Legal alert no. 64

Legal framework of the activity of individual and remunerated transportation of passengers in uncharacterized vehicles, by means of an electronic platform

On August 10th, it was published, in the Portuguese Official Gazette, Law no. 45/2018, which established the legal framework of the activity of individual and remunerated transportation of passengers in uncharacterized vehicles by means of an electronic platform (hereinafter TVDE), as well as the legal framework of the electronic platforms which organize and provide the referred type of transportation to those interested in it. This law was amended and published once again by means of “Declaração de Retificação” no 25-A/2018, dated from 10/08/2018.

Further to the law, the provision of a TDVE service starts with the approval, by a driver at the service of an operator, of a request of transportation between two locations, submitted by one or more users of the electronic platform and it ends with the departure from the referred vehicle by the user, after the transportation to the intended destination, or by any other cause that implies the conclusion of the use of the vehicle.

The TVDE service can solely be hired by the user by means of a previous subscription and reservation, at the electronic platform. The vehicles allocated to the TVDE service shall not collect passengers in the public road, upon a request in the location, neither in places reserved to taxi services or to other vehicles whose legal regime allows them to use the referred places.

For purposes of Law no. 45/2018, it is considered as electronic platforms the electronic infrastructures owned or operated by companies that provide, pursuant to a business model, the service of intermediation between the users and the TVDE operators that have joined the platform, further to the user’s request by means of the dedicated IT application.

The beginning of the activity of TVDE operators, as well as of the electronic platforms operators is subject to a license issued by Instituto da Mobilidade e dos Transportes, I.P. (IMT, I.P.). The license has to be electronically requested, upon the filling of a normalized form, available through Balcão do Empreendedor.

The TVDE services can only be refused if (i) they imply the circulation in unstable roads or in places that are dangerous to the safety of the vehicle, passengers or driver; (ii) they are requested by people who behave dangerously; or (iii) they do not comply with Law no. 45/2018. Luggage transportation may only be refused if the preservation of the vehicle is affected. The transportation of pet animals duly accompanied and secured may not be refused, except on account of danger, health or hygiene reasons.

As a rule, TDVE vehicles may only be driven by drivers registered at the electronic platform and that, cumulatively, fulfill the following requirements: (i) hold a driven license for more than 3 years, regarding category B endorsed in group 2; (ii) hold a certification of a road training course; (iii) are considered to be suitable; (iv) hold a certification of TVDE driver, issued by IMT, I.P.; (v) hold a written agreement that rules the contractual relation between the parties. TVDE drivers may not drive the relevant vehicles for more than 10 hours, within a period of 24 hours.

Under the scope of this activity, it shall only be used passenger cars with a national license plate, with a number of seat not superior to 9, including the driver, with less than 7 years as from the date of the first registration, and registered by the TVDE operators at the electronic platform.

Law 45/2018 also establishes the rules regarding the price and payment of the service, foreseeing, namely, that (i) the electronic platform shall clearly provide the user, before the beginning of each trip and during the same, with the price calculation formula and the relevant estimate; (ii) the payment of the service is processed and registered through the electronic platform, being only allowed the payment through electronic means; (iii) the electronic platform provides the user with an electronic receipt within a reasonable deadline after the service is concluded.

The law also foresees the services to be provided by the electronic platform, before the beginning of each trip and during the same, namely, the provision of (i) digital maps to monitor, in real time, the route of the vehicle, (ii) evaluation mechanisms regarding the quality of the service, including the submission of complains, (iii) identification of the driver, (iv) a photograph of the TVDE vehicle that the driver is authorized to use, as well as the relevant license plate, brand and model, number of seats and year of manufacturing.

The activity of the operators of electronic platforms, of the TVDE operators and of the TVDE vehicles and drivers is subject to supervision and regulation by the competent entities, namely Autoridade da Mobilidade e dos Transportes and IMT, I.P.

Finally, it shall be mentioned that the activity of the operators of the electronic platforms, and of the TVDE operators and the relevant drivers shall comply with Law 45/2018, respectively, within 60 and 120 days (which may be extended by IMT, I.P.), as from the date in which Law 45/2018 enters into force.

This Law enters into force on November 1st of 2018.

Access here the full version of Law no. 45/2018, dated from August 10th.

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