The Federal Government sanctioned Law n. 14.047/2020, revising the “Ports Law” (Law 12.815/2013), in order to incorporate private sector suggestions with regard to lease contract management. It also provided new pandemic-related labor rules. Price freedom, regulatory simplification and legal security were reinforced.

Law n. 14.047/2020 amended the Ports Law (Law 12.815/2013) with the goal of making its regulatory framework more dynamic and the sector more competitive. It reinforces price freedom, regulatory simplification and legal security.

The law loosened regulation on lease contract management, incorporating exemption from public bidding when only one interested bidder is identified, by replacing it with a public call. This exemption is also mandated when the lease contract of port facilities destined for moving cargo concerns temporary operations, for up to 48 months, by non-regularly operating companies (non-established market).

The law provided that lease contracts concluded by third parties and the concessionary, included those whose object is the operation of port facilities, shall be ruled by Private law.

The new law also delegated to the National Water Transportation Agency (ANTAQ) the regulation of other operational methods in port areas and facilities not provided by the law.

It also interpreted the sector as an essential business, and thus implemented two additional pandemic-related measures for port workers classified as Independent Port Workers (TPAs, in the Portuguese acronym):

  • TPAs for cargo operation shall be only hired remotely (by electronic means); and
  • In case of unavailable TPAs (strike or normal operation related), the port operator can freely hire workers with a limited employment relationship (up to 12 months), for specific services.

Law n. 14.047/2020 resulted from the conversion of Provisional Measure n. 945/2020 into law.