With the express aim of promoting and simplifying the granting of credit to companies and consumers, Decree-Law No. 48/2020, of 30 April 2020, approved the general legal framework for the creation of security interests over moveable assets and for the Movable Security Interests Registry (“Registo de Garantias Mobiliárias” – “RGM”).
Without prejudice to others provided for in the law, the following are deemed to be movable security interests: (i) a mortgage over movable assets; (ii) a pledge; (iii) a sale with retention of title; (iv) an assignment of credit as guarantee; (v) a financial lease; (vi) a fiduciary transfer as guarantee; and (vii) any other legal transaction that aims to create a guarantee over a movable asset.
Under the terms of the aforementioned framework, security interests may be created over movable assets provided that they are transferable for consideration or are subject to economic exploitation. For instance, the aforementioned Decree-Law mentions that security interests may be created over:
- Cash, bank account balances and receivables;
- Checks, promissory notes, credit securities, negotiable instruments, bonds and shares;
- Intellectual property rights;
- Natural resources (minerals, petroleum and others), wood and charcoal;
- Machinery and equipment, vehicles, aircraft, ships and other vessels;
- Livestock and agricultural produce, raw materials and manufactured products;
- Inventories or stocks.
The RGM intends to ensure safety to these guarantees, and will be in the form of a computer platform and all registration activity will be done directly by the parties to the relevant movable securities transaction. Registration is therefore exclusively based on the statements submitted by the parties, transmitted electronically to the RGM and exempt from notary certification.
The application of this framework for security interests over movable assets is still dependent on the RGM - to be implemented by means of a Council of Ministers Resolution - being set up and functioning. Existing security interests should be adapted to the new framework within 6 months after the RGM begins operating.
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