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Decree Law No. 123/2010

Publication: Republic Diary No. 220/2010, Series I of 2010-11-12
  • Issuer: Ministry of Economy, Innovation and Development
  • Diploma Type: Decree Law
  • Number: 123/2010
  • Pages: 5108 - 5110

Summary in plain english

What is it?

This decree-law simplifies the expropriation of property needed to carry out construction works to improve Portugal's infrastructure (for instance, works related to water supply, sewage and waste treatment or the creation of areas to set up businesses).

Expropriation happens when, due to a justified public interest, an authorized organization takes possession of a land or property and compensates its owner.

What will change?
Faster expropriation process

The expropriation process becomes simpler. All that is now needed is a proposal from the construction work organization and authorization from the government member responsible for declaring the public interest of the expropriation.

Expropriations are considered urgent, and so the construction work organization may immediately take possession of the expropriated goods.

It must always be ensured that the owners receive fair compensation for the expropriation or the use of their properties during construction work.

When the expropriation affects nature reserves or cultural heritage sites

If the property to be expropriated belongs to the Portuguese National Ecological Reserve or the National Agricultural Reserve (RAN), it must be approved by the Commission for Coordination and Regional Development (CCDR) or by RAN's local representative. These organizations must decide on and send the case to the responsible government members within 25 days of receiving the authorization request.

When it is necessary to conduct studies in properties that belong to nature reserves or that affect cultural heritage, CCDR or the Management Institute of Architectural and Archaeological Heritage must be informed 15 days in advance and can set conditions on how these studies should be conducted.

When is it applied?

This process applies to all expropriations necessary for the construction of infrastructure that is:

  • partly financed by European funds (the European Regional Development Fund, the Cohesion Fund or the Agricultural Fund for Rural Development)
  • integrated in the Portuguese National Logistic Platform Network (centers for the distribution and transport of commodities).
What are its benefits?

This decree-law's goal is to:

  • simplify the expropriation process
  • speed up the completion of construction works that are crucial to improve Portugal's infrastructure.
When does it come into effect?

This decree-law comes into effect the day after its publication.

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.