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Date: April 27

The legislative initiative seeks to facilitate cabotage between ports in the interior of the country, and expedite humanitarian aid during states of emergency.

The Ministry of Transport and Communications (MTC) presented a bill for the promotion of cabotage, so that foreign fleets also participate in this service, which consists of the transport of cargo and passengers between ports in the country. The legislative initiative will be presented by the MTC to the Council of Ministers, in coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism (Mincetur), which had expressed a position in favor of promoting cabotage. One of the objectives of the project in question, said the head of the MTC, Paola Lazarte, will be to avoid market shortages in emergency situations due to natural events. The minister explained that, for example, if there were roadblocks, the cabotage service could transport merchandise, food and also people.

What would the new cabotage law allow?

This bill, the minister affirmed, enables the MTC to be able to promote cabotage through articulation mechanisms that can consolidate cargo and improve infrastructure, and thus generate interest from shipping companies in providing this type of service.

Cargo consolidation is a logistics operation by which multiple individual orders for the transport of merchandise are grouped into a single shipment, in order to reduce freight, among other logistics costs.

Likewise, the Minister of Transportation said that the project will create a new regime that promotes the cabotage service, except for the mandatory requirements of incorporation in the country and obtaining an operating permit, for a period of three years, subject to extension. .

The latter means that foreign-flagged maritime transport companies may also carry out cabotage, since the regulation of this service establishes that it must be carried out only by national fleet.

Before, exceptionally, a rule allowed, for a period of three years, vessels from other countries to also carry out cabotage, in response to the El Niño emergency of 2017, although said exception expired weeks ago and said restriction on foreign ships was resumed. .

What problems prevent the development of cabotage in the country?

Furthermore, according to the MTC, the proposed regulation seeks to implement conditions that allow the development of supervised innovation programs, addressing the main problems facing the development of cabotage.

Among the latter, he cited operational and administrative procedures; absence of transit zones for national cabotage cargo; inadequate port infrastructure and lack of port facilities for the handling of merchandise, as well as a lack of infrastructure for passenger cabotage. Cabotage service for humanitarian purposes.

Similarly, the MTC indicated that it has been working on a resolution that will allow the authorization of maritime transport companies to provide the cabotage service for humanitarian purposes.

The procedure provided for in a ministerial resolution allows the MTC to expeditiously authorize the ships that have requested their registration in the Ship Registry in order to provide the maritime cabotage service for humanitarian aid, in the context of heavy rains and fall of huaicos that have harmed thousands of Peruvian families.

This measure seeks to facilitate the flow of commercial traffic and the supply of essential products for the population, for humanitarian aid purposes, considering that other means of transportation are affected by the interruption of roads due to the fall of mudslides.

The ministry specified that from August last year to date, there are six shipping companies comprising 38 ships, authorized to provide cabotage service in the country.

CCL: cabotage must be given permanently

For his part, Alberto Ego Aguirre, president of the Port and Maritime Affairs Committee of the Lima Chamber of Commerce (CCL), considered that the Cabotage Law should be an instrument of permanent use, with equal rights and obligations for investors. domestic and foreign.

And it is that the aforementioned bill contemplates peremptory terms for the participation of foreign companies, of up to three years in cabotage operations. "(The new law) must be open and not be subject to time limits or cumbersome procedures that may generate corruption; subject to Peruvian and international laws, without being subject to flag issues, without preference or restrictions on national or foreign cargo ”, he stated.

In this line, he considered that the bill in question should be seen with the foreign trade user unions, to gather technical opinions.

Source : Gestión