Legal alert no. 30

On June, 21s, it was published, in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Portugal, the Decree-Law no. 74/2017, which enforces “SIMPLEX+ 2016” measures “On-line Complaints Book”, “Yellow Complaints Book” and “Evaluated Public Attendance”.

“SIMPLEX+ 2016” program includes the measure “On-line Complaints Book”, which implies the provision of a digital platform that enables the consumers to submit complaints and information requests by electronic means, as well as to consult the available information, enabling a quicker and more efficient treatment of the requests.

However, in order to ensure the best enforcement of the electronic format of the Complaints Book, it will be phased in, in accordance with sectors of the economic activity. On a first phase, the obligation to provide the electronic form of the Complaints Book shall be applicable to suppliers of essential public services.

The consumer’s complaint shall be answered within a maximum period of 15 business days starting from the relevant register in the Complaints Book or submission in the platform.

This Decree-Law also streamlines the procedures related to the handling of the complaints pages in the physical format of the Complaints Book, which may be sent to the competent authorities by electronic means.

It is no longer required to obtain a new Complaints Book in case of change of activity or of the relevant Economic Activity Code (CAE), and in these situations an endorsement to the existing Complaints Book shall be made.

This Decree-Law also amends the regime of the Complaints Book applicable to the public sector, the so-called “Yellow Book”, simplifying the paper version of the book, reducing the number of copies and the relevant procedure and, furthermore, the use of platforms that provide support to the electronic version of the Yellow Book is extended.

The mechanism for the evaluation of the public attendance by users is strengthened through the settlement of harmonized standards defined by the Agency for the Administrative Modernization, I.P.

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