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Jun 6, 2023

Port Authority was Not Consulted on Definitive Agreement

The legality of the Definitive Agreement entered into by Portico Enterprises Limited and the Government of Belize in October 2020 remains a controversial issue.  While government ministers past and present have weighed in on the terms of the agreement, as well as the circumstances surrounding its signing, the Belize Ports Authority is the latest agency to comment on the matter.  In a release issued earlier today, the Ports Authority categorically stated that it was never consulted with respect of the proposed legislation that would enable the terms of such an agreement.  It cites a portion of the Belize Port Authority Act that says, “notwithstanding anything contained in this act, the minister may, after consultation with the authority, grant in writing a license to any person, corporation or other body to construct and operate a private port subject to such terms, conditions and restrictions and on the payment of such fees as the minister may consider appropriate”.  The license-granting process includes meaningful consultations with the Belize Port Authority, as the regulator of ports.  B.P.A. says that the Port of Magical Belize has not applied for, nor have they been granted a license for the construction and operation of a private port as required by the Belize Port Authority Act.

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