Update on the Legal framework for local accommodation!
Decree-Law No. 128/2014, of 29 August approving the legal regime of exploitation of local accommodation establishments was published last 29th of August and entered into force on 27 November 2014, having been the subject of an amendment by Decree-Law no 63/2015 of 22 April, which came densify the regime of the “hostel” and need some aspects of the previously approved legal regime. This law will enter into force on 22 June 2015.
The figure of the local housing that since 2008 was already regulated by decree, is now to be so in a separate diploma.
In this new legal framework, local accommodation establishments continue to be characterized as those that provide temporary accommodation services to tourists, for remuneration, and meeting the requirements laid down therein, forbidding expressly for the operation of local accommodation establishments meet the requirements to be considered as tourist enterprises.
Keeping the same type of local housing that were previously recognized – house, apartment and lodging establishment – this diploma has an underlying logic of simplification and easier access to the activity:
(I) access requirements are reduced;
(Ii) bonds are eliminated to provide services;
(Iii) there is no licensing mechanism or authorization, and only required a mere prior communication with the Municipality territorial jurisdiction based on the principle of accountability of the head of the holding;
(Iv) streamlining the sending of prior notification by the Electronic Single Window, which also issues the evidence of the opening of establishments, which contains, of course, the number of property registration;
(V) the absence of any tax payment obligation to start the activity;
(Vi) in penalty area, remained the fines unchanged, having only been created most effective tax enforcement mechanisms for non-compliance with tax obligations.
In this new regime comes to consecrate even the possibility of lodging establishments can use the hostel name when the predominant housing unit is the dormitory and meet some additional requirements.
The provision to tourists of paid accommodation services in rooms is also covered by the legal regime of the local housing and subject to the Decree Law No. 128/2014.
Local accommodation establishments must meet the safety rules against fire, in accordance with applicable law by setting up specific rules simpler for those who have capacity of less than 10 users.
The identification plate of posting abroad is only mandatory for lodging establishments.
The supervisory authority of these properties becomes the ASAE, and the enforcement of tax obligations of activity performed within the competence of the Tax and Customs Authority.
Finally, this ordinance provides for the exchange of information between the Municipal Councils, Turismo de Portugal, IP and the Tax and Customs Authority.
The Turismo de Portugal, I.P. emanated some technical guidance with regard to some matters, particularly as regards advertising and the transitory provision (Article 33).
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