The preliminary bills amending Maritime Shipping Law 14/2014 (LNM) and the Revised State Ports and Merchant Shipping Law (TRLPEMM) are currently at the public consultation stage. However, the government has not yet forwarded the specific articles of those preliminary bills or formally released them for consultation. Although information on the areas in which they seek to make amendments has been provided to employer and employee representatives in the shipping and port industries and interested parties generally.
In relation to the Maritime Shipping Law, amendments are intended to be made, among others, to:
The Canary Islands Special Register for Vessels and Shipping Companies (REBECA) to make it more appealing after finding it had lost competitiveness compared with other ship registers in neighboring countries.
The import and re-export of vessels, because the current regulations are deemed to be obsolete, which stands in the way of the competitiveness of the Spanish system.
The minimum amount required (15% of the amount of the alleged maritime claim) to attach a vessel as a preventive measure, which is deemed high and needing to be changed so as not to prejudice the Spanish jurisdiction with respect to those of other countries.
The limits of liability that apply to vessels and craft with a gross tonnage not exceeding 300 tons to adapt the Spanish legislation to the existing international conventions on this subject (the 1976 London Convention on Limitation of Liability as amended by the 1996 Protocol).
The guarantees to secure the receipt of payments for mandatory exchanges of passenger tickets during the Gibraltar Strait Operation (Operación Paso de Estrecho (OPE)), a plan to organize the flow of traffic between Spain and Morocco over the summer months, after it was discovered that a few shipping companies are not paying the amounts they owe in this respect, for which reason it is deemed necessary for these guarantees to be provided every year in advance by all shipping companies providing sea carriage services under every “OPE” plan of this kind.
The merchant shipping fees, to revise them because it is considered that the current regulations are not only dispersed but obsolete also.
The Revised State Ports and Merchant Shipping Law is sought to be amended to adapt it to the requirements of in-force Regulation (EU) 352/2017 establishing a framework for the provision of port services and common rules on the financial transparency of ports. Among other important new legislation, it is intended to give bunkering the form of a port service as opposed to a commercial service which is how it currently appears in the Revised State Ports and Merchant Shipping Law. This would also require amendment of the relevant port contract documents