Since 2015 Portugal has more strictly enforced a long-standing law requiring anyone providing paid holiday accommodation to record the entry, exit, and identification details of all non-Portuguese nationals who use that accommodation. This law has been brought into force in Portugal and most other EU countries at some point since the gradual implementation of the 1990 Schengen Agreement that aims to stop human trafficking and other illegal practices. In this case, it is specifically Article 45 of the Schengen Agreement and the recent Alojamento Local law in Portugal that has brought this rule into sharper focus.

The governing body that monitors the movement of foreigners is SEF (Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras or the Immigration and Borders Service). If you need further information, they can be contacted at + 351 217 115 057 or per email at siba@sef.pt

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Reproduction of Article 45 of the Schengen agreement:

Article 45

1. The Contracting Parties undertake to adopt the necessary measures in order to ensure that:

(a) the managers of establishments providing accommodation or their agents see to it that aliens accommodated therein, including nationals of the other Contracting Parties and those of other Member States of the European Communities, with the exception of accompanying spouses or accompanying minors or members of travel groups, personally complete and sign registration forms and confirm their identity by producing a valid identity document;

(b) the completed registration forms will be kept for the competent authorities or forwarded to them where such authorities deem this necessary for the prevention of threats, for criminal investigations or for clarifying the circumstances of missing persons or accident victims, save where national law provides otherwise.

2. Paragraph 1 shall apply mutatis mutandis to persons staying in any commercially rented accommodation, in particular tents, caravans and boats.