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.



Railway sector

In 2015, the Portuguese railway sector had a gross value added (GVA) representing 0.1% of the Portuguese GDP and employed 3 642 persons. The majority of legislation applicable to that sector is largely harmonised with EU legislation. Nevertheless, several barriers to competition were identified, including a lack of regulation concerning the certification of train drivers and a lack of conformity of the respective legislation with EU legislation and each other, a lack of conformity in the validity of railway licences with EU legislation, a lack or inadequacy of maximum times for entities to decide or act, a lack of formal repeal of superseded, not useful or obsolete legislation, and a lack of implementing regulation and guidelines concerning the intervention of the AMT and the IMT. These barriers prevent cost savings and increase legal and regulatory uncertainty for potential and existing railway companies and raise their administrative burden, while allowing some of them to be placed at a competitive disadvantage.


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