Exporting to Portugal

Portugal is located in the western part of the Iberian Peninsula and has strong ties with the UK. In the year to June 2019, total UK exports to Portugal amounted to £3 billion (ONS, 2019).

Entry route to Lusophone markets

Portugal is a gateway to Portuguese-speaking markets. These include Brazil, Angola and Mozambique.

Economic growth opportunities

The economy of Portugal has been steadily recovering from the 2008 crisis, with consistent economic growth since 2014 forecasted to continue through 2024 (IMF, 2018). Furthermore, under Portugal’s National Program for Structural Investment, the government is planning dozens of projects to be carried out by 2030. The biggest investment is planned for infrastructure, transport and mobility and the environment and the energy sector.

Ease of doing business

34th

out of 190 countries (World Bank, 2019)

Currency

Euro

Business language

Portuguese, English

GDP per capita

$23,186

UK is $42,558 (IMF, 2018)

Economic growth

2.1%

(IMF, 2018)

Time zone

GMT +0

(Portugal, Madeira)

Opportunities for exporters

There are opportunities for UK companies across a broad range of industries. Our trade advisers in Portugal have identified particular opportunities for UK businesses in the following sectors.

Doing business in Portugal

Preparing to export

Tax

The Portuguese Ministry of Finance(https://www.portugal.gov.pt/pt/gc21) provides information on the Portuguese tax system and the conventions for the avoidance of double taxation.

The statutory corporate income tax rate for Portugal is 25%. The effective corporate tax rate is 29.5% to 31.5%.

VAT

VAT is known as IVA in Portugal and the standard rate is currently 23%. Rates of 6% and 13% can also apply.

The VAT rate for goods imported into Madeira and the Azores are 22% and 16% respectively.

The Portuguese VAT Division provides further information on VAT payments.

Standards and regulations

Products and packaging should meet EU standards.

The Food and Economic Security Authority(website is in Portuguese) is the authority specialised in securing food safety and for conducting inspections.

When exporting to Portugal, you must provide all transport documents, commercial invoices, and certificates of compliance relating to quality and sanitary measures.

Operating in Portugal

Intellectual property

As a first step, we advise you to speak to an intellectual property lawyer if you think you need patent protection when exporting.

IP law, especially for patent protection, is not totally harmonised within the EU.

If you wish to protect your intellectual property in Portugal, you have to do it through Portuguese Institute of Industrial Property (INPI).

Payment terms

Payment terms are usually 30, 60 and 90 days. Large corporations, including large retailers, usually negotiate or impose longer payment terms that can last up to six months.

Considerations

Trial periods of between 6 months and 1 year are recommended before signing lengthy agency contracts. Despite recent reforms, the legal system is still complex and slow.

Next steps

DIT can advise you on doing business abroad, and help put you in touch with other people who can help such as lawyers and distributors.