Decreto-Lei n.º 120/2017

Publicação: Diário da República n.º 179/2017, Série I de 2017-09-15
  • Emissor:Presidência e da Modernização Administrativa
  • Tipo de Diploma:Decreto-Lei
  • Número:120/2017
  • Páginas:5397 - 5434
  • ELI:
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Summary in plain english (Without legal value)

What is it?

This decree-law changes the legal framework of jewellery and assaying (RJOC).

Goldsmithery is the activity of making or selling precious-metal objects (platinum, gold, palladium or silver).

Assaying is the activity of testing and punch marking objects that contain precious metal. Assay offices are the official services that, among other duties, certify this activity.

Fineness is the precious-metal content of an object, measured in millesimal units.

Punch marking is the application of a hallmark by punching, laser engraving or labelling on an object containing precious metal.

Assay is the use of appropriate techniques to evaluate the legal fineness of the precious metals contained in an object.

What will change?

It will be simpler to start a goldsmith business

To start the business, it will be sufficient to give "prior notice" at the Entrepreneur's Desk and pay the necessary fees.

In the prior notice it will be possible to immediately indicate the main and secondary activities to be carried out in each establishment, as well as the various categories, for example, distance selling or fairs.

To start more than one activity at the same time, for example, industrial activity (manufacture) and jewellery retail, a single application will be enough. In some cases, it may be necessary to first ask an assay office for a hallmark approval (the stamp that identifies the person responsible for putting the precious-metal object on the market).

Prior notice does not need to be renewed.

Punch marking and assaying are no longer compulsory in the following cases

a) Artist's artefacts: precious-metal objects designed, made and signed by an artist, which are a single piece or made in small quantities, and contain up to 10% precious metal. Each artist can make up to 15 of these pieces per year (however, ornamental jewellery pieces are not exempt from punch marking).

b) Raw materials for the manufacture of objects: bars, sheets, plates, wires, bands or tubes, provided they are not intended to be sold directly to the public.

Selling precious-metal objects will be simpler

Although it is still compulsory to identify them according to their characteristics, it is no longer necessary to separately display the following precious-metal objects for sale:

  • articles made of precious metal and base metal
  • gilded silver objects
  • common metal objects coated or plated
  • watch bracelets and chains of common metal.

The daily value of precious metals, which must be made available to the consumer at public points of sale of precious-metal objects, will be available on the Bank of Portugal’s website.

In general, the information provided to the consumer can be printed or digital.

It is no longer necessary to submit a statement of purchases and sales to the Criminal Investigation Police of used articles with precious metal from the previous year.

The maximum permitted amount for a cash transaction of used precious-metal objects is now the same as for any other asset, normally 3,000 euros.

It will no longer be mandatory to have an assayer for each establishment

Instead, a list of assayers must be made available for the consumer to choose.

It will be simpler to occasionally exhibit precious-metal objects

To participate in exhibitions or national fairs (for up to 30 days a year), it will be sufficient to communicate this intention, 15 days in advance, through the Entrepreneur's Desk, to the following bodies:

  • the Portuguese Mint (INCM)
  • the Authority for Economic and Food Safety (ASAE).

Manufacturers or traders legally established in other EU countries can also participate in national exhibitions or fairs according to the same rules.

Monitoring will be reinforced but with lower penalties

The fines will be reduced to the following amounts:

For individuals:

  • mild violation: 300 euros to 1,000 euros
  • major violation: 1,100 euros to 2,500 euros
  • severe violation: 2,600 euros to 3,700 euros

For companies:

  • mild violation: 1,200 euros to 8,000 euros
  • major violation: 8,200 euros to 16,000 euros
  • severe violation: 16,200 euros to 44,800 euros

What are its benefits?

This decree-law is intended to simplify the rules for jewellery and assaying activities. The new rules aim to simplify these economic activities, removing some of the obstacles to their development.

When does it come into effect?

This decree-law comes into effect on 1 November 2017.

However, the rules on the powers of the Portuguese Mint (INCM) regarding supervision and violation proceedings only come into effect on 1 January 2019.

This text is intended to present the content of the legal act in accessible, plain and understandable language for citizens. The summary of the legal act in plain language has no legal value and does not replace the consultation of the legal act in the Diário da República.