The Ministry of Infrastructure established new rules and procedures for the exploration of idle port areas, authorizing port authorities to cede idle areas to commercial activities. They are designed to foster the sustainable use of port areas, while reducing bureaucratic procedures.

Ordinance n. 51/2021 from the Ministry of Infrastructure enacted rules and procedures for the direct and indirect exploration of idle port areas – areas that, in accordance with a port’s Zoning and Development Plan (PDZ, in the Portuguese acronym), are not reserved for the movement of passengers or the movement and storage of cargo. The ordinance authorized port administration authorities to cede those areas, or grant authorizations of use for those areas, to commercial activities (article 3).

According to the Ministry of Infrastructure, the new measures grant more autonomy to port administration authorities, designed to foster the sustainable use of port areas, providing additional sources of revenue, while reducing bureaucratic procedures.

Indirect exploration (for third-party commercial activities) is provided under two mechanisms, the cession of use (for up to 20 years), whose rules are described in articles 11 to 19; and the authorization of use (for up to 90 days), whose rules are described in articles 7 to 10. Additionally, a cession of use may require government approval, detailed in articles 4 to 6, and must follow the contractual rules provided in articles 24 to 26.

The ordinance also provided rules and procedures for free-of-charge cession of use, temporary exploration of non-idle areas, and revitalization of port areas. Port administration authorities must also observe the dispositions of article 39, related to the submission of contractual information to the National Waterway Transport Agency (ANTAQ).