Decree Law No. 109/2010
- Issuer: Ministry of Economy, Innovation and Development
- Diploma Type: Decree Law
- Number: 109/2010
- Pages: 4516 - 4523
Summary in plain english
What is it?
This decree-law sets out new rules for the funeral industry, in order to comply with the European law on services in the European Union market (Directive 2006/123/EC).
What are its benefits?
The evolution of funeral services made it necessary to create new rules to:
- make the market more competitive and offer consumers more options
- ensure the quality and safety of funeral services
- simplify the process of registering companies that want to operate in this market.
What will change?
A mutual association is a private institution for social solidarity. For a fee, it provides healthcare and social services to its associates and their families. With this decree-law, mutual associations are legally able to provide funeral services to their associates.
New business areas
Funeral companies and mutual associations will be able to manage and operate cemeteries, by making agreements with city and parish councils. They will also be able to manage and operate chapels and funeral centers.
The operations manager of funeral companies and mutual associations:
- must have appropriate training and qualifications for the job; the training certificate must be sent to the Portuguese Directorate-General for Economic Activities (DGAE)
- may be in charge of up to three establishments. These include the head office and venues used for wakes, and must be located in the same district.
Register of funeral services
The registering process was simplified. Funeral companies and mutual associations that provide funeral services only need to fill in the form available on DGAE's website, which can be accessed at the official Portuguese Business website, within 30 days of:
- opening or shutting down an establishment
- changing the establishment's license holder, name or logo
- appointing an operations manager.
However, registering at DGAE is not the only necessary step to becoming a legal funeral services provider. This register is used only to identify the organizations that provide funeral services and to perform studies. This register also allows authorities to supervise funeral services.
Providing funeral services
To be able to provide funeral services, it is necessary to:
- have an operations manager
- have a catalog of funeral items
- ensure that the deceased are carried in hearses
- comply with all the rules for corpse preparation
- have an open establishment.
Service users' rights
Consumers can choose the funeral service they prefer. Hospitals, nursing homes and funeral service providers themselves cannot influence this decision.
Funeral companies and mutual associations must:
- inform, in a clear and accurate way, about the prices and terms of their services
- present a written, detailed quote.
When does it come into effect?
This decree-law will come into effect within 60 days of being published.
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