Colombia to issue port expansion strategy

In March, Colombia is to issue its official policy towards port expansion.

According to the National Council for Economic and Social Policy (CONPES), this will involve both concessionaires and contractors in setting their own tariff policies.

The main thrust of the policy will be to strengthen institutions, adjust the compensation formula, guarantee tariff freedom and identify future investment for strategic projects.

Details of the plan first began emerging in May 2017; it has undergone fine-tuning since then, said César Peñaloza, under-secretary of Infrastructure.

The need to provide compensation funding for so-called low water areas in particular is under review. This currently takes place in both terminals in Caribbean and Pacific ports, despite the fact that these are not used at the latter. At present, Pacific ports receive these payments irrespective of need, an issue that is to be reviewed.

Tariffs, presently set for wharfage, use of facilities, storage and utilities, will be reviewed to enable greater latitude in charging for these, as well as for pilotage, towing, mooring, loading and unloading, among others.

In future, prices will have to be published to avoid anti-competitive practices from being established.

The government also wants costs to be reduced and productivity increased.

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