Launch of the OECD Competition Assessment Review of Portugal 2018
The final OECD report detailing the analysis and the recommendations was launched in Lisbon on 6 July 2018.
The OECD Competition Assessment Review of Portugal summarises the main findings of this project. Volume 1 deals with the Transports Sector and Volume 2 with the Self-regulated Professions.
Making use of the methodology in the Competition Assessment Toolkit, a project team composed of competition experts, economists and lawyers from OECD and the Portuguese Competition Authority, reviewed existing legislation and regulations in the selected sectors, and proposed pro-competitive changes, in line with the 2009 OECD Recommendation on Competition Assessment. This approach has been used successfully in Tunisia (2023), Brazil (2022), Iceland (2020), Mexico (2019), Greece (2013, 2014, 2017) and Romania (2016) to identify and amend hundreds of restrictive regulations.
A High-level Committee of representatives from the relevant ministers was set up to consult and support the work of the project. Throughout the project, the team held almost 350 meetings with more than 100 stakeholders to get a better understanding of the policy objective behind each provision, and the consequences and the harm to market players and consumers from the restrictions.
Over the project duration, the OECD held a series of workshops to build the capacity of officials from the government and the Portuguese Competition Authority to conduct competition assessment, in line with international best practices, through the application of the Competition Assessment Toolkit. The substantive knowledge gained can then be applied to similar exercises in other sectors or to new laws and regulations by national officials.
About the project
Increased competition in markets for products and services can improve a country’s economic performance, open business opportunities and reduce the cost of goods and services to the benefit of consumers. However, it is often the case that numerous laws and regulations ought to help market players instead of restricting competition in the marketplace. In Portugal, regulatory constraints are present in many sectors of the economy and hold back economic dynamism.
In October 2016, the OECD and the Portuguese Competition Authority (PCA) began a joint project to carry out a thorough and independent policy assessment to identify rules and regulations that may hinder the efficient functioning of markets in the sectors of transportation (railways, road, maritime transport and ports); and in 13 self-regulated professions (lawyers, solicitors, bailiffs, notaries, engineers, technical engineers, architects, auditors, certified accountants, customs brokers, economists, pharmacists and nutritionists).
The project team reviewed 1599 pieces of sector-relevant legislation, 904 for transportation and 695 for self-regulated professions. After applying the OECD Competition Assessment Toolkit, 485 restrictions were identified in the transport sector and 363 in the self-regulated professions that were potentially harmful to the markets. The final report makes a total of 471 recommendations for transportation and 348 for the self-regulated professions. If fully implemented, the regulatory reform in those areas could have a positive impact on the Portuguese economy of around EUR 380 million per year (EUR 250 million for the transport sector and EUR 130 million for the self-regulated professions).
Launched in October 2016, the assessment took place in five stages:
Stage 1: Initial mapping of all relevant legislation in each sector.
Stage 2: Scan of legislation to identify potential obstacles to competition.
Stage 3: Analysis of the selected regulations to assess the harm to competition.
Stage 4: Formulation of recommendations for the redesign or even abolishment of regulations shown to be harmful to competition. The analysis was qualitative and, where possible, quantitative to demonstrate the potential economic benefits from lifting any identified barriers to competition.
Stage 5: Publication of a final report with recommendations for redesigning regulations took place in July 2018.
Lisbon, 18/10/16: The project was launched by DSG Rintaro Tamaki, on behalf of the OECD, and by the former President of the Portuguese Competition Authority, Antonio Gomes. The event counted with the presence of several dignitaries from the Portuguese government including the Minister of the Economy, the Minister of Health, the Minister of the Sea and the Secretary of State for the Presidency of the Council of Minister, as well as Secretaries of State from the other ministries involved in the project.
Competition Assessment Toolkit
Helping governments eliminate barriers to competition
The OECD Competition Assessment Toolkit was designed to help governments eliminate barriers to competition through a method that identifies unnecessary restraints on market activities and develops alternative, less restrictive measures that still achieve government policy objectives.
The toolkit has been used by Tunisia (2023), Brazil (2022), Iceland (2020), Mexico (2019), Greece (2013, 2014, 2017) and Romania (2016) to identify barriers to competition in selected sectors of their economies. Portugal was the fourth country to undergo a Competition Assessment Review of its laws and regulations. Learn more about the Competition Assessment toolkit and related projects.
The toolkit is composed of 3 volumes: Principles, Guidance and Operational Manual. The first two volumes are available in more than 17 languages.
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