International trade rules

Export controls

What export controls limit international trade in defence and security articles? Who administers them?

Law 37/2011 of 22 June 2011 transposed to the national framework Directive 2009/43/EC of 6 May 2009 and Directive 2010/80/EU, of 22 November 2010, which aims to simplify the rules and procedures applicable to the Intra-Community transfer of defence-related products to ensure the proper functioning of the internal market.

The Portuguese government (the Ministry of Defence) is the national authority responsible for the authorisation of the transfer of defence-related products between member states. Moreover, exportation is subject to various layers of national control performed by different authorities, such as the Foreign Ministry, the Defence Ministry and also by the customs authority.

Domestic preferences

What domestic preferences are applied to defence and security procurements? Can a foreign contractor bid on a procurement directly?

There are no domestic preferences applied to defence and security procurement since Portuguese public procurement procedures, including in the fields of defence and security, are based on competition, equal treatment and non-discrimination.

Foreign contractors can bid on procurements directly. Under the PPDS, tenderers who, under the law of the member state in which they are established, are entitled to participate in public procurement procedures, shall not be rejected solely on the ground that under the Portuguese law they would be required to be either natural or legal persons.

Favourable treatment

Are certain treaty partners treated more favourably?

There are no rules providing for more favourable treatment of contractors from any particular country.


Are there any boycotts, embargoes or other trade sanctions between this jurisdiction and others?

Portugal is a member of the United Nations and the European Union and adheres to the boycotts, embargoes and other trade sanctions put in place by these organisations.

The UN Security Council imposes sanctions through Security Council Resolutions. The European Union acts on these by adopting a common position and where appropriate, an EU regulation directly applicable to member states is introduced.

Trade offsets

Are defence trade offsets part of this country’s defence and security procurement regime? How are they administered?

Portugal used to have an offset legal regime. Nonetheless, after the approval of Directive 2009/81/EC and its transposition into the Portuguese legal framework, defence trade offsets are no longer possible in Portugal since those kinds of agreements are incompatible with EU public procurement principles.