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Decree Law no. 123/2023 of December 26: Creation of the General Contractual Clauses Commission


On the 27th of December of 2023, the Decree Law no. 123/2023 of December 26 came into force, creating the General Contractual Clauses Commission (“Comissão das Cláusulas Contratuais Gerais”) (hereinafter referred to as the "Commission"), an independent administrative body, of an advisory nature, to work with the members of the Government responsible for the areas of justice and consumer protection.

This Commission is responsible for the operationalization of the administrative system for the control and prevention of abusive clauses, and has a number of duties relating to, in particular, the analysis of contracts that include general contractual clauses or models of general contractual clauses for future use; the issuing of recommendations aimed at the withdrawal or alteration of clausesnotifying the Public Prosecutor's Office of non-compliance with the obligation to refrain from using general contractual clauses that have been definitively prohibited by a final decision; issuing opinions on the prohibitive nature of general contractual clauses, at the request of the court; assessing legislative initiatives relating to the prohibition or regulation of general contractual clauses that are submitted to it, as well as managing, organizing and updating the General Contractual Clauses Portal.

The Commission's powers will be residual, being designed for sectors of economic activity that are not covered by any regulatory and/or market control body in terms of verifying and monitoring the legality of general contractual clauses, with the aim of reducing the disparity between the different sectors and increasing the guarantee of consumers' protection.

Finally, considering not only the generalization of contracts incorporating general contractual clauses in the various sectors of economic activity, but also the need to guarantee a high level of consumer protection and the harmonization of solutions, the Decree-Law no. 123/2023 of December 26 also establishes a principle of collaboration between the Commission and the competent regulatory and market control bodies in each sector. The aim is to draw up standard contracts for voluntary adoption in regulated sectors or sectors with specific legislation, and consumer associations and business associations in the sectors of economic activity concerned may be consulted for this purpose.

The Commission will be operational within 90 days of the entry into force of the Decree-Law no. 123/2023 of December 26, and the General Contractual Clauses Portal will be made available to the public within 180 days of the entry into force of the law, namely the 27th of December of 2023.