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COMMERCIAL CODE

^ ] Commercial Code - Table of Contents ] Commercial Code - Table of Article ] Decree-Law no. 40/99/M ] Commercial Code - Art. 1 - 100 ] Commercial Code - Art. 101 - 200 ] Commercial Code - Art. 201 - 300 ] Commercial Code - Art. 301 - 400 ] Commercial Code - Art. 401 - 500 ] Commercial Code - Art. 501 - 600 ] Commercial Code - Art. 601 - 700 ] Commercial Code - Art. 701 - 800 ] Commercial Code - Art. 801 - 900 ] [ Commercial Code - Art. 901 - 1000 ] Commercial Code - Art.1001 - 1100 ] Commercial Code - Art. 1101 - 1200 ] Commercial Code - Art. 1201 - 1268 ]


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Article 901

(Relations between lessee and seller or builder)

A lessee can exercise against a seller or builder, depending on the case, all rights relating to the leased good or arising from the contract of purchase and sale or from the building contract.

Article 902

(Expenses)

Except if there is a stipulation to the contrary, expenses for transportation and the respective insurance, assembly, installation, and repair of the leased good, as well as the expenses necessary for its return to the lessor, including those relating to insurance, if indispensable, shall be paid by the lessee.

Article 903

(Risk)

Except if there is a stipulation to the contrary, the risk of loss or deterioration of the good shall fall upon the lessee.

Article 904

(Delay in payment of rent)

1. Delay in payment of a rent installment for more than 60 days permits the lessor to rescind the contract, unless there is an agreement to the contrary in favor of the lessee.

2. The lessee can preclude the right to rescission by the lessor, by paying the amount in debt plus a compensation equal to the double of the amount due, within eight days from the date of notification, by the lessor of the rescission of the contract.

Article 905

(Rescission of contract)

A leasing contract can be rescinded by any of the parties, under general rules, on the basis of breach of obligations by the other party; the special civil law norms on the rental contract do not apply.

Article 906

(Specific cases of rescission of contract)

A leasing contract can also be rescinded by a lessor in the following cases:

a) dissolution or liquidation of the lessee company;

b) occurrence of any ground for declaring the lessee bankrupt;

c) termination of economic or professional activity by the lessee, except in the cases regulated in paragraph 1 of article 899.

Article 907

(Guarantees)

Any personal or real guarantees can be created in favor of the lessor, in connection with the credit of rent and other charges or compensations eventually due from the lessee.

Article 908

(Anticipation of rent)

Anticipation of rent as guarantee cannot be for more than six or 18 months, depending on whether the contract has as object, respectively, movable or immovable goods.

Article 909

(Provisional remedy of judicial delivery and cancellation of registration)

1. If, after a contract is extinguished by rescission, or by lapse, and the purchase right has not been exercised, the lessee does not return the good to the lessor, the lessor can request the court a provisional remedy, consisting in its immediate delivery to the petitioner and, in the case of goods subject to registration, the cancellation of the respective leasing registration.

2. With such petition, the lessor shall offer summary evidence of the requirements mentioned in the previous paragraph.

3. Whenever the hearing will not cause a serious risk to the purpose or to the effectiveness of the remedy, the court shall hear the defendant.

4. The court shall order the requested remedy if the evidence produced reveals a serious probability of the occurrence of the requirements mentioned in paragraph 1; however, it can demand that the lessor post an adequate bail.

5. Such bail can consist of a bank deposit to the order of the court, or be of any another legally permissible means.

6. If remedy is granted, and independently of any appeal by the lessee, the lessor can use the good in accordance with article 895.

7. The general rules of the Civil Procedure Code on provisional remedy actions are applicable to this remedy, in everything that is not especially regulated in this article.

8. The previous paragraphs apply to all leasing contracts, regardless of their object.

Article 910

(Operations previous to contract)

If, before the conclusion of a leasing contract, any interested party has ordered goods with a view to a future contract, it is understood that it acts for its own account and risk, and the lessor cannot in any way be held liable for possible damage arising from the non-conclusion of the contract, without prejudice to article 219 of the Civil Code.

TITLE XVII

GUARANTEE CONTRACTS

CHAPTER I

COMMERCIAL PLEDGE

Article 911

(Commercial nature of pledge)

For a pledge to have commercial nature it is necessary that the debt secured arises from the exercise of a commercial enterprise.

Article 912

(Modalities of commercial pledge)

1. A commercial pledge can be created with or without dispossession.

2. The creation of a commercial pledge can only be done without dispossession if it falls upon a good which is put to the use of an enterprise.

3. The creation of a commercial pledge shall always be without dispossession if it falls upon a good essential to the functioning of an enterprise.

Article 913

(Scope of the commercial pledge)

1. Only one commercial pledge can be created over all the machinery, movable goods and tools installed and for use in the exercise of an enterprise.

2. For the purpose of the previous paragraph, boilers, furnaces that are not an integral part of the immovable, chemical installations, and other fixed materials put to the use of an enterprise shall be considered as machinery.

Article 914

(Delivery to third party and symbolic delivery)

The delivery of a good that is the object of pledge can be made either to a third party or symbolically by:

a) declaration or entry in the registration books of the public entities where the goods object of pledge are deposited;

b) delivery or endorsement of the negotiable instrument representing the good object of pledge to the pledge creditor;

c) any other appropriate way to confer upon the pledge creditor an exclusive power over the goods that are the object of commercial pledge.

Article 915

(Form of pledge without dispossession)

1. The creation of a commercial pledge without dispossession must be made in writing, with the signatures of the contracting parties certified by their presence, to avoid nullity, and contain the following elements:

a) identification of the creditor and of the debtor and, if it is the case, of the pledger;

b) indication of the good or goods object of pledge and the elements indispensable to their identification;

c) place where the good or goods are to be found, and indication of the enterprise in which they are put to use;

d) amount of the debt or elements that allow its determination;

e) place and date of payment.

2. The creation of a commercial pledge without dispossession is subject to registration.

Article 916

(Transfer or creation of guarantees over pledged goods)

1. The owner of goods pledged without dispossession shall be considered, regarding the pledge right, possessor in another person's name, and incurs the liability of fiduciary depositaries if he transfers, modifies, destroys, or deviates the good without written agreement by the pledge creditor, and also if he creates a new pledge without express mention in the new contract of the existence of the previous pledge or pledges, which, in any case, have priority according to the order of dates.

2. In the case of goods belonging to a collective person, the rules of the previous paragraph apply to those who are charged with its administration.

CHAPTER II

FIDUCIARY TRANSFER IN GUARANTEE

Article 917

(Effects and limits)

1. A fiduciary transfer in guarantee transfers to the creditor the rescindable ownership [propriedade resolúvel] and the possession of the movable good transferred, irrespective of effective delivery of the good; the debtor becomes detainer and depositary, with all the responsibilities and duties that he has in accordance with the law.

2. A fiduciary transfer in guarantee can only be made in favor of a commercial entrepreneur and for credits arising from the exercise of the respective enterprise.

Article 918

(Form and publicity)

1. A fiduciary transfer in guarantee is valid if made in writing, with the signatures of the contracting parties certified by their presence, unless other form is required by the nature of the goods to which it applies.

2. A fiduciary transfer in guarantee must be entered in the commercial register.

3. If a fiduciary transfer in guarantee covers goods subject to registration, it must also be registered in the appropriate register in relation to each of those goods, under penalty of not having effect against third parties.

Article 919

(Minimum content)

The document creating a fiduciary transfer in guarantee must contain, under penalty of nullity, the following elements:

a) the amount of the debt, or elements that allow its determination;

b) the place and date for payment;

c) a description of the good object of the fiduciary transfer in guarantee, and elements indispensable to its identification.

Article 920

(Fiduciary transfer in guarantee of property of third parties)

If by the date of conclusion of a contract of fiduciary transfer in guarantee, the debtor does not yet own the good object of the contract, its fiduciary ownership will be transferred to the creditor at the moment in which the debtor acquires ownership of it, regardless of any subsequent formality.

Article 921

(Burden of proof)

If a good transferred in guarantee is not identified by numbers, marks, or signals mentioned in the contract of fiduciary transfer, the fiduciary owner shall bear the burden of proof against third parties of identification of the goods that he owns in guarantee, which are in possession of the debtor.

Article 922

(Non-performance)

1. In case of non-performance or delay regarding an obligation guaranteed, the fiduciary owner can sell the goods to a third party without the need for auction, public sale, previous appraisal, or any other judicial or extrajudicial measure, unless the contract has an express provision to the contrary, and use the price both for payment of his credit and the expenses of collection, delivering the balance to the debtor, if any.

2. If the price of sale of goods is not sufficient to satisfy the credit and the expenses of the fiduciary owner, in accordance with the previous paragraph, the debtor remains personally obliged to pay the difference.

3. If no time limit was stipulated for the exercise of the right indicated in paragraph 1, the debtor can set for the fiduciary owner a limit of no less than 30 days for that purpose; if such right is not exercised within this time limit, the sale can only be made judicially.

4. A clause authorizing the fiduciary owner to keep the good sold in guarantee, if the debt is not paid on maturity, shall be void.

Article 923

(Forfeiture of benefit of time limit)

1. A creditor can use the means authorized by the previous article if:

a) the good transferred in guarantee is lost or becomes insufficient to secure the debt, and the debtor is notified to replace or to reinforce the guarantee and does not do so;

b) the debtor is declared bankrupt or insolvent;

c) the installments are not promptly paid in accordance with the stipulations of the contract; in this case, the act of receiving late payment of matured installments implies renunciation to the right granted in paragraph 1 of the previous article.

2. The replacement or the reinforcement of the guarantee mentioned in subparagraph a) of the previous paragraph follows, with the necessary adaptations, the procedure for reinforcement or substitution of bail and other special guarantees.

Article 924

(Seizure of good)

1. A fiduciary owner can request, against either the debtor or a third party, seizure of a good transferred in guarantee; it shall be immediately granted if the debtor's non-performance or delay is proven.

2. The defendant will be notified to offer opposition within five days or, if he has already paid 40% of the financed price, to request regularization of the delay.

3. If regularization of the delay is timely requested, the judge shall set a time limit of no more than 10 days for payment.

4. Whether or not the request is opposed, if the delay is not regularized within the time limit set by the court, the judge will pronounce a decision within five days.

Article 925

(Liability of transferor in guarantee)

A debtor who transfers or creates guarantees for the benefit of third parties over a good that he had already transferred in guarantee shall incur the liability of fiduciary depositaries.

Article 926

(Subrogation)

The giver of 'aval', the giver of a bond, or an interested third party who pays the debt, shall be subrogated in the credit and in the guarantee consisting in the fiduciary transfer.

Article 927

(Bankruptcy of transferor)

In case of bankruptcy of a transferor, the right of the fiduciary owner can be invoked against the bankrupt estate.

CHAPTER III

FLOATING CHARGE

Article 928

(Concept)

1. A floating charge is a guarantee that covers all or part of the goods that are or may be used in the exercise of an enterprise, with the exception of immovables, and the effects of which are suspended until the moment at which the creditor, as a consequence of the occurrence of grounds mentioned in the law or in the contract, provokes the crystallization of the charge.

2. The floating character of the charge shall be expressly stipulated in the act of creation.

Article 929

(Limits)

A floating charge can only be created to secure obligations contracted in the exercise of a commercial enterprise.

Article 930

(Rights of holder of floating charge)

A floating charge confers upon the creditor the right to payment of his credit, plus interest, if any, from the value of the goods over which the guarantee crystallizes, with priority over other creditors who do not have real guarantees created before the entry of the crystallization in the register.

Article 931

(Form and publicity)

1. A floating charge is only valid if created in writing, with the signatures certified by the presence of the parties, unless other form is required by the nature of the goods to which it applies.

2. A floating charge only produces effects, even between the parties, after entered in the commercial register; and, if it applies to goods subject to registration, after entry in the appropriate register in relation to each of such goods.

3. A floating charge cannot be invoked against third parties before notification of the crystallization mentioned in article 934 is entered in the commercial register.

Article 932

(Minimum content)

Under penalty of nullity, the document in which a floating charge is created must contain the following elements:

a) identification of the entrepreneur and the creditor;

b) identification of the enterprise or the part of the enterprise to which it applies;

c) the amount of the debt, or elements that allow its determination;

d) the place and the date for payment.

Article 933

(Clause forbidding transfer of goods object of floating charge)

1. The creation of a floating charge does not hinder acts of disposal of, or the creation of charges over, goods that are within the normal exercise of the enterprise.

2. The parties can only establish restrictions upon the right conferred in the previous paragraph in writing.

3. The restrictions mentioned in the previous paragraph shall have effect between the parties even before crystallization of the guarantee.

4. Breach of the provisions of the previous paragraphs causes the guarantor to incur the liability of fiduciary depositaries.

Article 934

(Crystallization)

Crystallization of a floating charge operates by means of notification by the creditor to the debtor, indicating the respective grounds.

Article 935

(Grounds for crystallization)

Besides the grounds mentioned in the contract, a floating charge can be crystallized in the following situations, among others, and without prejudice to agreement to the contrary:

a) in the cases mentioned in subparagraph c) of paragraph 1 of article 923;

b) dissolution or liquidation of a collective person commercial entrepreneur;

c) occurrence of any of the grounds for declaring the entrepreneur bankrupt;

d) termination of the exercise of the enterprise by the guarantor, except in case of transfer of the enterprise.

Article 936

(Effect of crystallization)

1. A floating charge, once crystallized, has the effect of a pledge or a mortgage, depending on the nature of the good, regarding the rights that the guarantor has in that moment over the goods covered by the guarantee.

2. The previous paragraph is applicable to goods that are put to the exercise of the enterprise after crystallization of the floating charge.

Article 937

(Effect of floating charge over credits)

1. A floating charge that applies to various credits produces its effect towards the debtors of the secured credits from the entry of the notification of the crystallization, provided that such notification is published.

2. The publication mentioned in the previous paragraph is not necessary if the floating charge and the notification of crystallization can be invoked against the debtors of the credits charged in the same manner as an assignment of credits.

Article 938

(Impossibility to invoke acts of temporary or definitive transfer of the enterprise)

The temporary or definitive transfer of an enterprise cannot be invoked against the holder of a floating charge.

Article 939

(Effects of crystallization on other floating charges)

If there are various floating charges over the same goods, the crystallization of one of them grants the right to creditors holding the others to immediately crystallize their own floating charges.

Article 940

(Priority)

Conflict between floating charges shall be decided by the priority of the respective entry in the commercial register, and not by the priority of the respective crystallization.

Article 941

(Cancellation of crystallization)

1. As soon as the situation that was the ground for crystallization is resolved, the creditor must, under penalty of liability for damage caused, request at the commercial register the cancellation of the crystallization of the floating charge.

2. The effects of crystallization cease with the entry of the cancellation of the crystallization in the commercial register; the effects of the floating charge become again suspended by the cancellation of the crystallization.

CHAPTER IV

INDEPENDENT GUARANTEE

SECTION I

GENERAL PROVISIONS

Article 942

(Concept)

Independent guarantee is a contract by which one of the parties undertakes to pay to the other a determined or determinable amount of money, upon demand, accompanied or not by certain documents relating to the obligation, for the case of occurrence of a certain risk or event.

Article 943

(Modalities)

An independent guarantee can have as object, among others:

a) to ensure compliance with a proposal presented in the framework of a contract;

b) the good execution of a contract;

c) the recovery of amounts advanced for the execution of a contract.

Article 944

(On whose request an independent guarantee is given)

An independent guarantee can be given:

a) at the request or under the instructions of the client of the guarantor;

b) in execution of instructions received from another guarantor.

Article 945

(Methods of discharge)

In a contract of independent guarantee it is possible to stipulate that payment shall be made in any manner admitted by the law, including:

a) payment in foreign currency or any unit of account;

b) acceptance of a bill of exchange;

c) deferred payment;

d) delivery of a good.

Article 946

(Guarantor-beneficiary)

A guarantor can himself be the beneficiary if he is acting in favor of another person.

Article 947

(Independent guarantee)

A guarantee is independent if the obligation of the guarantor towards the beneficiary:

a) is not dependent upon the existence or validity of the underlying transaction, or upon any other contract;

b) is not subject to any clause not apparent from the guarantee, or to any future and uncertain act or event, except presentation of documents or another analogous act or event comprised in the normal course of the activity of the guarantor.

Article 948

(Form)

An independent guarantee is only valid if concluded in writing.

Article 949

(Irrevocability)

Unless there is an agreement to the contrary, an independent guarantee is irrevocable.

Article 950

(Amendments)

1. Amendments to an independent guarantee are subject to the form required for the guarantee.

2. An amendment to the guarantee can only be invoked against the beneficiary if he has agreed to such amendment.

3. An amendment to an independent guarantee only binds the person that requested it if such person has agreed to the amendment.

Article 951

(Transfer of beneficiary's right)

1. The right of a beneficiary to demand payment of the amount stated in an independent guarantee can only be transferred if it is authorized in the guarantee, and only in the exact terms stated therein.

2. If a guarantee has been considered transferable, without specification of whether the consent of the guarantor, or any other interested party, is required for the transfer, neither the guarantor nor that person are obliged to accept such transfer, except in the exact terms that they have expressly consented to in the guarantee.

Article 952

(Assignment of right to collect payment)

1. Except if there is a contractual stipulation or an agreement between the guarantor and the beneficiary to the contrary, the latter can assign to a third party any amounts due, or that may become due, to him, under the guarantee.

2. If a guarantor, or another person obliged to effect payment, has received a notification from the beneficiary indicating that he has effected an irrevocable assignment, payment to the assignee releases the debtor from his liability under the independent guarantee, to the extent of such payment.

Article 953

(Extinction of right to demand payment)

1. The right of a beneficiary to demand payment under a guarantee is extinguished when:

a) the guarantor has received a statement from the beneficiary releasing him from his liability;

b) the beneficiary and the guarantor have agreed the revocation of the guarantee;

c) the amount mentioned in the independent guarantee has been paid, unless the guarantee contract provides otherwise;

d) the guarantee has lapsed as a result of the expiry of its time limit, in accordance with the following article.

2. Except if there is a contractual stipulation or an agreement between the guarantor and the beneficiary to the contrary, the return of the document embodying the independent guarantee is not necessary for the extinction of the right of the beneficiary to take place.

Article 954

(Lapse)

1. If the last day of the time limit of an independent guarantee is not a business day, the independent guarantee only lapses on the following business day.

2. If the extinction of an independent guarantee depends on the occurrence of a certain fact or event, it shall lapse when the guarantor is notified of such occurrence, under the terms foreseen in the guarantee.

3. If a time limit was not stipulated, an independent guarantee shall lapse six years after its creation.

SECTION II

RIGHTS, OBLIGATIONS AND DEFENSES

Article 955

(Determination of rights and obligations)

The guarantor and the beneficiary have the rights and obligations arising from the law and from the contract of independent guarantee.

Article 956

(General principle)

1. In discharging obligations arising from an independent guarantee or the law, the guarantor shall act in good faith and with the necessary diligence, having regard to the usage on independent guarantees.

2. Any clause exempting a guarantor from liability for acting against good faith or with gross negligence shall be void.

Article 957

(Demand)

1. The demand for payment of an independent guarantee shall be made in writing, and in conformity with the terms mentioned in it.

2. Unless there is an agreement to the contrary, such demand shall be made accompanied by the documents required in the guarantee and presented at the place of issue.

3. It is deemed that a beneficiary, when demanding payment of the guarantee, is acting in good faith and that none of the circumstances mentioned in subparagraphs a), b) and c) of paragraph 1 of article 960 are present.

Article 958

(Examination of demand and attached documents)

1. In examining a demand and the documents attached, the guarantor shall act in accordance with paragraph 1 of article 956.

2. Unless there is an agreement to the contrary, the guarantor shall have a maximum time limit of seven business days from the demand to:

a) examine the demand and any accompanying documents;

b) decide whether or not to pay;

c) if the decision is not to pay, notify the beneficiary.

3. If the decision is not to pay, it must be communicated to the beneficiary by the most expeditious means possible, and shall indicate the respective grounds.

Article 959

(Payment)

1. Without prejudice to the provision of the following article, the guarantor shall pay any demand that has been presented to him in accordance with article 957; payment shall be made as soon as possible, unless a time limit has been agreed for such purpose.

2. Any payment in breach of the previous paragraph shall not bind the applicant.

3. Unless there is an agreement to the contrary, the guarantor can make payment by compensation, provided that the credit that he invokes has not been assigned to him by the applicant or by his counter-guarantor.

Article 960

(Defenses)

1. A guarantor shall refuse payment if it is manifest that:

a) any of the documents required by the independent guarantee is not genuine or has been falsified;

b) payment is not due, according to the demand itself or to the presented documents;

c) considering the type and purpose of the independent guarantee, the demand totally lacks grounds.

2. For the purposes of subparagraph c) of the previous paragraph, it is considered that the demand totally lacks grounds if:

a) it is indisputable that the event or risk that the independent guarantee is designed to compensate did not take place;

b) the underlying obligation of the applicant has been declared invalid by the court or by an arbitration tribunal, unless the guarantee indicates that it is intended to apply even in such case;

c) it is indisputable that the underlying obligation has been fully discharged to the satisfaction of the beneficiary;

d) the performance of the underlying obligation has been prevented by willful misconduct of the beneficiary;

e) it is presented in accordance with a counter-guarantee, and the beneficiary of the latter has made payment in bad faith in his capacity of guarantor.

Article 961

(Provisional court measures)

1. In the cases mentioned in the previous article, the applicant or the counter-guarantor have the right to request provisional court measures to avoid payment of the amount guaranteed.

2. Such provisional order can only be issued if the applicant presents clear and precise evidence that the demand that the beneficiary presented, or will present, suffers from any of the defects mentioned in the previous article.

3. The court shall only issue a provisional order in cases in which the non-issuance of such order is likely to cause irreparable damage to the applicant, and shall make it dependent upon the posting of a bond.

4. It is only possible to grant a provisional court measure to stop payment of an independent guarantee on the basis of any of the grounds mentioned on the previous article.

TITLE XVIII

INSURANCE CONTRACT

CHAPTER I

GENERAL PROVISIONS

Article 962

(Concept)

An insurance contract is that by which an insurer, against payment of a premium, undertakes to compensate, within agreed limits, in case of occurrence of an event covered, the damage caused to the insured, or to pay an amount of money, or an annuity, or to perform other obligations mentioned in such contract.

Article 963

(Applicable rules)

The various types of insurance contract are regulated by the legal provisions that, according to their nature, are especially applicable to them, and also by the provisions of this Title that are compatible with them.

Article 964

(Imperative nature)

Except if there is a legal provision to the contrary, the provisions of this Title cannot be modified, except to the benefit of the insured.

Article 965

(Subjects of the contract)

1. An insurance contract is agreed between an insurer and an insurance holder.

2. The insured is an individual or collective person in whose interest the contract is concluded, or a person whose life, health, or physical integrity is insured.

3. The beneficiary of insurance is the addressee of the insurer's performance.

Article 966

(Formation and application of contract)

1. An insurance contract produces effect from the date of its conclusion.

2. However, the parties can condition the start of its effects to payment of the premium, to subscription of the policy, or to any other facts.

3. In the case of individual insurance, of which the holder is an individual, and without prejudice to the stipulation of a different time limit, the contract is considered as concluded, in the proposed terms, 15 days after the reception of an insurance proposal, if the insurer has not notified the proposer of its refusal, or of the need to collect clarifications which are essential for assessment of the risk, namely medical examinations or an on site inspection of the risk or of the good insured.

Article 967

(Evidence of contract)

1. An insurance contract, and any amendments to it, must be evidenced in writing.

2. An insurer is obliged to deliver to the insurance holder a policy or, provisionally, a cover note.

Article 968

(Insurance policy: types)

1. An insurance policy can be nominative, to order, or to bearer.

2. The issue of an order or bearer policy must be agreed between the holder of the insurance and the insurer.

3. If the policy is issued to order or to bearer, its transfer implies the transfer of the credit against the insurer, with the effect of an assignment of credits.

4. However, the insurer is released if, without intention or gross negligence, it fulfills its obligation regarding the endorsee or bearer, even if the latter is not the insured.

5. In case of loss, theft, or destruction of a policy to order or to bearer, the insurer is not released if it performs its obligation after having been notified of any of these facts.

Article 969

(Requirements of policy)

1. The policy, dated and signed by the insurer, must be written in a clear manner, in clearly legible characters, and must contain at least the following elements:

a) identification and domicile of the parties, as well as, if applicable, of the insured and the beneficiary;

b) nature of the insurance;

c) interest covered;

d) risks covered;

e) capital insured;

f) beginning and termination of the contract;

g) premiums and applicable additional amounts;

h) excesses, mandatory deductibles, and all other conditions agreed by the parties.

2. Any clauses of the policy stating causes for rescission by the insurer, of nullity, or voidability or exclusion of risks, only have legal effect if stated in prominent characters.

3. If the content of the policy differs from the insurance proposal, or from the conditions stipulated by the parties, the insurance holder can demand the correction of the discrepancy, within one month from the date of delivery of the policy.

Article 970

(Interpretation of clauses of policy)

1. The general and special clauses of the policy shall be interpreted according to the general principles on the interpretation of legal transactions.

2. In case of doubt, any general or special clauses drafted by the insurer shall be interpreted in the sense most favorable to the insured.

3. The provisions of the previous paragraphs do not apply to general or special clauses of uniform policies approved by law or regulation.

Article 971

(Contract concluded without powers of representation)

1. An insurance contract concluded by a person without powers of representation, in the name of another person, can be ratified by the interested party, even after its lapse, or after the occurrence of the accident.

2. In a contract of insurance in the name of another person, concluded under the terms mentioned in the previous paragraph, the person who concludes such contract is obliged to perform the obligations arising from it, up to the moment at which the insurer gains knowledge of its ratification or refusal.

3. The person who concludes such contract shall pay to the insurer the premium corresponding to the period underway at the moment when the latter had knowledge of the refusal of ratification.

Article 972

(Insurance for account of a third party, or for account of whom it may concern)

1. If it is not declared in the policy that insurance is for the account of a third party, it shall be considered as contracted for the account of the person who made it.

2. In insurance for the account of a third party, or for the account of whom it may concern, it is the holder who has the duty to perform the obligations arising from the contract, with the exception of those that can only be performed by the insured himself.

3. Rights arising from an insurance contract benefit the insured; the holder, even if he is in possession of the policy, cannot exercise these without express agreement from the insured.

4. The defenses arising from an insurance contract or from the law can be invoked against the insured.

5. The credit of the holder relating to premiums paid and expenses made with the contract has priority over the amounts due from the insurer, and shall be ranked after the credit of the victim of facts entailing civil liability.

Article 973

(Declaration of risk)

1. The insurance holder must, up to the moment of conclusion of the contract, declare to the insurer, in a complete and unequivocal manner, all circumstances known to him or that he reasonably should know of, which may influence the assessment of risk, irrespective of whether or not inserted in the questionnaire that was sent to him.

2. Whenever the insurer has sent to the insurance holder a questionnaire to be filled in by the latter, it is presumed that the circumstances mentioned in it influence the assessment of the risk.

3. If, before the issue of the policy, the insurer formulates questions in writing, namely by means of the questionnaire mentioned in the previous paragraphs, it cannot invoke lack of clarity of a response if the question was posed in a generic manner.

Article 974

(Omission or misrepresentation in bad faith of risk)

1. If, in bad faith, the insurance holder has omitted or misrepresented any of the circumstances mentioned in the previous article, the contract shall be voidable and the insurer can claim the return of any compensation already paid.

2. However, the insurer loses the right to invoke the voidability of the contract if it does not inform the insurance holder of its intention, within one month from the date at which it gained knowledge of such omission or misrepresentation.

3. The insurer has a right to matured premiums, including those referring to the period underway at the moment at which it informed the insurance holder of its intention to invoke the voidability of the contract.

4. If the insurance concerns several persons or distinct interests, the contract shall be valid in relation to those persons or those interests not related to the omission or misrepresentation.

Article 975

(Omission or misrepresentation of the risk without bad faith)

1. If the omission or misrepresentation of risk is not in bad faith, the insurer can, within two months from the date at which it gained knowledge of such, either rescind the contract by giving an advance notice of 15 days, or propose a new premium to the insurance holder.

2. If, within 15 days, the holder does not reply, or refuses the premium proposed, the insurer can rescind the contract within one month, by giving an advance notice of 15 days.

3. If an accident occurs before the omission or misrepresentation comes to the knowledge of the insurer, or before acceptance of the new premium by the insurance holder, or before rescission takes effect, the performance of the insurer shall be proportionally reduced to the difference between the premium agreed and that which would be due if the risk had been correctly declared.

4. If the insurance concerns several persons or distinct interests, the previous paragraph is not applicable in relation to those persons or those interests not related to the omission or misrepresentation.

Article 976

(Absence of risk)

1. An insurance contract shall be void if, at the moment of its conclusion, the risk has already disappeared, or if the accident has already occurred.

2. The previous paragraph does not apply to contracts of carriage insurance, unless the insurance holder knew of the termination of risk or, he or the insured, knew of the occurrence of the accident.

3. If only the insurance holder or the insured knew of the occurrence of an accident before the conclusion of the contract, the insurer has a right to reimbursement of any expenses made.

Article 977

(Termination of risk)

1. The contract shall lapse if, after its conclusion, the risk ceases.

2. However, the insurer has a right to the premium up to the moment at which the insurance holder gives notice of the termination of risk.

3. If the parties have conditioned the beginning of the application of a contract to a certain fact and the risk ceases before the occurrence of such fact, the insurer is entitled to the reimbursement of expenses made.

4. If the risk ceases by the occurrence of the accident, the insurer has a right to the premium corresponding to the period underway.

Article 978

(Reduction of risk)

1. If an insurance holder communicates to the insurer a reduction of the risk that may possibly influence the rate of the premium set, such premium shall be reduced in accordance with the tariffs applicable at the moment of the conclusion of the contract.

2. The lower premium is due from the moment at which the reduction of the risk was communicated to the insurer by the insurance holder, or by the insured.

3. If the insurer refuses a reduction of the premium in accordance with paragraph 1, the holder shall have the right to rescission of the contract.

4. A lack of reply by the insurer within the 15 days following the date at which such communication was received is equivalent to a refusal.

Article 979

(Increase of risk)

1. The insurance holder must communicate to the insurer, in a complete and unequivocal manner, within the eight days following knowledge of its occurrence, if another time limit is not stipulated, all circumstances that take place, or come to his knowledge during the validity of the contract, that imply an increase of the risk.

2. The insurer has the right to propose an increase of the premium, in accordance with the tariffs applicable at the time of knowledge of the risk increase, within one month from the day on which he knew of it.

3. If a new premium is agreed, it is due from the moment at which the increase of the risk took place.

4. If the insurance holder refuses to accept such premium increase, or does not reply within one month from the day on which he received the proposal, the insurer has the right to rescind the contract within 15 days, with an advance notice of an equal period.

5. The insurer has a right to premiums already matured, including that for the period underway at the moment of the communication of rescission.

Article 980

(Omission or misrepresentation of risk increase)

1. If, in bad faith, the insurance holder omits or misrepresents the risk increase, in the case of accident the insurer shall be released from its performance.

2. If the omission or misrepresentation of the risk increase is without bad faith, and if the accident occurs before a new premium has been agreed, or before rescission of the contract, the performance of the insurer shall be proportionally reduced to the difference between the premium paid and the premium that should have been paid after the increase.

3. The provisions of paragraph 4 of article 974 and of paragraph 4 of article 975 apply to the risk increase, with the necessary adaptations.

Article 981

(Insurance in name of or for account of a third party)

In case of insurance in the name or for the account of a third party, if such third party has knowledge of any omission or misrepresentation by the insurance holder, the provisions of articles 974, 975, 979 and 980 shall apply.

Article 982

(Accidents intentionally caused)

1. The insurer is not liable for damage arising from an accident intentionally caused by the insured or by the beneficiary.

2. Accidents caused in the performance of a moral or social duty, or to protect interests common to the insurer, are excluded from the previous paragraph.

Article 983

(Communication of accident)

1. Unless a longer time limit has been stipulated, the insurance holder, the insured, or the beneficiary shall communicate to the insurer an accident or an event, within eight days from the date on which it took place, unless they demonstrate that they had no knowledge of it, in which case the time limit starts from the moment when they gained knowledge.

2. The time limit mentioned in the previous paragraph is three days in case of insurance against theft or robbery.

3. In case of civil liability insurance, the holder must also communicate any claim from the victim, under the same conditions.

4. The non-performance of such duty of communication of an accident or event grants to the insurer the right to reduce the performance due in accordance with the damage suffered, unless it is proven that the insurer had knowledge of the accident or event, by other means, within the time limits stated in paragraphs 1 and 2.

5. If such communication is not made in writing, it is for the insurance holder to prove that the insurer had knowledge of it.

Article 984

(Information on circumstances and consequences of accident)

1. The insurance holder, the insured, the beneficiary, or whoever shows himself to have a right to the amount insured, must provide to the insurer, upon its request, all information on the circumstances and consequences of an accident or event that are in his knowledge.

2. Omission or the provision of incorrect or unclear information, due to negligence, grants to the insurer the right to reduce its performance in accordance with the damage suffered.

3. The insurer can, however, refuse to make payment if there is bad faith on the part of the insurance holder, the insured, the beneficiary, or whoever shows himself to have a right to the value of the insurance.

Article 985

(Rescission of contract in case of accident)

1. Except in the case of compulsory insurance, an insurer can, if foreseen in the policy, rescind the contract in case of accident, by means of a registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt, to be sent to the insurance holder, the insured, and the beneficiary, depending on the case.

2. Rescission only takes effect 30 days after the date of reception of the registered letters mentioned in the previous paragraph.

3. The insurer must return the part of the premium corresponding to the period during which the insurance ceased to apply.

Article 986

(Payment of premium)

1. Insurance premiums shall be paid punctually by the insurance holder, directly to the insurer or to another entity expressly appointed for such purpose by the insurer.

2. The premium or initial fraction is due at the date of conclusion of the contract.

3. If it is impossible to issue a receipt at the moment mentioned in the previous paragraph, the initial premiums or fractions are due on the tenth day after the date of issue of the receipt by the insurer.

4. The following premiums or fractions are due on the dates set in the policy, without prejudice to the provisions of the following paragraphs.

5. In contracts with variable premiums, the following premiums or fractions are due on the date of issue of the respective receipt.

6. In open policy insurance contracts, the premiums or fractions of the successive applications are due on the date of issue of the respective receipt.

7. Unless the contract is annulled or rescinded, the premium corresponding to each period of duration of the contract is due in its entirety, without prejudice to the possibility of being divided for the purpose of payment, in accordance with the respective policy.

Article 987

(Notice for payment of premium)

1. The insurer is obliged, up to eight days before maturity of the premium, to give notice in writing to the insurance holder, indicating the date and the amount due; such notice is not necessary in the case of initial premiums or fractions, if the validity of the contract is dependent upon the respective payment.

2. The notice mentioned in the previous paragraph must mention the consequences of lack of payment of the premium, namely the date from which the contract shall be automatically rescinded in accordance with the following article.

3. In case of doubt, the burden of proof regarding the notice mentioned in paragraph 1 falls upon the insurer.

Article 988

(Lack of payment of premium)

1. In case of lack of payment of the premium or fraction by the date indicated in the respective notice, the insurance holder becomes in delay and, 30 days from that date, the contract shall be considered automatically rescinded.

2. The contract remains fully in force during the period mentioned in the previous paragraph.

Article 989

(Unpaid premiums or fractions)

1. Rescission, in accordance with paragraph 1 of the previous article, does not release the insurance holder from the obligation to pay the due premiums or fractions that correspond to the period during which the contract was in force, in addition to any penalties contractually agreed.

2. The insurer must include in the insurance contract proposal a declaration by the insurance holder on whether the risk that he intends to insure has already been covered, totally or partly, by any contract in relation to which there are unpaid debits or premiums.

Article 990

(Exclusion)

Articles 986 to 989 do not apply to life insurance or to temporary insurance agreed for periods of less than 90 days.

Article 991

(Obligation of insurer)

1. The insurer must make its performance promptly to whoever it may be due, in accordance with the insurance contract.

2. If, for reasons imputable to the insurer, the performance is not fulfilled within 60 days from the date at which the insurer gained knowledge of the accident and of its circumstances and consequences, a compensation corresponding to the double of the default interest rate shall be added to the amount due.

3. However, the creditor of the performance can prove that the delay by the insurer in the fulfillment of the performance caused damage greater than the amount mentioned in the previous paragraph.

Article 992

(Duration of contract)

1. The period of insurance shall be one year, if no other is set by the law or stipulated by the parties.

2. In the absence of communication to the contrary, the contract shall be renewed for one-year periods.

3. The communication mentioned in the previous paragraph shall be made with an advance notice of one month, by means of a registered letter or, regarding the holder, either by means of a declaration presented to the insurer, or by any other means stipulated in the policy.

4. Contracts agreed for an undetermined period of time can be rescinded by any of the parties by means of an advance notice of three months in relation to the end of each one-year period, counted from the beginning of the contract.

5. This article does not apply to life insurance.

Article 993

(Limitation of actions)

1. All actions derived from an insurance contract shall be barred after two years in case of insurance against damage, and within five years in case of insurance of persons, counted from the day on which the fact that is the basis of the claim took place, unless it is only later known by the interested party.

2. In civil liability insurance the period of limitation of actions by the insurance holder against the insurer runs from the day on which a third party asked the insured for compensation or initiated legal proceedings against him.

3. Communication to the insurer of a claim for compensation or initiation of legal proceedings suspends the counting of time for the purpose of limitation of actions, until the credit of the victim becomes liquid and claimable, by means of a judicial decision that can no longer be appealed, or by acknowledgment of debt, or by settlement between the parties.

4. In civil liability insurance, the action by the victim against the insurer shall be barred in accordance with general rules.

Article 994

(Lapse)

All actions derived from an insurance contract shall lapse 10 years from the date of occurrence of the fact on which they are based, unless they are already pending.

CHAPTER II

INSURANCE AGAINST DAMAGE

SECTION I

GENERAL PROVISIONS

Article 995

(Insurable interest)

1. A contract of insurance against damages shall be void if, at the moment of its conclusion, there is no interest of the insured in the compensation of the damage.

2. Any direct or indirect economic interest that a person may have in the non-occurrence of a risk can be the object of insurance.

3. If such interest is limited to a part of a good that is insured in its totality, or to a right related to it, its insurance shall be considered as made for the account of all interested parties.

Article 996

(Defects of good insured)

1. Unless there is an agreement to the contrary, the insurer is not liable for damage to insured goods arising from their own defects.

2. If a defect in the goods increased the damage, the insurer shall be liable to the extent to which the damage would be compensated by it if the defect did not exist.

3. If the damage results from a defect of the insured goods and from another fact likely to generate liability of the insurer, the latter shall compensate in proportion to the influence exerted by such fact on the occurrence of the damage.

Article 997

(Value of insured good)

1. The compensation due by the insurer to the insured cannot exceed the value of the good at the time of the accident.

2. The parties can, when concluding a contract, agree in writing on the value of the insured good; unless evidence to the contrary is produced, it shall be deemed that such value corresponds to the real value of the good at the time of the accident.

3. Parties can agree that the compensation to be paid by the insurer shall correspond to the value of the insured good as if it was new.

Article 998

(Loss of profits)

1. An insurer is only liable for loss of profits if it is expressly agreed.

2. In insurance of loss of profits, the compensation due by the insurer corresponds, within the limits of the law and of the contract, to the value of the economic income that could have been achieved by an act or activity, if the accident mentioned in the contract had not occurred.

Article 999

(Mandatory deductible)

1. The parties can stipulate that a certain amount or percentage of the insured capital is mandatorily not covered, and should not be the object of another insurance.

2. If, in bad faith, the stipulation mentioned in the previous paragraph is not respected, the contract shall cease to produce effect and the insurer can rescind it within one month from the date at which it gained knowledge of the other insurance, having a right to the premium related to the period underway.

Article 1000

(Insurance of a value lower than insurable value)

1. If at the moment of the accident, the insured amount is lower than the insurable value, the insurer shall compensate the damage in accordance with the respective proportion.

2. The application of the rule of proportionality mentioned in the previous paragraph can be excluded, by an express written agreement in the policy or subsequently.

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^ ] Commercial Code - Table of Contents ] Commercial Code - Table of Article ] Decree-Law no. 40/99/M ] Commercial Code - Art. 1 - 100 ] Commercial Code - Art. 101 - 200 ] Commercial Code - Art. 201 - 300 ] Commercial Code - Art. 301 - 400 ] Commercial Code - Art. 401 - 500 ] Commercial Code - Art. 501 - 600 ] Commercial Code - Art. 601 - 700 ] Commercial Code - Art. 701 - 800 ] Commercial Code - Art. 801 - 900 ] [ Commercial Code - Art. 901 - 1000 ] Commercial Code - Art.1001 - 1100 ] Commercial Code - Art. 1101 - 1200 ] Commercial Code - Art. 1201 - 1268 ]


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