Foreign investment issues

Investment restrictions

What restrictions, fees and taxes exist on foreign investment in or ownership of a project and related companies? Do the restrictions also apply to foreign investors or creditors in the event of foreclosure on the project and related companies? Are there any bilateral investment treaties with key nation states or other international treaties that may afford relief from such restrictions? Would such activities require registration with any government authority?

Under Portuguese law, certain activities may only be exercised by private entities - whether national or foreign - pursuant to licencing or concessions granted by the state (as is the case of certain activities within the energy, water, waste management, postal services, telecoms, railways, commercial aviation and financial services sectors). Portugal abides by the Law on Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism, which transposed the EU Money Laundering Regulations into Portuguese law, which may entail further restrictions to both national and foreign investors. There may also be temporary embargo situations applying to persons or entities from non-EU states.

There is no distinction regarding foreign investors or creditors in the context of foreclosure on a project and related companies.

Insurance restrictions

What restrictions, fees and taxes exist on insurance policies over project assets provided or guaranteed by foreign insurance companies? May such policies be payable to foreign secured creditors?

There are no restrictions on insurance policies being provided or guaranteed by foreign insurance companies and no specific taxes or charges apply in connection thereto.

Worker restrictions

What restrictions exist on bringing in foreign workers, technicians or executives to work on a project?

The employment of workers from non-EU countries requires that such workers be granted a work visa, which includes a residence permit, to live and work in Portugal.

Equipment restrictions

What restrictions exist on the importation of project equipment?

There are no restrictions on imports, the import of goods being in general a taxable event for the purposes of VAT and customs duties, applying at the time the goods pass customs.

Nationalisation laws

What laws exist regarding the nationalisation or expropriation of project companies and assets? Are any forms of investment specially protected (from nationalisation or expropriation)?

Private property is a constitutional right, nationalisation or expropriation being only permitted on the grounds of public interest and subject to payment of compensation to private entities.

There is a specific legal framework setting out the terms for the expropriation process and calculation of indemnification payable in relation to immovable assets. No similar legal framework exists for nationalisation processes.

There is, nevertheless, a specific legal regime setting out the framework for the public appropriation of share capital, in whole or in part, from private legal persons for public interest reasons.

There is no distinction between domestic and foreign investors for this purpose.