Porto Special Regime
14 April 2020
Municipality prepares Special Urban Management Regime that combines tax benefits with reduced processing times

With its eyes set on boosting the city's economic activity, the Porto City Council presents REURB 2020, a Special Regime that promotes the attribution of tax benefits and, simultaneously, aims to accelerate the appreciation of the processes by allowing, even in 2020, to avoid the postponement of private real estate investments already planned or underway.

In general terms, all processes are eligible for fees and may benefit from a 50% reduction for works, whose completion period does not exceed two years. In the case of the reduction of processing times, these are also reduced by half, and for this purpose, all projects whose investment is equal to or greater than 1 million euros of work are considered.

REURB 2020 covers urban planning processes for licensing or prior communication of building works, urbanization works and some subdivisions (excluding requests for prior information (PIPs), usage authorizations, among others), whose payment of fees and collection of the respective permit(s) took place between March 14th or will happen until the end of calendar year 2020. Proceedings related to the legalization of works are not covered by this special regime.

Under this new regime, a reduction of 50% of all settled urban fees is expected, except for the compensation fee, public domain occupation fees for the execution of the work, as well as traffic conditioning and police monitoring, according to the following terms:

- The applicant pays all fees, and the benefit granted by bank transfer is returned at the end of the work;

- The return takes place at the request of the interested party, accompanied by the work book and the term of responsibility of the work director or the inspection director attesting the completion of the work in accordance with the licensed project;

- The beneficiary of the return will be the owner of the process at the date of completion of the work;

- The benefits will apply subject to the absence of debts to the Municipality;

- The benefit is only applicable if the work is completed by the end of 2022. This term can only be extended, at most for another year, by justified request, duly validated by the municipal urban services;

- Buildings inserted in subdivisions, whose permits for subdivision have been issued and paid within the aforementioned period, and whose work is completed within the period provided for in the preceding paragraph, benefit from this reduction in fees.


Shorter time for assessing urban processes

In the light of REURB 2020, the time of appreciation and pronouncement by the Porto City Council of processes with higher works budgets are still reduced to half of those legally provided for in the RJUE (Legal Regime for Urbanization and Building).

In other words, four working days (instead of eight) for preliminary assessment and 15 working days (30 in the RJUE) for decisions on architectural design and urbanization works. The deadlines for deciding on the licensing request (verification of specialty projects) also reduce from 45 working days to just 22. The deadlines for issuing building and urban works permits are reduced to 15 days. These reductions in processing times will occur after the end of the emergency period and the restoration of normality in the work of municipal services.


Municipality has been working on measures to support business and families

It should be remembered that, immediately after the declaration of the State of Emergency, Rui Moreira had already pointed out the work developed in the elaboration of measures that could counteract the harmful effects of this pandemic, and that could reinvigorate not only the business fabric, but also support families .

More recently, the Municipal Executive convened by videoconference approved a series of measures aimed at supporting cultural agents, families, commerce and institutions in the city, to which the REURB 2020 now joins, with a view to restoring economic dynamism to Porto that has allowed it to project its image as an entrepreneurial city at national and international level.

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