At a recent public hearing, the National Agency for Road Transportation announced the following proposals for new regulations on the use of railways:
- Proceedings 115/2011 on the Proposal for Regulations on Right of Passage and Mutual Traffic Operations; and
- Proceedings 116/2011 on the Proposal for Regulations to Covenant the Objectives of Production by Route and the Safety Goals for the Public Service Concessionaires of Railway Transport of Cargoes.
Following its recent participatory public hearing, the agency hopes to obtain further suggestions and constructive criticism on the proposals from interested parties, including users' representatives and existing concessionaires.
The proposal for the right of passage and mutual traffic aims to govern "the procedures relative to the sharing of the railway infrastructure and operational resources with the purpose of achieving an operational integration of the National Railway System".
According to this proposal, "the sharing of the railway infrastructure or of operational resources will take place by means of mutual traffic, or in the impossibility thereof, by means of the right of passage". The proposed text also states that "in the railway routes in which there is [no] idle capacity for exercising the right of passage or mutual traffic, the investments for capacity expansion may be made by the assignor or by the applicant". Moreover, the proposal defines the mechanism for calculating the tariff to be collected through the exercise of such rights.
On the other hand, the proposal for the regulation of procedures for setting productivity goals in railway concessions aims to guarantee users adequate services.
The proposals collectively aim to make the system more competitive and transparent.
The representatives of railway system users largely support the agency's proposals, despite complaints regarding the availability of the service for handling cargoes, as well as the lack of transparent criteria in setting out tariffs.
However, the proposals have been harshly criticised by concessionaires. In their view, the proposals are insufficient to render the market competitive. They would prefer that the existing regulatory model be maintained and improved.
On June 8 2011 the agency closed the period for receiving submissions on the proposals and will now deliberate on the regulations to be implemented. Meanwhile, the controversy continues.
For further information on this topic please contact Godofredo Mendes Vianna at Law Offices Carl Kincaid by telephone (+55 21 2276 6200), fax (+55 21 2253 4259) or email ([email protected]).