OECD Competition Assessment Reviews: Portugal

Volume I - Inland and Maritime Transports and Ports

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Portugal’s services markets remain among the most heavily regulated in the OECD. Inland and maritime transports in Portugal are a vital part of the business environment, ensuring the movement of goods and passengers and inputs for the business sector. Regulatory restrictions limit the ability of firms to effectively compete in the markets, whether as providers or customers, while hampering innovation, efficiency and productivity. Against this backdrop, this report analyses Portuguese regulations for road, railway and maritime transport, and many ancillary services (such as vehicle inspection centres), as well as Portugal’s ports. The report examines 1 064 pieces of legislation and makes 417 individual recommendations for amending or removing restrictive provisions to improve competition, and makes a detailed inventory of the analysis underlying the work. Analysis of Portuguese legislation was complemented by research into international experiences and wide consultations with public and private sector stakeholders. The OECD recommendations aim to remove or modify the provisions to benefit businesses and consumers alike. This report identifies the sources of those benefits and gives estimates of their impact. Provided all recommendations are fully implemented, the benefit to the economy from lifting the barriers in the land and maritime transport sectors is estimated to be around EUR 250 million a year.



Assessment and recommendations

This report identifies distortions to competition in Portuguese legislation. It proposes recommendations for the removal of regulatory barriers to competition in the transport sector (road, rail, ports and maritime). In all, 485 potential regulatory restrictions were identified and analysed, and the report makes 417 specific recommendations to remove these barriers and increase competition and market access. The resulting benefits will allow more efficient firms to enter the market or existing firms to innovate with new forms of production, lower prices and greater choice for users. They will also increase transparency and provide more effective regulation of public services markets. This report identifies the sources of those benefits and, where possible, provides quantitative estimates. If the particular quantified restrictions are lifted and the expected effects realised, the OECD calculates a positive effect for the Portuguese economy of around EUR 249 million.


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