Recent changes in the legislation via Presidential Decree of a new administrative regime for Venezuelan Public Ports
Maritime newsletter- Venezuela
On July 11th of the current year the President enacted by Presidential Decree published in Official Gazette No. 40.941, the so-called «Gran Mision Abastecimiento Soberano y Seguro” (hereinafter «Gran Mision” or the «Program”). The main purpose of this Government Program was to, inter alia, provide a boost to the national productive system and enforce the availability and distribution of certain relevant products associated with the food, pharmaceutical, personal, household and hygiene industries.
The Presidential Decree introduced the incorporation of a new Council to guarantee the efficiency of the system. This Council, which is led by the Minister of Defense Vladimir Padrino Lopez, has the power (in respect of the products associated with the above industries): i) to set all kinds of steps necessary to improve the productive sector; ii) dictate rules and regulations regarding its purchase, sale, distribution and trade in general; iii) fix and promote new and special financial mechanisms; iv) help improve and simplify all administrative procedures; v) dictate rules to control and enforce the compliance of all formal duties imposed therein; and as well as any other guidelines and rules aimed for the rightful implementation of the Governmental Program.
Moreover, this new Program takes control of everything related to the productive and distribution chains, forcing all private and public industries to redirect a percentage of their inventories to entities determined by this Council. The Program at the head of the President of Venezuela and Minister of Defense, Military General Vladimir Padrino Lopez, is intended to provide the President and Minister with all extraordinary powers to set and dictate all necessary measures to guarantee and ensure the supply of all essential goods to the people of Venezuela.
Following the creation of the aforementioned «Gran Mision”, the President announced the incorporation of the so-called «Autoridades Unicas” for the ports of: Guanta, La Guaira, Puerto Cabello, Maracaibo and Margarita. The General has stated that this is not to be considered a military intervention.
Please note, that besides the creation of the “Gran Mision” and the publication of the Decree in the Official Gazette, which does not include any special mention to ports, the above is still developing. We are certain that further regulations shall follow this Decree and shall come back with more information in due course.
By Juan Itriago and Cristina Mujica
Clyde & Co Caracas