Law No. 42/2017, of June 14, establishes the Regime for the recognition and protection of establishments and entities of historical, cultural or social interest.

Within the scope of this Law (Article 3 (1)), municipalities have been given various competences in this area, namely, to carry out an inventory and recognition of such establishments and entities of historical, cultural or social interest, to approve specific municipal regulations for this purpose and to notify the State of its identification.

General criteria for the recognition of an establishment or entity of historical, cultural or social and local interest are:

  • The activity;
  • The material heritage;
  • Intangible assets.

The implementation of the evaluation of these criteria can be consulted in Article 4 in conjunction with Article 6 (4) of the Law in question.

Municipalities can carry out the recognition by applying the general criteria mentioned above, or densify them, defining special criteria that take into account the local specificities and the protection measures to be adopted by the municipality, weighing the various elements in presence, namely through the establishment of minimum criteria for the recognition or enhancement of criteria that they consider most relevant to the local reality of the municipality.

In this circumstance, and in accordance with article 5 of the Law, the city council will have to propose a regulation with these specificities and have it approved by the municipal assembly, after receiving the opinion from the Directorate-General of Cultural Heritage, within a maximum period of 60 days.

The recognition procedure shall be carried out in accordance with the provisions of Article 6 of the aforementioned Law and shall be initiated on its own initiative or upon request of:

  • The owner of the establishment or the entity to be recognized as endowed with a local historical and cultural or social interest;
  • The respective parish;
  • A cultural heritage defense association.

Under article 7 of Law 42/2017, of June 14, protection measures are provided for establishments or entities recognized as being of historical and cultural or social interest, as well as for the owners and tenants of the property in which it is situated, some of which are listed below:

  • Property owners can access tax benefits or exemptions to be granted by municipalities, in accordance with current legislation.
  • Tenants of property shall enjoy preemptive rights in the onerous transmissions of real estate, or parts of real estate, in which they are installed, in accordance with the legislation in force.
  • Protection provided for in the legal system of urban leasing and in the legal regime of works on leased buildings;
  • Access to municipal or national programs to support establishments and entities of historical, cultural or social interest.

This presentation does not excuse the reading of Law no. 42/2017, of June 14. For better and more complete framing of these measures, the entire diploma should be consulted.

The Administration (article 3 of the aforementioned decree) was also given the authority to receive the information, communicated by the municipalities, as well as to create and keep updated a national collection of the above mentioned units: the National Inventory of Commerce with History.

The establishments and entities that have been recognized as of historical, cultural or social interest, in the various municipalities, can be consulted in this platform.