Importing and Exporting in Portugal

Importing and Exporting in Portugal

Updated on Thursday 23rd January 2020

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Importing-and-Exporting-in-Portugal.jpgImporting and exporting in Portugal has had a historic importance. The country has relied to a relatively high extent on trading and today exports from the country are expected to grow. International trade is mainly focused on exports towards the European Union but Portuguese exports also have other destinations worldwide. Several import and export requirements and documentation apply to those companies, locally registered or foreign, that want to engage in international trade from Portugal. One of the experts at our law firm in Portugal can give you detailed information about the requirements that are in place and the licensing for particular products.

Imports to Portugal

Portugal imports products like chemicals, motor vehicles, food products, beverages, crude petroleum, natural gas, basic metals, agricultural products, telecommunication equipment, transport equipment and industrial machinery or textiles. The country’s main import partners include Spain, Germany, France, the Netherlands but also other countries like China, Angola or Nigeria. If you are interested in importing certain products into Portugal, one of our lawyers in Portugal can give you detailed information about the requirements for sensitive products, and the types of products that are imported based on a health certificate.
Portuguese companies that import certain categories of goods need to file a summary declaration (and thus assume responsibility for bringing certain items or products into the country) and fulfill all of the other applicable customs formalities.

Portugal’s exports

Portugal’s main export destination remains the European Union. The main exported items include food products and basic food items, raw agricultural products and materials, textiles, ores and metals, road vehicles, industrial machinery, pharmaceuticals and other manufactured products. Portugal’s main export partners include Germany, Spain, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Angola, China, Brazil, the United States and others. It is good to know that trade companies in Portugal are registered as any other type of legal entity.

EORI registration in Portugal

EORI is the Economic Operator Registration and Information System used within the European Union by companies having trading activities. This number is unique and assigned to each company with import and export operations, and the same thing is available for firms in Portugal. The EORI number is issued at the time the registration for tax authorities is made. It is good to know that the EORI number is used for most of the import and export activities and declarations, for the authorities of any country to easily identify the economic operator. The registration for EORI is made with the help of several documents like the Certificate of Incorporation of the company, the VAT certificate and the power of attorney for the representative of the trading company in Portugal. It is important to know that the EORI number is not the same thing with the VAT number of a company established in Portugal. These are two different identification numbers issued for different purposes. Complete legal advice for obtaining the EORI number in Portugal can be provided by one of our Portuguese lawyers.

Opening a trading company in Portugal

The limited liability company or the LDA in Portugal is the most suitable business structure for import and export activities. The registration of an LDA in Portugal is not subject to complicated formalities, but one should respect the following:
  1. A name verification and reservation are needed in the first place for your trading company in Portugal.
  2. The Articles of Association are the company’s main documents with information about the owners, the activities, general rules and many more.
  3. The minimum share capital is deposited in a local bank account.
  4. The registration for tax purposes is another mandatory condition for trading companies in Portugal.
  5. The EORI number needs to be obtained before starting the import and export activities.
Those entrepreneurs interested in starting a business in the import and export sector in Portugal can get in touch with one of our attorneys in Portugal and get complete legal advice. Our advisors can also handle the requirements for VAT registration in Portugal.

FAQ about import and export in Portugal

1. What are the main imported products in Portugal?
Industrial machinery, agricultural products, chemicals, natural gas, motor vehicles, and telecommunication equipment are the main imported products in Portugal. Germany, France, China, and Spain are among the important import partners.
2. What are the main exported products in Portugal?
Portugal exports raw agricultural products, textiles, pharmaceutical products, industrial machinery, food products and many more. Spain, Germany, Italy, Brazil, the US, and France are among the export destinations for products from Portugal.
3. What kind of company can I open for my trading business activities?
Some investors might find the limited liability company the proper business structure for their needs while others can choose joint-stock companies or joint ventures in Portugal.
4. What is the EORI number?
The EORI number identifies the trading companies within the European countries. This is necessary for import and export activities of Portuguese companies having business collaborations with international trading enterprises.
5. What are the top exports of Portugal?
Refined petroleum is the top exported item of Portugal, summing up approximately USD 2.8 billion each year. This is followed by cars and vehicle parts exports worth around USD 5 billion every year.

Short facts about imports and exports in Portugal

Portugal is a very important business hub in matters of import and export activities with countries around the world. Spain, Germany, France, Italy, USA, UK, China, and the Netherlands are the main import and export partners of Portugal. The following facts and figures can show the business trading direction of Portugal:
  • 15% of the total exports of Portugal were represented by electrical equipment, appliances, and machinery in 2017;
  • 25% of the total exports of Portugal in 2017 were directed to Spain, the main business partner;
  • Around EUR 5595.39 million in exports were reached in May 2019 in Portugal;
  • By the end of Q4 of 2019, Portugal is expected to reach around EUR 4510 million in the export sector.
International entrepreneurs wanting to start an import and export company in Portugal are invited to contact our law firm in Portugal and find out more about the registration process among other aspects.