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Italian Port reform. Reorganization, rationalization and simplification of port authorities and additional projects for the renewal of ports and logistics in Italy 

by Giuseppe Loffreda

Published: March, 2016

Submission: March, 2016


1. Introduction 

On 21st January 2016, the Italian Cabinet gave the green light for the “Reorganization, rationalization and simplification of Port Authorities” decree (the “Ports Decree”), which reviews a system which has been in place for over 20 years. The Ports Decree is part of the re-launch of ports and logistics in Italy promoted by the Ministry for Infrastructure and Transport (“MIT”). The Ports Decree focuses on the competitiveness of our ports and supports the role of Italy - crossed by four of the TEN-T rail corridors - as a hub in the Mediterranean and European logistics platform. 

The main points of the Ports Decree are i) the abolition of the port authorities and the reorganization of the ports into strategic decision centers managed by Port System Authorities, ii) the simplification of the procedures for passenger and cargo transit, and iii) central coordination under MIT. 

2. Promotion of strategic decision-making centers: Port System Authorities 

Italian ports will be reorganized into 15 Port System Authorities (“PSA”) based in strategic decisionmaking centers based in the Italian “core” ports as set out by the EU. These are Genova, La Spezia, Livorno, Civitavecchia, Cagliari, Napoli, Palermo, Augusta, Gioia Tauro, Taranto, Bari, Ancona, Ravenna, Venezia and Trieste. The new PSA will be in charge of 54 national ports. The local regional authorities can ask that additional ports of regional importance be included in the PSA. 

The PSA bases will have a strategic role in policy, programming and coordinating the ports in their own area. They will aim at attracting investments on behalf of the different harbours in conjunction with the public administrations. The relationship with MIT will also be relevant, especially for the Planning of Port Systems and infrastructure programs with national or European contributions. 

3. Administrative reorganization 

The PSA will have a simple corporate governance structure that will be composed of: the President, the management committee (made up of just a few members), the secretary general and the Audit Committee (Collegio dei Revisori dei Conti) The change from the Ports Committee to the PSA will mean a drop in the members of the Port Authorities from the present 336 to 70 on a national level. 

The management committee will be composed of: 

1. the President. The President will be elected by MIT in agreement with the President or the Presidents of the affected Regions. He or she must have proven experience and a professional qualification in the field, and will have wide decision-making powers; 

2. a representative appointed by the Region (two if there are two Regions); 

3. a representative appointed by the mayors of each city, if any, under the relevant PSA; 

4. a representative appointed by the mayors of each former Port Authority city, if any, in the PSA; 

5. a representative of the Maritime Authority who will only be able to vote on matters within their competence. 

In order to guarantee that local decisions are consistent with the national ports’ strategy, a national coordination board of the PSA will be established. 

Each PSA will have a “sea partnership board” to communicate with the social and economic players operating in the ports. This board will also have advisory functions. 

The PSAs can maintain port of call duties in the former Port Authority’s bases. These ports can make proposals on local matters, as well as take care of other administrative, decision-making and supervisory tasks.

Read More: http://www.gop.it/doc_pubblicazioni/530_3rzbn8azeb_eng.pdf 








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