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Decree Law No. 76/2021

Publication: Republic Diary No. 167/2021, Series I of 2021-08-27
  • Issuer: Presidency of the Council of Ministers
  • Diploma Type: Decree Law
  • Number: 76/2021
  • Pages: 2 - 23

Summary in plain english

What is it?

This decree-law transposes into national law the European rules on unfair commercial practices in business-to-business relations in the agricultural and food supply chain.

What is going to change? In the scheme that defines payment deadlines for the payment of the price in purchase and sale or supply agreements of food products for human consumption:

The documentation necessary for the purposes of proving compliance with the payment of the price in these contracts, namely the delivery notes and invoices, must be kept in a physical or digital file for a period of three years and made available to the supervisory entity upon request.

The following constitute a serious economic offence, punishable under the terms of the Legal Framework for Economic Offences (RJCE):

a) The breach of the provisions regarding payment deadlines for agricultural and food products;

b) The breach of the provisions regarding keeping the documentation in a physical file for the purposes of proving compliance with this decree-law;

c) Not providing or providing false, inaccurate or incomplete information in response to a request from the supervisory entity.

In the scheme applicable to individual practices restricting commerce:

The following are considered abusive business practices:

    • Those that result in the supplier being penalised for the difficulty of supplying orders that are disproportionate to the purchaser's normal consumption quantities or the seller's usual delivery volumes;
    • In the illegal acquisition, use or disclosure of trade secrets of the supplier;
    • In the threat or implementation of commercial retaliation against the supplier exercising its contractual or legal rights.
    • Several business practices of the buyer in commercial transactions involving agricultural or food products are also prohibited, namely the notification of cancellation of orders for perishable products within a period of less than 30 days before the expected delivery date.

Perishable products are understood to be those that are likely to become unfit for sale within a maximum period of 30 days after their harvest, production or processing.

Breach of the duty to put in writing the provisions on the conditions under which a company obtains financial or other remuneration from its suppliers, in exchange for the provision of specific services, constitutes a very serious administrative offence.

The supervisory entity investigates and triggers the inspections necessary to ascertain the truth and to pursue the public interest.

Companies or associations may, on behalf of their associates, file complaints about restrictive practices prohibited by this decree-law.

What advantages does it bring?

This decree-law encourages good commercial practices and aims to promote balance in the agricultural and food supply chain.

The necessary adjustments are made to ensure the harmonisation of minimum protection measures that will be in force throughout the European Union.

It strengthens and harmonises protection for suppliers of agricultural products against abusive commercial practices on the part of buyers.

When does it enter into force?

This decree-law enters into force on 1 November 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.