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Italy: New Statute of the Italian Port Authority

(Oct. 6, 2016) On September 2, 2016, new legislation on the Italian Port Authority (known as AdSP in Italian) was issued. (Legislative Decree No. 169 of August 4, 2016, Reorganization, Rationalization, and Simplification of the Legislation on the Port Authority Regulated by Law No. 84 of January 28, 1994, Implementing Article 8, Paragraph 1(f), of Law No. 124 of August 7, 2015 (L.D. No. 169), GAZETTA UFFICIALE, No. 203 (Aug. 31, 2016), NORMATTIVA (in Italian).) The law regulates not only the central AdSP but also its territorial offices. (Id. art. 1(1).)

The purpose of the new legislation is to make the Italian port system compatible with a European Union Regulation of 2013. (Regulation (EU) No 1315/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 on Union guidelines for the Development of the Trans-European Transport Network and Repealing Decision No 661/2010/EU, Text with EEA relevance (Dec. 11, 2013) EURLEX.) The main measures adopted by the legislation include the creation of a single national port authority, as well as the establishment of a “front office” for all administrative procedures related to commercial and industrial activities performed at Italian ports. In addition, the law creates the “Partnership Mechanism for Maritime Resources,” and the territorial offices of the AdSP. New provisions also seek to provide a holistic approach to environmental and sustainability issues at Italian ports. (Entra in vigore la riforma delle Autorità Portuali [The Reform of the Port Authority Enters Into Effect] E TRASPORTO EUROPA (Sept. 1, 2016).)

The AdSP

The AdSP is a public, non-for- profit entity of national importance, subject to a specific legislative and regulatory regime and with administrative, organizational, regulatory, fiscal, and financial autonomy. (L.D. No. 169, art. 7(5).) The Ministry of Infrastructure and Transportation oversees the AdSP, and the National Court of Auditors controls its accounts. (Id. art. 7(7) & (9).)

Guiding Principles

L.D. No. 169 provides that the planning of port system activities must be made in accordance with energy and environmental sustainability criteria and the applicable European Union directives. (Id. art. 5(1).) In particular, the reduction of CO2 emissions is a major planning objective. (Id. art. 5(2).) The law directs the authorities to constantly monitor their planned activities, in order to achieve energy and environmental efficiency goals. (Id. art. 5(3)(c).)

Functions of the AdSP

Among the functions to be exercised by the AdSP are: (a) the planning, coordination, regulation, promotion, and control of port operations and services, including the issuance of authorizations of use and concessions for commercial and industrial activities; (b) the maintenance of common areas of the ports, including the seabed; and (c) coordination of the administrative activities of other entities and public organs located port and seaside areas. (Id. art. 7(4)(a)-(b) & (d).)

The Management Committee

The Management Committee, one of the main bodies of the AdSP, is appointed and presided over by the President and exercises the power to grant concessions for a period not to exceed four years; the Management Committee is also in charge of hiring minor ordinary maintenance and construction workers (Id. art. 8(1)(c).) Management Committee members include representatives appointed by regional and local authorities. (Id. art. 11(1).) Representatives of each port may also attend Management Committee meetings. (Id. art. 11(1-bis).) The Management Committee also appoints a Secretary General, upon the proposal of the President. (Id. arts. 11(5) & 12(1)(a).) The AdSP may establish a decentralized administrative office in each province whose officers perform the responsibilities of the Management Committee in that region for a four-year term that may be renewed once. (Id. art. 8(2).)

College of Account Auditing

The Ministry of Infrastructure and Transportation appoints the three members of the College of Account Auditing, who serve for a four-year term. (Id. art. 13(1)&(2).) The College’s tasks include the review of all accounting records of AdSP authorities and of the entities and individuals who conduct business with the AdSP authorities. (Id. art. 13(3)(a).)

Additional Institutions

L.D. No. 169 creates an institution called the “Partnership Mechanism for Maritime Resources,” which includes all the authorities of the AdSP. (Id. art. 14(1).) The Partnership is composed of representatives of shipowners; industrial entrepreneurs; freight forwarders; agents and maritime consignees (intermediaries who hold property on behalf of another); haulers; and logistics service providers, rail operators, workers of companies, and the tourist or commercial agents operating in the port. (Id. art. 14(1).)

The law creates in each port a Consultative Commission, composed of representatives of the public and private sectors, to provide non-binding advice to AdSP bodies. (Id. art. 17(1)(a).) The AdSP also administers a Single Administrative Window (SUA, in Italian), as an administrative tool to carry out all administrative procedures and issue authorizations. (Id. art. 18(1); La Riforma e i suoi tanti dubbi. I tempi per le scelte dei nuovi presidenti e i troppi “niet” dal territorio [The Reform and its Many Doubts. The Time for the Election of New Presidents and Too Many “Niet”s from the Territory], LA GAZETTA MARITTIMA (Aug. 31, 2016).)

Master Plan for Port Management

 The execution of port works is subject to a Master Plan for the Port System approved by the competent authorities. (L.D. No. 169, art. 6(1)(a).) The Master Plan comprehensively regulates the ports of the Italian port system, including areas destined for industrial production, and of the related road and railroad infrastructure, among other aspects. (Id. art. 6(1)(b).) The AdSP Management Committee carries out the environmental evaluation of the Master Plan in consultation with the relevant municipalities. (Id. art. 6(1)(c).)

The law allows regional authorities to request that the central authorities amend current regulations to allow the administration of a port with national or regional economic relevance be transferred to the respective region. (Id. art. 7(1)(2-bis)(a).)