On March 24, 2021, Brazil's Ministry of Infrastructure published its Ordinance 51/2021 ("Ordinance 51"), which regulates the commercial exploitation of idle areas and facilities in organized ports.

The regulation grants autonomy to administration of ports to directly and indirectly exploit areas inside the polygon of organized ports which are not reserved for the activities of handling passengers or cargoes destined for or coming from waterway transportation.

The port administration will be responsible for starting procedures of indirect exploitation of these areas, both ex officio and through request by interested parties. As a general rule, the government is responsible for its approval (except in the cases in which an exemption of approval is verified as provided for in Ordinance 51).

Ordinance 51 provides that the exploitation of these areas occurs through (i) authorization of use or (ii) assignment of use. The referred regulation establishes the clauses for each contractual type.

Regarding the authorization of use agreement, the area exploitation is granted in order to enable short-term events for a maximum period of up to 90 days. 

The assignment of use agreement, on the other hand, shall have a term of up to 20 years, extendable at the discretion of the organized port administration, and may be onerous and, outstandingly, free of charge (for public administration, autarchies, state-owned companies or non-profit entities). 

The full text of Ordinance 51 is available at this link.

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