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Decree Law No. 71/2021


Publication: Republic Diary No. 155/2021, Series I of 2021-08-11
  • Issuer: Presidency of the Council of Ministers
  • Diploma Type: Decree Law
  • Number: 71/2021
  • Pages: 9 - 20

Summary in plain english

What is it?

This decree-law ensures the implementation of European rules on cooperation between national authorities responsible for the enforcement of consumer protection laws.

What is going to change?

A minimum set of powers is given to the competent authorities of the Member States;

Mechanisms for mutual assistance, through information requests and enforcement measures, as well as investigation mechanisms are enshrined; promotes coordination when infringements occur.

Competent national authorities

Competent national authorities are designated to apply national legislation implementing European rules.

These entities have investigative powers in case of suspected infringements that may affect consumers' rights and interests.

They are:

    • Mobility and Transports Authority;
    • National Civil Aviation Authority;
    • National Communications Authority;
    • Food and Economic Safety Authority;
    • Regional Economic Activities Authority;
    • Regional Inspection for Economic Activities;
    • Insurances and Pension Funds Supervisory Authority;
    • National Commission for Data Protection;
    • Directorate-General for Consumer Affairs;
    • Water and Waste Services Regulatory Entity;
    • Energy Services Regulatory Entity;
    • INFARMED - Autoridade Nacional do Medicamento e Produtos de Saúde, I.P. (National Authority for Medicine and Health Products);
    • Public Prosecution;
    • General Inspection for Cultural Activities.

The Directorate-General for Consumer Affairs is designated as the single liaison office. It is responsible to:

    • Coordinate the competent national authorities that are part of the administrative cooperation network;
    • Liaise with the European Commission, the single liaison offices and the competent authorities of the Member States.
Duty of cooperation between authorities

Competent national authorities have a duty to cooperate with each other in the exercise of their powers in order to ensure that enforcement procedures for the laws that protect consumers' rights and interests are effective and efficient.

External alerts

The competent national authority may issue alerts when it suspects that infringements covered by European rules have occurred.

In this case, it is up to each Member State to decide whether to grant European consumer centres, consumer organisations and professional associations the power to issue such external alerts in accordance with defined procedures.

Conclusion of commitments

Provision is made for the possibility of concluding commitments, either on the initiative of the professional or through agreements proposed by the competent national authorities, to bring about the cessation of the infringement and compensation for the harm suffered by consumers who have been harmed by this infringement.

The procedure for the conclusion of such commitments is laid down for the competent national authorities which have this power, notably as regards the applicable procedures, time limits for proposing and accepting commitments, and their effects.

What advantages does it bring?

This decree-law, by ensuring the application of the new European Regulation which grants a set of minimum powers to the competent authorities of the Member States, guarantees the reinforcement of consumer protection.

When does it enter into force?

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

Original Version

LEGAL TRANSLATOR

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

CONSOLIDATED LEGISLATION

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.