Thousands of building firms shut down

Nearly 5,000 companies from the Portuguese construction sector will no longer have building permits in 2005, the president of IMOPPI, the Institute of Markets of Public Works, Particulars and Furniture, has announced.

“These companies were struck off and stripped of trading rights for next year for not conforming to the new law 12/2004, which comes into effect from January 9,” said IMOPPI President, Hipólito Ponce Leão, at a press conference in Lisbon.

The new legislation requires that construction companies comply with certain legal requirements in relation to identification and financial and business management. Accurate figures for volume of business, as well as personnel and capital expenditure, must be released. “IMOPPI has 46,000 subscribed companies, of which 25,000 are unregistered,” stressed the president of the institution. “From the latter group, 5,000 have failed to abide by the criteria of the new legislation. These will not be granted building permits next year.”

Over the last two years, IMOPPI has intensified inspections with the objective of distinguishing between legal and illegal companies. “We have to do away with illegal companies and unfair competition in the sector, such as the use of unlicensed sub-contractors,” said the IMOPPI president. Leão warned that some companies are changing the declarations they submit to the Finanças, thus failing to match the figures submitted to the institute, in order to obtain construction permits.

IMOPPI also publicised the results of checks it carried out between December 1 and December 3. The checks were made to alert professionals in the construction sector about mandatory compliance with rules. Teams from the IMOPPI Inspection Department visited 23 construction sites in Braga, 30 in Leiria, nine in Setúbal and 18 in the Algarve. The inspections covered a total of 165 contractors and sub-contractors in Braga, Leiria, Setúbal and the Algarve. From this list only three companies in Braga, five in Leiria, one in Setúbal and six in the Algarve were in compliance with the IMOPPI rules. Inspection teams from IMOPPI will now re-visit the sites in question to ensure that they now comply with the law.