Sign writing charges

Dear Editor,

You may or may not be aware that in the Lagos area the Câmara includes sign writing on vehicles under this “law”.

I have recently had experience of this discriminatory “ruling”.

I have a company and my son in the Netherlands offered to sign write my tiny Peugeot 1007 as a Christmas present (part of his business) while my husband and I were in the Netherlands. This he did on Christmas Day.

When we returned to Almadena (near Lagos) we were informed that some Câmaras require a payment for sign writing.

I visited Lagos Câmara, initially to be told that there was no table of costs but the young lady on reception thought the cost was a one off payment of 7.50 Euros per square metre.

I completed the appropriate forms and provided photographs of the vehicle from four sides.

Imagine my horror when I subsequently received a demand for 321 Euros, to be paid annually !

I immediately visited the Câmara – fuming!

I spoke to a different receptionist who informed me there was a Tabela and gave me a copy.

Again imagine my horror when I read in the small print that I was to be charged five times the normal cost as some of the language used was not Portuguese.

I had 15 days to appeal/ object so my husband and I compiled a letter – in Portuguese – citing blatant discrimination, something surely not permitted under European Law and asked for an explanation of the logic behind such a law.

I took it, addressed to the President of the Câmara, and handed it in personally and asked for a stamped copy.

Weeks later I received a letter stating the “law” covering billboards did not, in fact, cover sign writing on vehicles BUT they had changed the law so it now covers vehicles.

Just like that. No mention of the logic behind the “law”.

So once again I had 15 days to appeal/ object, which I have done using virtually the same letter. To date I have not receive a reply.

My husband and I have spoken to a number of business people with sign writing on their vehicles, some with fleets of vehicles. Most knew nothing about the “law” and a few knew about it but ignored it.

None had ever been asked to produce documentation concerning this as they felt the GNR were generally more interested in seeing inventories for every last thing in the vehicle.

All communication both oral and in writing has been using the Portuguese Language.

I hope this information is of use to you and your readers. If I can be of further assistance, like organising a demonstration or petition.

Please let me know.

Martha Gazzard

by email