensing of ships or vessels used in this activity.

What is going to change?

The concept of reference port, which must be indicated for each vessel at the time of initial registry, is introduced.

The reference port is intended for the management and control of fishing effort.

Shared management scheme

A shared management system of living resources and the means necessary for their capture and economic exploitation is introduced, known as "co-management".

This scheme applies to certain fisheries or in certain fishing areas and takes the form of committees (made up of representatives of the fishery or the area in which it operates) and management instruments (for example, management plans).

Authorisation, registry and licensing

Information on prior authorisation, registry and licensing of fishing vessels or boats is entered in the National Crafts and Maritime System (SNEM).

The elements necessary for fleet management, fishing capacity and activity control are gathered in a single database, the Electronic Sea Desk (BMar).

The acts carried out and the communications with the services are carried out in a dematerialised way (electronically), through the BMar.

Citizens can opt for face-to-face service, through the local bodies of the National Maritime Authority, namely the port captains, and the port administrations.

It is also possible to use the services of the autonomous regions or municipalities that so wish.


The professional exercise of fishing activity is subject to licensing by the Directorate-General for Maritime Resources (DGRM).

The fishing licence gives the holder the right to use certain fishing capacity for the commercial exploitation of marine biological resources.

Fishing licences are valid for one calendar year and are automatically renewable, irrespective of application.

Single initial request.

Anyone wishing to exercise the professional fishing activity must apply through the BMar in a single request:

    • Authorisation for the acquisition, modification or construction of the fishing vessel or craft;
    • The registry of ownership of the fishing vessel or craft;
    • The licence of the fishing vessel or craft or the fishing licence.

The DGRM has 30 days to decide on the initial single request.

The possibility is established for fishing vessels and fishing crafts to be used in other activities as well, thus contributing to the transformation of fishing communities into true maritime communities.

What advantages does it bring?

This decree-law ensures the conservation and sustainable exploitation of biological resources.

By reducing the bureaucratic burden, it promotes the speed and simplification of procedures and the reduction of administrative costs for economic agents.

It ensures the improvement of the public service, promoting greater agility in the relationship between users, shipowners, owners and seafarers and the Public Administration.

When does it enter into force?

This decree-law enters into force on 1 January 2021.

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.