Recently, the National Government has extended the preemptive mandatory isolation measure through Decree 531 of 2020. This has led to a review of the measured that had already been taken in the transport and infrastructure sector through Decree 482 of 2020.
Moreover, the National Government has taken into consideration the recommendations of the International Labor Organization (ILO) and Fedesarrollo regarding possible consequences of the current emergency generated by COVID-19 in the labor and sub labor situations.
Similarly, the National Government analyzed the need of extending some of the measures originally adopted through Decree 482 of 2020, but also decided to add and complement some others, considering the importance of the transport public service to overcome the emergency.
Therefore, in the same way as Decree 482 of 2020, the new Decree 569 of 2020 adopts measure related with: (i) The Logistics and Transport Center (“LTC”); (ii) Measures arising from the mobility restriction; and (iii) Economic Measures arising from the emergency. The beforementioned measures may be summarized as follows:
(i) LTC Measures
Decree 569 of 2020 has established that LTC, regulated in Decree 482 of 2020, will remain valid for the term that this or future health emergencies declared by the Ministry of Health y Social Protection due to COVID-19 last.
Likewise, the possibility to enter into contracts, agreements and understandings to archive logistic synergy efficiencies has been widened, not only for agents in the cargo transport sector, but for any agent developing any activity in the transport sector. However, these contracts, agreements and understandings must still be previously approved by LTC.
(ii) Measures arising from the mobility restriction
Firstly, the operation possibility for intermunicipal passenger transport terminals through roads has been extended, only for purposes of health provision services or health access or to those people who need to be mobilized according to Decree 569. There will not be any sanction in case of cease of operation offer of the inter-communal transport companies.
The enabled companies for road passenger transport will not be sanctioned with the route cancellation if they decrease in the authorized service in less than 50%.
If the intermunicipal road passenger transport companies receive reimbursements or withdrawals, they may perform reimburses in services provided by the same company for the term of the emergency plus one additional year.
The operation of mass transport public service was maintained, for passenger for access and provision of health services, and for people that are exempt from the mandatory preemptive isolation measure.
Similarly, the landing of passengers coming from abroad into the Colombian territory through airways has been suspended. The only exemptions for this measure are humanitarian emergency cases, force majeure events, and the crew and personnel of air cargo.
Regarding the cargo transport, the operation of the ground mixed automotive transport public service is allowed, to mobilize cargo and authorized people. These companies will not be sanction with route cancellation if they decrease in the authorized service in less than 50%.
The services of transit support entities and its procedures are still suspended. Transit documents whose validity expires will be understood to be extended for the time of the mandatory preemptive isolation measure lasts plus one additional month.
In a new determination taken by Decree 569 of 2020, operation of establishments for the maintenance of vehicles, artefacts, ships, agriculture or fishing machinery, as well as the establishments dedicated to the supply and/or installation of spare parts, as long as they comply with the biosafety conditions. All of the above with the prior approval by LTC.
Moreover, LTC may approve the operation of establishments that offer the alimentations and hosting service in the road for all transporters authorized to move through the territory, as long as they comply with biosafety applicable measures.
Finally, in an extension of the measure taken by Decree 482 of 2020, the collection of tolls to all vehicles circulating through the national territory is suspended.
(iii) Economic measures arising from the emergency
In the airport sector, the National Government maintained the suspension of new charges related to airport infrastructure. Likewise, it maintained the suspension of rent collection in spaces for commercial exploitation in non-concessional airports and airfields administrated by the Civil Aeronautics Special Administrative Unit. Also, the suspension of environmental time restriction operation of airstrips in national and/or international airports in the national territory is maintained.
Regarding the transport infrastructures that must be maintained under operation as a general rule; LTC may exceptionally order the suspension of any infrastructure for the transport public service.
Additionally, following Decree 569 of 2020, the continuity and development of infrastructure works is allowed, as long as the contracting entity verifies that the biosafety measures ordered by the National Government are being complied with.
In Law 80 of 1993 concession contracts and in Law 1508 of 2012 PPP contracts, considering that the measures taken by the National Government affect the projects collection, these concessions may be extended for the same term that the mandatory preemptive isolation measure lasts, even if this extension exceeds the maximum term extension permitted by law.
Finally, the National Government maintained the authorization for public and private service ports to attend any cargo operation that has as a purpose of guaranteeing the supply of first necessity goods to the population of the respective port zone; regardless of their authorized cargo operation.