New rules on accessibility to products and services

Decree-Law No. 82/2022 of 6th December

Decree-Law No. 82/2022 of 6th December transposes into national law Directive (EU) 2019/882 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17th April 2019 on accessibility requirements for products and services, establishing the applicable provisions to ensure their suitability in national territory, in order to contribute to the smooth functioning of the internal market and facilitate the response to the specific needs of persons with disabilities and persons with functional limitations.

This decree-law aims to contribute to increasing the availability of accessible products and services in the internal market and to improving accessibility to relevant information for people with disabilities.

In this context, the present regulation is focused on the functional performance criteria related to the way products and services function, namely in terms of how they are manufactured, made available and used and their convergence with the various existing types of disability and incapacity, facilitating the autonomy and self-determination of people with disabilities and people with functional limitations, on the one hand, and the balance of the internal market itself, on the other.

The accessibility requirements foreseen in the present decree-law fall within the following typology of products:

i. Computer equipment for general use and operating systems, namely computers, smartphones, tablets, self-service terminals, such as payment terminals, automatic teller machines, ticket issuing machines, automatic registration machines; terminal equipment with interactive computer capabilities for electronic communication services and for access to audiovisual media services, and

ii. Electronic communications services, such as telephony services, access to audiovisual media services, in particular applications integrated in set-top boxes, mobile applications, banking, including payment services, e-books and dedicated software, e-commerce, and the handling of emergency calls to the single European number "112".

In addition, there are requirements for accessibility and free movement, obligations for economic operators in the product sector (to which manufacturers, importers and distributors are subject) and obligations for service providers.

On the other hand, for the purposes of this decree-law, it is assumed that the standards and technical specifications of products and services are harmonized within the European Union, provided that these standards or part of them cover the aforementioned requirements.

This decree-law establishes an administrative offence regime, which provides for punishment with a fine, which can range from EUR 650 to EUR 2000 for natural persons and from EUR 12,000 to EUR 24,000 for legal persons.

According to article 38 it is established that:

  • Self-service terminals used to provide services before the date on which this Decree-Law takes effect may continue to be used to provide those services until the end of their economic useful life, which may not exceed 20 years after they are put into service.
  • However, service providers whose facilities are legally in use by the date on which this decree-law takes effect may continue to provide the services covered by it, using products lawfully used by them to provide similar services, until 28th June 2030.
  • On the other hand, the provisions of this decree-law shall not apply to contracts for the provision of services entered into before its entry into force, without prejudice to the fact that the validity of such contracts may not extend beyond 28th June 2030.

This Decree-Law shall take effect on 28th June 2025 in relation to products placed on the market and services provided to consumers as from that date.

The obligations set out in Article 4 concerning the answering and handling of emergency calls to the single European emergency number "112" by the most appropriate public safety answering point take effect on 28th June 2027.

To access to the entire wording of Decree-Law No. 82/2022 of 6th of December, please click here.

For more information on this subject, please contact:
Miguel Silva Cordeiro
Head of the Banking and Finance Department

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