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Chile presents Smart Permitting System bill

Agustín de Vicente / January 30, 2024 | 17:10
The reform involves processing authorizations for 37 types of services and involves 16 ministries. It aims to streamline processes, cut processing times and provide more certainty for investment.

President of Chile, Gabriel Boric, and the Finance, Economy, Environment and Public Works Ministers presented the draft of the Framework Law on Sector Permitting, which is part the new Sector Regulation and Evaluation system.

The initiative, which addresses all non-environmental permits required for projects and activities in regulated areas, aims to streamline processes, reducing processing times and providing more certainty to investors, without altering technical standards and while protecting personal safety, health and the environment.

The measure is a response to a challenge that dates back years and hinders the public and private investment. Drafting the bill required great articulation and prioritization efforts to create a system that organizes permits from so many sectors. The initiative took into consideration previous administration's recommendations and progress.

«This bill creates a system and creates the conditions to reduce processing times in a very sustained manner while keeping regulatory quality high. This, of course, implies a very substantive reform. We are working on the bill that generates this system, an umbrella covering these 380 sector permits. In practice, it modifies 37 laws in very different ways,» explained Economy Minister Nicolás Grau.

Its implementation is expected to increase legal certainty through clear, precise regulations through optimal traceability of the associated permits. The reform also ensures that the processing procedures are adequate and protect the objects of protection of each sector (health, personal safety, environment, etc.).

This is materialized in the following measures:

  • Minimum processing standards for sector permits. All processes must include an admissibility test. The regulation of interactions between the services, the processing entity and the applicant will improve. Maximum processing times, which do not currently exist, will be established for all procedures.
  • Proportionality in processing and regulatory improvement. A procedure for periodically rationalizing the regulation will be established. In some cases, it will be possible to replace permits with affidavits from the project owner, or other techniques, depending on the level of risk involved in each construction, installation or activity within a project. These procedures will produce streamlined processing routes within the established regulatory thresholds.
  • Digital single point of contact. The SUPER platform will be the State's single point of contact for the processing sector permits and submitting affidavits and notices from owners. This platform will enable project owners anytime access to the status of their permit applications.
  • Governance for the Sector Regulation and Assessment System. A public body will be created to ensure compliance with processing standards. It will coordinate and guide the entity’s in their processing procedures and continuous improvement of the regulatory framework for sector permits.

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