London, 2nd February 2018
Brexit and the Anglo Portuguese Alliance, Carlton Club, 1st February 2018
The Portuguese Chamber of Commerce in the UK organised on Thursday 1st February a seminar on “Brexit and the Anglo-Portuguese Alliance”. Its objective was to show that the UK and Portugal still have many alliances and treaties in place which may be relevant once the UK leaves the European Union in 2019. The seminar also presented Portugal as a worthy option for investment, should any UK-based company be considering relocating elsewhere in the European Union post Brexit.
The Portuguese Ambassador to the UK, H.E. Manuel Lobo Antunes opened the event and was followed by the Chairman of the Portuguese Chamber and the Senior Partner at Abreu & Marques, Mr Jorge de Abreu. Jorge spoke about the several alliances and treaties still in place between Portugal and the UK, and touched on their commercial relevance in today’s business climate (download the presentation here)
Mr Michael Gates, the UK representative of SDM (the International Business Centre in Madeira - IBC) then explained some of the advantages of registering a trading entity in this Portuguese island, emphasizing that the current tax regime has been approved by the EU and is valid until 2027, which gives companies stability and credibility.
One of the benefits of Madeira’s tax regime is its corporation tax rate at 5% (download presentation for more information). Mr Gates explained that the IBC can offer a platform for UK companies who are looking for a friendly environment from which to work with the EU. Since it is unlikely that the UK remains in the current VAT system subject to EU fiscal directives, Madeira can also act as a platform to access other countries where Portugal has a Double Taxation agreement and Bilateral Treaties are in place.
Afonso Barroso, Partner at Abreu & Marques, then spoke about the Non-Habitual Tax Regime (NHR). 19% of those who have taken up NHR status so far are British. Many are retirees, but professionals like architects are also using the regime. The NHR is mostly used by Europeans or Portuguese who have not lived in Portugal in the past 5 years. The NHR does not require you to make an investment in Portugal but requires that the beneficiary lives in Portugal for at least 185 days during the year.
Regarding the Golden Visa regime, Afonso explained that this requires an investment in the country (effectively a Visa by Investment), either by buying a property (of between 350,000 and 500,000 Euros – depending where the investment is made) or by the deposit of 1 million euros in cash in a Portuguese bank or by creating at least 10 jobs (paying National Insurance) or the investment of 250,000 Euros in an artistic production that maintains or invigorates an aspect of Portugal’s cultural heritage (download the presentation here). This Golden Visa will allow free movement in the Schengen area and family reunification. After 5 years the beneficiary can apply for Portuguese nationality following all the requirements necessary to apply for Portuguese nationality.