Port operations

Approval

What government approvals are required in your jurisdiction for a port operator to commence operations following construction? How long does it typically take to obtain approvals?

In order to start operating the newly constructed item of port infrastructure, the operator must obtain permission for commencement of operations, which may be applied for upon completion of construction. An application must be accompanied by a substantial number of documents that confirm the object’s acceptance and compliance with various applicable standards. Competent authorities must issue the permission for commencement of operations within 10 days of an application. However, owing to the need to gather all the supporting documentation, preparation to apply may take several months.

If the terminal in question is intended for handling dangerous cargo, it will also be necessary for an operator to obtain the respective licence. Together with the preparation period, this may take two to three months.

Typical services

What services does a port operator and what services does the port authority typically provide in your jurisdiction? Do the port authorities typically charge the port operator for any services?

This differs greatly from port to port, as in some areas services related to cargo operations may be rendered by state organisations (though not port authorities as such). However, normally, state companies and port authorities would render services relating to safety of navigation, security, etc, while private enterprises would render port fleet services, cargo operation services, servicing of passengers, etc.

Access to hinterland

Does the government or relevant port authority typically give any commitments in relation to access to the hinterland? To what extent does it require the operator to finance development of access routes or interconnections?

These issues are determined on a project-by-project basis.

Suspension

How do port authorities in your jurisdiction oversee terminal operations and in what circumstances may a port authority require the operator to suspend them?

The Federal Agency for Maritime and River Transport is the authority that supervises ports on an everyday level. Control over the operators’ activities is exercised by a number of methods, including inspections and licensing, among others. The operation of a terminal may be suspended in case of emergency or violation of the safety requirements or other licensing requirements (if applicable).

Port access and control

In what circumstances may the port authorities in your jurisdiction access the port area or take over port operations?

Essentially, a port area is open to port authorities whenever they are exercising their duties, particularly when conducting state control over the activities of the operators. Port operations can be taken over in case of emergency.

Failure to operate and maintain

What remedies are available to the port authority or government against a port operator that fails to operate and maintain the port as agreed?

An operator that fails to operate the port facility in accordance with the applicable regulations or agreement may:

  • lose its licence (where applicable);
  • have the facility’s operations suspended;
  • be subject to fines; or
  • face other administrative sanctions.

The operator’s officers may also be subject to administrative and criminal liability for the violations committed.

If the operator is bound by an agreement with state bodies, such an agreement may be terminated in the case of a substantial breach of such a contract.

Transferrable assets

What assets must port operators transfer to the relevant port authority on termination of a concession? Must port authorities pay any compensation for transferred assets?

The operator will be required to return the principal object of the concession to the state authority, as well as any property that must be returned or transferred to the concedent in accordance with the concession agreement.