Simplification of Administrative Procedures 

Simplification of Administrative Procedures 

Essential Promotion

Licensing “SIMPLEX Urbanístico” 

Officially published on January 8th, the Decree-Law No. 10/2024Urbanistic Simplification has brought about significant changes to administrative processes, licensing, and urban planning in Portugal. While the decree will come into effect on March 4th, 2024, some alterations have already been implemented as of January 1st, 2024. 

The primary objective is to continue the ongoing reform and simplification of existing licensing processes by eliminating unnecessary licenses, authorizations, and urbanistic procedures. This will reduce bureaucracy, simplify the licensing and approval processes, and introduce digital processes and simplified bureaucratic formalities. 

Among the notable changes implemented, several stand out as particularly relevant. Firstly, there are new cases of prior communication and exemption from prior control. This means that certain projects, such as reconstruction and expansion works that maintain the building’s height or facade, interior works with structural alterations that are deemed non-harmful by a qualified technician, or the replacement of materials in openings for energy efficiency purposes, will be exempt from any prior procedures. 

The decree also maintains supervision powers to ensure compliance with relevant norms while giving municipalities the ability to contract supervision services. However, supervision will now focus solely on the compliance with legal norms, rather than considering factors related to convenience, opportunity, or technical options of ongoing or completed works. 

In terms of simplifying urbanistic procedures, the decree introduces various changes. The construction license certificate (Alvará de Licença de Construção) is eliminated and replaced by a receipt of payment for corresponding fees, reducing paperwork and simplifying the process. The authorization for use (Autorização de Utilização) is also eliminated for certain cases where prior control has been applied, and technical documents will suffice. Moreover, the obligation to present an authorization for use and a technical housing record (Ficha Técnica) in property transactions for urban buildings is abolished. Additionally, there is an elimination or replacement of disproportionate requirements from the General Regulation for Urban Buildings (RGEU).  

These measures aim to simplify urbanistic procedures, promote flexibility in design and construction practices, and enhance digitalization. By extending the validity period of the Favourable Preliminary Information, applicants have more time to carry out their projects without the need for additional approvals. The implementation of the Electronic Platform for Urbanistic Procedures will streamline the submission and processing of documents, making the process more efficient and accessible for all stakeholders involved. Additionally, the revocation or replacement of certain requirements in the RGEU allows for more modern and practical solutions in building design, aligning with current trends and preferences. 

In conclusion, the enactment of the programme marks a significant step towards modernizing urban planning procedures in Portugal. These changes will not only facilitate the realization of urbanistic projects but also contribute to an improved business environment, economic development. 

 Rita Branco & Tiago Felizardo 


  1. 289 399 720  |  E. [email protected]

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