What is new in the basic national legal framework for the establishment of Technology Free Zones (ZLT)?

What is new?

This diploma lays down the legal framework for the creation of Technology Free Areas (ZLT) in Portugal, each of which shall be especially suited for a given technology or sector of activity.

ZLT’s are physical spaces, geographically delimitated, aimed at promoters testing their innovative technology-based goods and services, in a real (or nearly-real) environment, safely, with the support and overview of the respective regulatory entities, inspired by regulatory sandboxes.

Who are the main characters?

  • “Test Authority”, who is the entity responsible for the overviewing the ZLT’s;
  • “Managing Entity”, who is the entity responsible for the management of operations and maintenance of the ZLT’s;
  • “Test Participant”, who can be anyone, natural or legal persons, public or private entities, regardless of their legal nature, as long as they collaborate with the promoters in the testing;
  • “Test Promoter”, who are natural or legal persons, public or private entities, regardless of their legal nature, that require the testing to take place.


What are the cornerstones of ZLT’s?

  • Undergoing tests must be the consequence of a free and continuous application;
  • Test promoters must obtain, when necessary, informed and express consent from the subjects of the tests;
  • All entities involved must appoint contact points in order to coordinate with each other;
  • Intellectual property, trade secrets, personal data and classified information must be protected.


Are there limitations or conditions to fall under this regulation?

This diploma provides for the following limitations and conditions:

  • Minimal Elements/Requirements of the Constitutive Act (that is, sector and technology delimitations, geographic scope, amongst others);
  • Access Conditions to ZLT’s (regarding both the promoters, who must, for example, be financially and technically capable of testing, and the technology, which must not compromise the safety of the people, animals and goods)
  • Minimal Requirements for the Innovation Programs (such as eligibility requirements for promoters).


Which are the Key-Points of the Regulation?

  • Civil Liability, which will, in principle, fall on the promoter;
  • Liability Insurance, which must be held by the promoter;
  • Monitoring and Control of the promoters’ activities by the Test Authority must be unhindered;
  • Obligation of Notification of Incidents and Accidents, which shall fall on the promoters.


When does the diploma enter into force?

This diploma shall enter into force on the 31st of July 2021.