On 1 January 2011 Law 33/2010 of 5 August came into effect, amending Law 48/2003 of 26 November, on the economic regime and provision of services in ports of general interest. This legal reform modifies in its article 1 the economic regime of the state-owned port system in order to guarantee the improvement of the system’s effectiveness and efficiency, improving its management and boosting its competitiveness in a strongly competitive international context.
The multiplicity of legal regulations that had hitherto prevailed in port-related and Merchant Marine matters, among them Law 27/1992 of 24 November on State Ports and the Merchant Marine, Law 62/1997 of 26 December amending Law 27/1992 of 24 November, Law 48/2033 of 26 November on the economic regime and provision of port services of general interest and the aforementioned Law 33/2010 of 5 August amending Law 48/2003 of 26 November, led to the publication on 20 October 2011 in the Official State Gazette of Royal Legislative Decree 2/2011 of 5 September, which approves the Revised Text of the Law on State Ports and Merchant Marine. Through this new text legislators seek to give coherence and internal consistency to all applicable regulations.
Title VII of the Economic Regime establishes the need for the port system to be governed by the self-funding principle in its Chapter II on the Economic Regime for the Use of the Public Domain and the provision of port services. To this effect, this Law determines the port taxes that are demanded for the exclusive use or special utilisation of the port’s public domain and for the provision of the maritime signalling service, which will be governed by the provisions of the aforementioned law and, in cases not covered by it, by Law 8/1989 of 13 April on Public Fees and Prices, Law 58/2003 of 17 December on General Tax and the regulatory standards issued for their implementation. Moreover the Law establishes that, in its quest to achieve the self-funding goal, the Port Authority will demand, for any commercial services it provides under concurrent conditions with private companies, the payment of the corresponding rates, which will have the status of private prices.
The main port rates and the regulations for proceeding to their quantification are the following:
Correction Coefficient. Art. 166.
Fee for the exclusive occupation of the public port domain. Arts. 173 to 182.
Activity Rate. Arts. 183 to 192.
Vessel Fee (T-1). Arts. 194 to 204.
Passenger Fee (T-2) Arts. 205 to 210.
Cargo Fee (T-3). Arts. 211 to 217.
Fresh Fishing Fee (T-4). Arts. 218 to 222.
Fee for sports and recreational boats (T-5). Arts. 223 to 230.
Fee for special use of the transit zone (T-6). Arts. 231 to 236.
Fee for aids to navigation. Arts. 237 to 244.
Rebates Art. 245
Fixed fee for reception service of waste generated by ships. (Art. 132).
In addition to this basic regulation, it must be taken into account that annually, in the respective Law on the General State Budget for each year, the correction coefficients are approved for ship, passenger and cargo fees for each year, together with any applicable rebates.
Also to be taken into account is the content of the ANNEXES which establish the Spanish State ports of general interest, the applicable definitions and the allocation of the goods groups and their codes, which affect both the interpretation of the regulation and the fee amounts.