Gone are the days when sectorial contributions were presented as extraordinary and temporary measures warranted by financial emergency.Not only have the contributions come to stay, but new ones are added, such as the contribution set out in the SB Proposal for medical devices. To what extent the Constitution allows for this type of tax is arguably the most important question of the Portuguese tax system.


Extraordinary contribution on the energy sector (CESE)

As in previous years, the SB Proposal maintains the CESE in 2020.

There is also a 90 days’ enabling act authorizing the Government to amend the CESE framework as follows:

Reduction of the different CESE rates capped by the percentage reduction of the tariff debt foreseen in the proposal of tariffs and prices for electric power in 2020 by ERSE;

  • Reduction or elimination altogether of the various CESE rates for (i) crude oil refining and petroleum products processing operators, (ii) crude oil and petroleum products storage operators, (iii) crude oil and petroleum products transport operators, and (iv) petroleum products distribution operators; The reduction or elimination altogether of CESE for these operators will be based on the need to finance social and environmental policies in the energy sector and, at the same time, on the existence of other measures to replace these revenues.
  • Possible overhaul of the material scope rules for the supplier of the National Natural Gas System (SNGN); According to the enabling act, the purpose of the overhaul is to update the equivalent economic price of long-term supply contracts on a take-or-pay basis taking into account the information on their real price;
  • Possible establishment of an exemption for electric power generation through power plants using renewables, from urban waste, by entities engaging in the provision of urban waste management services.

Lastly the proposed enabling act expressly states that the above changes are aimed at implementing the provisions in the 2019 SB Law on (i) the temporary nature of the CESE and (ii) the need to collect this impost must fall in step with the progress of the SEN's tariff debt and the ensuing need to fund the energy sector’s social and environmental policies.


Audiovisual contribution

The SB Proposal does not change the monthly audiovisual contribution for 2020.


Contribution on the banking sector

As in previous years, the SB Proposal does not change the contribution on the banking sector for 2020.


Contribution on the pharmaceutical industry

The extraordinary contribution on the pharmaceutical industry is also proposed to be maintained in 2020.


Extraordinary contribution on the National Health Service's (“SNS”) medical device industry suppliers

The SB Proposal puts forward the creation of a new extraordinary contribution, to be collected from SNS suppliers of medical devices and in vitro diagnostic medical devices.

According to the SB Proposal, this new regime has the following scope:



To ensure the SNS’s sustainability through a contribution to be calculated in accordance with the amount of purchases of medical devices and in vitro diagnostic medical devices by SNS entities.


Personal scope

The contribution will be collected from suppliers, whether manufacturers or their representatives, intermediaries, wholesale distributors or sellers, billing SNS entities for the supply of medical devices and in vitro diagnostic medical devices and any accessories.

Large medical devices and in vitro diagnostic medical devices intended for treatment and diagnosis are not subject to this contribution.

At issue is equipment to be installed, attached or otherwise fitted to a specific location in a healthcare facility so that it cannot be moved from that location or removed without the use of instruments or devices, and which is not specifically intended for use in a mobile healthcare facility.


Material scope

This new contribution will be levied on the total amount of purchases of medical devices and in vitro diagnostic medical devices from SNS entities, less value added tax.

The amount will be calculated based on purchase information reported by SNS services and establishments.

It should be recalled that those SNS services and establishments can only purchase medical devices coded by the INFARMED - Autoridade Nacional do Medicamento e Produtos de Saúde, I. P. (INFARMED) and included on the relevant database.


Deduction of research and development expenses

Like the extraordinary contribution on the pharmaceutical industry, taxable persons subject to this contribution will be able to deduct research and development expenses in each return.



(i) Annual amount of at least EUR 10M: 4%;
(ii) Annual amount between EUR 5M and EUR 10M: 2,5%;
(iii) Annual amount between EUR 1M and EUR 5M: 1,5%.


Agreement for the sustainability of the SNS and Exemption Regime

The new contribution’s framework foresees the possibility of executing agreements between the Portuguese State and supplier associations for the sustainability of the SNS, wherein objectives will be set for the caps on public expenditure incurred in the purchase of medical devices and reagents.

Entities acceding to these agreements, individually and without reservation, will be exempt from the contribution upon declaration of the entity delivered to the INFARMED.

The exemption becomes effective from the date on which the entities accede to the above agreements and remains effective for their duration, subject to the performance of the relevant terms and conditions.

This is a similar to the procedure followed for the extraordinary contribution on the pharmaceutical industry.



The contribution is assessed by the taxable person (self-assessment) through an official return form to be approved by ordinance of the members of Government in charge of finance and health and must be delivered by electronic data transmission during the month following the period to which the contribution pertains.


Allocation of revenue

Revenue from this contribution is to be allocated to a Fund to support the acquisition of innovative health technology for the SNS, to be assessed within the Sistema Nacional de Avaliação de Tecnologias de Saúde (National Health Technology Assessment System).


Contribution on single-use packaging – Enabling Act

As is already the case in some Member States of the European Union, and in the context of the early transposition of the Directive on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment (Directive (EU) 2019/904 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 June 2019), the SB Proposal authorizes Government to create a contribution on single-use packaging.

According to the SB Proposal, the authorization would tax single use packaging purchased with take-away or home delivery ready-to-eat meals.

In this context, positive discrimination could also be implemented for packaging that incorporates recycled material.


Personal scope

Under the enabling act, the following are taxable persons:

(a) economic agents manufacturing or importing the packaging used for the provision of ready-to-eat, take-away or home delivery services, with headquarters or permanent establishment in mainland Portugal; and
(b) purchasers acquiring the packaging from suppliers with registered offices or a permanent establishment in other Member States of the European Union or the Autonomous Regions.



Under the SB Proposal the economic cost of the contribution is passed on to the end purchaser, and allocated and specified as final price component by the economic agents across the commercial chain.


Allocation of revenue

The revenue of this contribution will be totally or partially allocated to the Environmental Fund, which aims to support environmental policies in pursuit of sustainable development objectives, for preferential application in measures within the circular economy.