The proposals prepared by a work group created by the Ministry of Transportation, Ports and Civil Aviation (MTPAC) to unfetter investments and reduce the red tape in the port sector processes are under analysis at the Office of the President’s Chief of Staff. The draft will still return for new examination by the Ministry’s legal department. Then, the draft proposal may already be published so that the private initiative may learn about the new rules.
MTPAC created a work group formed by representatives of the Ministry and the National Waterway Transportation Agency (Antaq) to adjust the legislation of the port sector to modern requirements. The purpose is to propose new procedures and adequate the currently established ones in order to allow for the fostering of the port activities in Brazil, including the solicitation of foreign investors.
According to the Ministry, it took the group three months of work and 30 further meetings, which included getting together with entities of the sector.
Among the prepared proposals is the extension of the port terminal concession periods to 10 years more. The plan is that the areas may be exploited by the private initiative for 35 years, extendable for an equal period of time.
Today, the port leasing agreements have duration of 25 years, extendable for an equal period. It is expected that, as from the decree, the time period for exploitation of the areas may jump to 35 years under same conditions.
The plan would be valid only for new lessees. However, a precedent may be set so that lessees with shorter lease agreements may attempt to adapt accordingly.
Besides said matter, the Ministry work group is assessing the possibility of enlarging the areas and unifying the contracts, provided that they have same lessees. In this case, however, the separate bidding processes for the pieces of land may not be deemed feasible.
Specialists consulted by ‘A Tribuna’ point out that the increase in the lease periods will provide more ease, safety and profitability to investors in the short run. Nevertheless, the plan has still to come along with adaptations.
One of these adaptations concerns the possibility of adjusting the already existing contracts to the new period. Moreover, issues such as the decentralization of decisions concerning the port sector and the professionalization of the port management were reminded as necessary to ensure advancements and increase the competitiveness of the Brazilian ports.