Maritime Law in Portugal

Maritime Law in Portugal

Updated on Friday 10th November 2017

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Maritime-Law-in-Portugal.jpgThe Maritime Law in Portugal is comprised of local legal resources and international conventions. The Portuguese legal system has jurisdiction over the coastal waters and the archipelago of Madeira and the Azores. The Maritime Court in Portugal is the one that deals in the first instance with those cases related to maritime law.
Our lawyers in Portugal can help you with legal representation in all cases related to maritime cases, including cargo and passenger claims, vessel security, vessel arrest and foreign judgments.  

Local and international maritime laws in Portugal

The Civil Procedure Code, along with the Commercial Code are two important sources of local law for dealing with maritime cases. Specialized laws and acts like the Maritime Courts Act, the Maritime Transport Contract Act and Degree Laws that regulate the powers of port authorities as well as the applicable Decrees for the regulation of territorial waters are all important sources of law. Issues related to Portuguese vessels are treated in special Decrees that refer to vessel liability, salvage, crew, and sea events.
Portugal is also part of a series of international conventions with direct applicability in the country. Issues like the arrest of ships, maritime liens or the liability of vessel owners are discussed in various international Conventions ratified by Portugal. Because Portugal is a member of the EU, the relevant European maritime legislation is also in force. 
The Lisbon Maritime Court is the court of the first instance in those cases involving the Maritime Law. The Supreme Court hears the appeals.
The role and use of case law in maritime cases is limited and it is not always considered significant. Individuals who want to bring a case before the Maritime Court in Portugal can request the assistance provided by one of our attorneys in Portugal.

Regulations for Portuguese vessels

The rules and regulations for flag vessels are outlined in the Commercial Code while the regulations for vessel registration are contained in the Maritime Registration Act and the Registration Commercial Act. Vessels registered in Portugal are under obligation to fly the Portuguese flag. Charter vessels registered abroad that operate in Portugal are exempt from this requirement. One of our lawyers in Portugal can give you more information on the regulations applicable to local and foreign vessels.
The arrest of vessels in Portugal falls under the competency of the Maritime Court of Lisbon, which is the only Portuguese court with jurisdiction over these matters.
Contact our law firm in Portugal for detailed information on the Maritime Law and for any questions regarding the legal requirements for vessel operation in the country.