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Ponta Delgada ,  December 05, 2013

IRAE carried out over 1,700 inspections to combat parallel economy

The Regional Inspectorate of Economic Activities (IRAE) has conducted 1,706 inspections under the Operation Plan to Combat Parallel Economy, an initiative implemented by the Government of the Azores.

According to this plan, the main goals for 2013 concerned the implementation of an educational action in the sectors where this phenomenon tends to occur more frequently and the targeting of 60 percent of the scheduled inspections at unregistered economic activities, commonly designated as parallel economy.

IRAE has surpassed the goals defined in the first quarter of this year, when the Plan to Combat Parallel Economy was created. This body has monitored a total of 24 economic activities, including trade, restaurants, street vendors, auto repair shops, construction, and hairdressers, among others.

The inspections have been conducted on all islands of the archipelago. In this context, it should be mentioned that 41 percent of these actions were carried out on São Miguel, 17 percent on Pico, 16 percent on Faial and 11 percent on Terceira; the remaining actions were conducted on the other five islands.

In addition to the activities developed under the scheduled inspections, IRAE has also implemented other programmed measures, including the sharing of the Plan to Combat Parallel Economy with social partners, organisation of awareness raising actions for businesspeople and consumers and the development of an educational programme on the need to combat parallel economy; the latter will disseminated in schools in 2014.

The study on the size of parallel economy by the Observatory for Economics and Fraud, the increased coordination between the supervisory bodies of the Autonomous Region of the Azores, the mutual cooperation with non-governmental entities, namely PSP and GNR (security forces), Tax and Customs Authorities and the Maritime Policy, and the establishment of cooperation protocols to combat parallel economy were other actions developed by IRAE.

With a scheduled update in the first quarter of 2014, the Operational Plan to Combat Parallel Economy will be maintained in 2014 in order to intensify the fight against an illegal activity that, according to estimates, represents 32 percent of the total economic activity in the Region.

Parallel economy is neither reflected in the official Gross Domestic Product of the Azores nor included in its quantification. In fact, a relevant amount of goods bypass the official economic circuits with the clear intent of avoiding taxes, Social Security contributions and the payment of salaries, as provided in the law.


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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