The government is now opening up competition for tug services at three of the main ports in Mexico. An international tender was recently issued, inviting tug operators to participate in bidding rounds. The government hopes that this will give shipowners calling at these ports a wide choice of tug operators, thus promoting competition between the service providers and leading to reduced costs.
Following comprehensive reforms, the private sector can now participate in energy production and commercialisation activities in Mexico. One of the main concerns in this regard relates to the maritime equipment used in these activities. In order to cover the maritime requirements under the energy reform, it has been estimated that an initial investment of at least $3 billion will be needed.
The Chamber of Deputies (the lower house of Congress) recently passed the Law for the Development of the Merchant Marine and Naval Industry. The new law aims to provide special instruments to promote and incentivise the Mexican merchant marine industry, especially for vessels engaged in international trade and shipyards operating within Mexican territory.
New regulations under the Maritime Law 2006 were recently published. The regulations are comprehensive, covering numerous aspects of maritime activity. Of particular importance to the international maritime community is the new regulations' establishment of certain conditions under which foreign-flagged vessels may carry out cabotage in Mexican waters.