Last April 21st, Resolution of the Council of Ministers no. 29/2020 was published in Diário da República, establishing the general principles for the creation and regulation of regulatory sandboxes, baptized as Technology Free Zones ("ZLT").
It is an initial and essential step to create conditions for the dynamization of new technologies - from artificial intelligence to blockchain, bio and nanotechnology, Internet of Things, big data and 5G network - especially in regulated sectors such as the financial or energy sector.
This resolution aims to position Portugal definitively as a country open to innovation and experimentation and to foster the development and testing of emerging technologies and includes the following new features:
Establishment of the general principles for the creation and regulation of ZLT
Following the first steps already taken, a two-pronged approach is now decided:
It is therefore expected, firstly, the establishment of a general and transversal framework for experimentation with innovative technologies in Portugal, and, secondly, possible sectoral frameworks that will take into account the specific needs of strategic and more regulated sectors.
The legal framework and the regulatory frameworks to be implemented should be guided by the following principles and objectives:
The promotion and development of ZLT was established as one of the priorities under the Action Plan for the Digital Transition approved on the same date, through Council of Ministers Resolution no. 30/2020.
The promotion and coordination of the ZLT was entrusted to the Portuguese Mission Structure, which was created on the same date, through Council of Ministers Resolution no. 31/2020, and has a mandate of three years.