Your regular update for technical and industry information

Your regular update for technical and industry information

Portugal enacted the decree on the use of ‘Leather’ and related terminologies


On 4 January 2022, the Presidency of the Council of Ministers of Portugal approved the Decree Law No. 3/20221, on the definition and use of various terminologies related to leather materials.

According to this Decree Law, for the purpose of sale and advertising of products, the terms ‘couro’ (leather), ‘pele’ (skin), ‘pele curtida’ (tanned skin)’, ‘couro revestido (coated leather)’, among others, their derivatives or synonyms shall not be used for the materials that do not meet the defined characteristics.

The Decree Law also prohibits use of such terminologies (in any languages) even as prefixes or suffixes with other words to identify materials that do not meet the defined criteria. 



Leather and tanned skins (‘Couro e peles curtidas (curtidos))

  • A product obtained from animal skin which retains its original fibrous structure more or less intact, 
  • Tanned to prevent rotting,
  • Hair or wool may or may not have been removed, 
  • May have been splitted into layers or segmented either before or after tanning, 
  • Coating, if applied, must not be thicker than 0.15 mm.

NOTE: If the tanned hide has lost its natural structure, as it has been mechanically or chemically disintegrated into fibrous particles, small particles or powder, and then reconstituted, after combining or not with a binding agent, in sheets or other forms, it cannot be considered leather or tanned skin.

Full grain leather 
(‘Couro de flor integral’) 

Leather that retain its original grain surface as exposed by removal of the epidermis and with none of the surface removed by buffing, snuffing or splitting.

Coated Leather (‘Couro revestido) 

Leather with surface coating that does not exceed one third of the total thickness but more than 0.15 mm.

Crust leather (‘Croute de couro’) 

Leather with complete removal of the grain layer.

Verification of conformity of the products needs to be done in accordance with the latest version of the standards EN/ISO 17131 and EN 15987. 

The Decree law became effective from 1 January 2022, however, the materials and products placed on the market before entry into force of this Decree Law, can be sold till 31 December 2022. 



[1]  Decree Law No. 3/2022

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