The new decree regulating Law No. 5102/2013 on Public-Private Partnerships (PPP Law)

On April 4th, the Executive Branch enacted Decree No. 1467/2024 (Decree), which regulates Law No. 5102/2013 on Public-Private Partnerships (PPP Law), replacing the previous Decree No. 4183/2020. The main innovations are as follows:

  1. Bid Submission System

The Terms and Conditions (TC) for bidding may define the bid submission system in a single technical-economic envelope or maintain the option of two or more envelopes.

In the case of a single envelope, the following aspects will be evaluated: (i) economic offer, (ii) administrative documentation, and (iii) technical evaluation. The evaluation system will be specifically provided for each project in the corresponding TC.

  1. Adjudication of Bids with a Unique Offer

Adjudication of the bidding process is allowed even if only one offer is submitted. This must be justified by the contracting administration and a favorable opinion from the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF).

  1. Contract Compliance Guarantees

The contract compliance guarantee may include both construction and operation guarantees in a single instrument. However, the option to submit each guarantee independently is maintained. The bidding TC will provide the conditions for these guarantees.

  1. New Role of the MEF and the DGIP

The MEF, through the General Directorate of Public Investment (DGIP), is configured as the governing body for policies, programs, and plans related to Public-Private Partnership (PPP) projects. This implies that the DGIP will replace the Projects Unit of the Technical Secretariat of Planning (STP), which was absorbed by the MEF. The DGIP will assume the role of evaluator of PPP projects at various stages of their presentation. For example: risk analysis, economic offer evaluation, review of Value for Money analysis, among others.

  1. Streamlining Deadlines

The restructuring of roles, including the absorption of the STP by the MEF, will lead to a reduction in the review, evaluation, and awarding timelines of projects.

Final Considerations

With these modifications, it is expected that projects coordinated by the DGIP under the PPP Law will be managed more efficiently. This will allow for quicker project awards while maintaining flexibility in guarantee requirements and enabling awards to single bidders.

The Paraguayan government has recently expressed interest in promoting specific infrastructure projects, which are detailed in the following link: https://www.vouga.com.py/novedades-en-infraestructura-y-proyectos-marzo-2024/

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For further information, please contact Rodolfo G. Vouga (rgvouga@vouga.com.py); Manuel Acevedo (macevedo@vouga.com.py); Silvia Benítez (sbenitez@vouga.com.py); Lucas Rolón (lrolon@vouga.com.py). 

El Instituto de Previsión Social (“IPS”) emitió una resolución por la cual aprueba la presentación de un proyecto de decreto para establecer la base mínima imponible de aporte al IPS, para la categoría a destajo o jornal, equivalente a 25 jornales mínimos legales para actividades no especificadas, en lugar de los 18 jornales mínimos legales que actualmente se requieren.

Por medio de la Resolución CA N° 021-014/2024 de fecha 4 de abril de 2024 (la “Resolución”), el IPS resolvió:

  1. La aprobación de un proyecto de decreto que establece la base mínima imponible de aporte al IPS, para la categoría a destajo o jornal, equivalente a 25 jornales mínimos legales para actividades no especificadas según lo establece el Poder Ejecutivo.
  2. En líneas generales, la propuesta establecida en la Resolución considera imprescindible una modificación en la base imponible mínima de 18 a 25 jornales de manera a garantizar a protección social de los jornaleros fomentando establecer mecanismos más equitativos en la cobertura de salud y en el proceso de jubilación, además de fortalecer y consolidar los aportes y fondos correspondientes.
  3. Asimismo, la Resolución establece que la modificación tiene como objetivo permitir a los trabajadores el acceso a los beneficios de largo plazo, estableciendo un piso de aporte que coincida con un mes de antigüedad a los efectos jubilatorios, permitiendo el acceso  la expectativa del beneficio de jubilación en el plazo de 25 años, equivalentes a 50 semanas de aportes por año, esto es, en el mimo tiempo que los trabajadores del régimen general, dado que actualmente, los jornaleros deben aportar más tiempo para acceder a la jubilación ordinaria o proporcional.
  4. La propuesta de modificación será remitida al Poder Ejecutivo de manera a que el documento siga los canales legales correspondientes.

Este contenido tiene únicamente fines informativos generales y no debe ser considerado como asesoría legal puntual. Si precisa asesoramiento específico no dude en contactarnos.

SEPRELAD includes Grantors of Monetary Credits in the list of Regulated Entities that must submit ROS through SIRO

Through Resolution No. 16 dated January 11, 2024, the Secretariat for the Prevention of Money or Asset Laundering ("SEPRELAD") expanded the scope of the Regulated Entities ("SO") authorized to submit Suspicious Transaction Reports ("ROS") and Negative ROS through the Integral System of Transaction Reports ("SIRO").

In this provision, individuals and/or legal entities acting in the credit market with their own or third parties' resources, which do not represent deposit taking, registered in the Registry of Grantors of Monetary Credits ("OCD") of the Central Bank of Paraguay ("BCP"), have been included as SO.

The previously identified SO must request their username and password in order to access the SIRO, attaching the certificate and/or accreditation of being registered in the BCP's OCD Registry.

The Superintendency of Securities establishes a new procedure for registration in the securities market registry

Through Circular SV. SG. No. 07 dated March 21, 2024 (the "Circular"), the Superintendency of Securities ("SIV") determined that applications for registration in the securities market registry will be received only through the Agent Registration Tool ("HRA"), as of March 25, 2024.

Although the modality for submitting applications has been modified, it is important to highlight that the required documentation and requirements remain in strict compliance with the securities market regulations.

The application for registration through the HRA is mandatory for:

  1. Stock market advisors or securities advisors;
  2. Securities market operators;
  3. Derivatives market operators;
  4. Sociedades Anónimas Emisoras ("SAE"); and
  5. Sociedades Anónimas Emisoras de Capital Abierto ("SAECA").

Annex I of the Circular contains detailed instructions on how to use the agent registration system. Upon entering the system, a list of designated users will be displayed and, once the corresponding option has been selected, data and documents required by the SIV will be requested. Next, a screen will be displayed with all the information entered, and the registration must be completed by accepting the data entered as a Sworn Statement. Finally, the user will receive a notification of registered application in the declared e-mail inbox.

In the cases of incomplete or rejected applications, a notification will be sent to the user indicating the status of the application and, if accepted, the notification will contain the final status of the application submitted including the Certificate Generated.

The Superintendency of Securities notifies obligations before the General Directorate of Individuals and Legal Structures and Beneficial Owners

Through Circular SV. SG. No. 06 dated March 11, 2024, the Superintendence of Securities communicated that the companies that have not yet carried out the total conversion of physical shares to book-entry shares will be subject to the obligation of communicating to the General Directorate of Persons and Legal Structures and Beneficial Owners (“DGPEJBF”), transfers of shares and beneficial owners thereof, as of March 2024.

To date, the updated list of regulated entities has been sent to the DGPEJB.

The Superintendency of Securities notifies the mandatory filing of the Prior Verification Request Form

Through Circular SV. SG. No. 04 dated February 15, 2024, the Superintendency of Securities ("SIV") issued the mandatory filing of the Prior Verification Request Form (the "Form") by companies subject to the special regime of the Securities Market. This requirement applies when the company submits requests for prior verification related to incorporation, modification, merger, transformation, dissolution and other procedures before the General Directorate of Legal Persons and Structures and Beneficial Owners ("DGPEJBF"). The Form must be duly completed and signed by the legal representative of the company.

In addition to the Form, the following documents must be submitted:

  1. In the case of incorporation of Publicly Held Corporations ("SAECA"), the digitalized copy of the public deed containing the transcription of the bylaws;
  2. In the case of incorporation of Asset Management Companies for Investment Funds ("AFPI"), a digital copy of the draft bylaws must be submitted for the issuance of the opinion that must be transcribed in the public deed of incorporation. Once the articles of incorporation have been notarized and the objection has been transcribed, a digitalized copy of the public deed must be submitted for confirmation prior to its filing with the DGPEJBF;
  3. In the case of incorporation of other agents of the Securities Market, the digitalized copy of the public deed where the transcription of the bylaws; and,
  4. In the case of merger, transformation, dissolution and withdrawal from the public offering regime, a digitalized copy of the public deed.

It is clarified that, excluding the cases of incorporation of SAECA, AFPI and other agents of the Securities Market, companies are subject to the special regime of the Securities Market as from their registration in the registry of the SIV. For this reason, prior verification of bylaws of companies that intend to make public offerings of securities other than shares is not required, as long as they are not registered and, therefore, requests for prior verification will not be received.

Central Bank of Paraguay modifies the Security Manual for Financial Institutions

Through Resolution No. 7 Act No. 10 dated March 14, 2024 (the "Resolution"), the Board of Directors of the Central Bank of Paraguay resolved to modify the section on Automatic Teller Machines (“ATM”) security contained in the Security Manual for Financial Institutions, issued in 2021.

In this regard, financial institutions wishing to enable the operations of an ATM are required to perform a risk analysis prior to each installation, classifying the location of the ATM according to its risk as high or low.

The mandatory security requirements established for all ATMs are as follows: (i) have a firm anchoring system to the floor; (ii) have a recessed and/or covered by a structure; (iii) have an anti-theft inking system; (iv) have a closed circuit television camera system that records the customer performing the transaction; (v) assign an actual, practical, cash limit for the supply of money in the ATMs; and, (vi) provide alarms that detect the opening of the vault lid and door.

In addition to the aforementioned requirements, ATMs classified as high risk must: (i) have a detachment alarm; (ii) have a smoke detector, heat sensor, seismic detector and very good interior and exterior lighting; (iii) have the safe where securities are stored equipped with locks that provide a security level equivalent to that of safes or vaults of financial entities; and, (iv) have a closed circuit camera system that records the outside area of the ATM.

A term of three months is established to comply with said requirements, counted from the date of publication of this Resolution.

The Central Bank of Paraguay approves the Regulation of Transparency and Minimum Criteria for the Charging of Fees, Expenses and Penalties in the Financial Sector

Through Resolution No. 9 Minute No. 9 dated March 7, 2024 (the "Resolution"), the Board of Directors of the Central Bank of Paraguay ("BCP") approved the Regulations on Transparency and Minimum Criteria for the Collection of Commissions, Expenses and Penalties in the Financial Sector. This Resolution was issued with the purpose of consolidating and systematizing the provisions related to transparency and basic principles for the collection of commissions, expenses and penalties by the entities subject to the supervision of the Superintendency of Banks ("Supervised Entities") in a single regulatory body.

Sin embargo, se incluyen consideraciones sobre seguros. En este sentido, cualquier tipo de servicio o asistencia bajo la denominación “Seguro” no deberá ni podrá ser ofrecido por las Entidades Supervisadas.  Los “seguros contratados en nombre de terceros” y los “seguros de cancelación de deudas” solamente pueden ser prestados por aseguradoras autorizadas por la Superintendencia de Seguros.

The Central Bank of Paraguay establishes the Regulations for the Export and Import of Physical Foreign Exchange

Through Resolution No. 06 Minute No. 02 dated January 17, 2024 (the "Resolution"), the Board of Directors of the Central Bank of Paraguay ("BCP") approved the Standards of Procedures and Minimum Conditions for the Export or Import of Physical Currency.

In this sense, the export or import of physical currency in the Republic of Paraguay must be carried out through transportation and stockpiling companies authorized by the National Police and registered before the Secretariat for the Prevention of Money or Asset Laundering ("SEPRELAD").

Once the Superintendency of Banks ("SIB") verifies that the banking and exchange entities comply with the minimum conditions established in the Resolution, it will grant a general authorization to operate with a specific counterparty and/or foreign banking correspondent in charge of the settlement and payment of the countervalue in a bank account.

Among the minimum conditions established to obtain the SIB's authorization are: (i) Identification of the correspondent banking entities and/or foreign counterparties; (ii) Specification of the countries and cities in which the foreign entities are domiciled; (iii) Submission of evidence that the foreign counterparty entity and the banking correspondent in charge of the settlement of the transactions, are duly authorized; (iv) The foreign correspondent entities and/or counterparties must be subject to a supervision similar to the local one or to the satisfaction of the SIB; (v) Proforma of the contract to be used between the parties where at least the mutual obligations of the parties and the conditions for the provision of the service are established; and, (vi) The banking and exchange entities must prove that both their foreign counterpart and the entity responsible for the settlement of the operations have adequate policies and procedures for the prevention of money laundering, financing of terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in their operations. The countries where such entities are domiciled must belong to the Financial Action Task Force or other similar organization.

INFRASTRUCTURE AND PROJECTS NEWS - March 2024

Executive summary:

AuthorityContentDate
MOPC Call N° 83/2023 – Addendum N° 4The MOPC, within the framework of the International Public Tender (IPT) for the National Route Improvement Project No. 17, Road Section between Pedro Juan Caballero – Capitán Bado – Itanará – Ypejhú in the Departments of Amambay and Canindeyú”, has issued Addendum No. 7, postponing the delivery and bid opening dates to April 3, 2024.February 14, 2024
Call for BidsThe National Directorate of Public Procurement (DNCP) has published on its portal the prequalification for the contracting of design and construction of works for the capture, treatment, and storage of drinking water for the metropolitan area of Ciudad del Este, valued at USD 200,000,000.February 15, 2024
Call for BidsThe DNCP has published on its portal the prequalification for the contracting of design and construction of the wastewater treatment plant and sub-fluvial emissary for the Lambaré basin, valued at USD 165,000,000.February 15, 2024

More information

► International Public Tender call for surveying, compensation, expansion, and improvement of Route PY 17 “Route of Sovereignty”

General Aspects

On January 5, 2024, the National Directorate of Public Procurement (DNCP) published on its portal the call for Tender 438107 convened under the IPT procedure for the survey, compensation, construction, and maintenance of the pavement of Route PY 17. This route connects the towns of Pedro Juan Caballero – Zanja Pyta – Capitán Bado – Itanará – Ypejhú, in the departments of Amambay and Canindeyú (the "Project").

The presentation, opening, and award date of the Project had several postponements; the latest was Addendum No. 7 dated March 15, 2024, which establishes that the new deadline for presentation, opening, and, eventually, award of the Project is set for April 3, 2024.

Project Characteristics

Recall that the Project aims to improve the connection between two of the country's most important productive areas. It is estimated that it will benefit around 150,000 people.

The execution of the Project includes, among others, works such as: earthworks, drainage; construction of the structural package, main axis, and accesses; paving; complementary works such as construction and removal of fences, signage, lighting, weighing and toll booths, counting booths, and environmental management plan.

Investment Amount: Gs. 1,432,191,265,000 (Approximately USD 215,000,000). The Project will be financed with a loan from the Financial Fund for the Development of the La Plata Basin (FONPLATA).

Maintenance Offer Guarantee: 3% - policy or bank guarantee.

Adjudication System

Per lot. The Project is divided into 4 lots. The adjudication of more than one lot to an offeror is allowed. Below is the planned length for each lot.

  • Lot 1 – 44 km
  • Lot 2 – 48 km
  • Lot 3 – 53 km
  • Lot 4 – 48,3 km

Each lot includes all aspects of the Project, i.e., surveying, compensation, construction, and maintenance of the work. The value of each lot is:

  • Lot 1 – Gs. 377.025.115.000
  • Lot 2 – Gs. 344.584.917.000
  • Lot 3 – Gs. 386.590.367.000
  • Lot 4 – Gs. 323.990.866.000

Approximately USD 53,000,000 on average, depending on the exchange rate.

Adjudication Criterion: The contracting party will award to the bidder who substantially meets the requirements and offers the lowest evaluated price. This is subject to the bidder being considered eligible according to the criteria set forth in the terms and conditions.

Advance: The tender provides for the granting of a 15% advance to the awarded bidders.  

Works Execution Period: 24 months from the start order.  

Maintenance Period for Service Levels (KPI): 60 months after the completion of the works.

Contracting Systems

  • Construction works: unit prices
  • Execution of surveying and expropriations for lands and improvements: provisional sums
  • Maintenance for service levels: lump sum

Offer Validity Period: 150 calendar days counted from the deadline for submission of offers.

Offer Maintenance Guarantee Validity Period: 180 days counted from the submission of offers.

Presentation to the Tender: National or foreign companies individually or in consortium, with legal, economic-financial, and technical capacity.

Subcontracting: Subcontracting for the execution of some planned works is allowed, but the amount of subcontracted works cannot exceed 40% of the total contract amount. However, the awarded company must obtain prior authorization from the contracting entity.   

► Drinking water and sanitation project for the Metropolitan Area of Ciudad del Este ("Project”)}

The Ministry of Public Works and Communications (MOPC) through the Directorate of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DAPSAN) convened Prequalification 787 of the Project on February 15, 2024, which aims to contract the design and construction of works for the capture, treatment, and storage of drinking water in the metropolitan area of Ciudad del Este, the second largest city in Paraguay.

After notification of the prequalification results, the MOPC will invite the prequalified to submit their bids and proposals.

Among the planned works are:

  • Construction of a water intake chamber with a capacity of 1100 l/s.
  • Provision and installation of a floating barrier around the intake chamber.
  • Headworks: Pre-oxidation, Energy Buffer Chamber, Load Chamber, and Overflow Chamber.
  • Storage of drinking water of 1500m3 within the premises of the Drinking Water Treatment Plant (DWTP).
  • All civil engineering works must be designed and built for a capacity of up to 1100 l/s and water pump installations capable of delivering a flow of 500 l/s to the distribution center of Presidente Franco.
  • Construction of a buried cast iron rising main of approximately 900 mm in diameter for an initial capacity of 500 l/s and final project capacity of 1000 l/s.
  • Construction of 2 reservoirs of 7000 m3 each.

Project and Consultancy Financing: Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo (BID) y Agencia de Cooperación Internacional del Japón (JICA). Aprobada por Ley N° 7088/2023.

Estimated Project Value: USD. 200,000,000 of which USD 115,000,000 granted by the IDB and USD 63,000,000 by JAICA; of these, USD 1,600,000 will be allocated to the Consultancy.

Modality: International Public Tender (IPT).

Relevant Dates in Relation to the Project

  • Bid Submission Date: April 22, 2024 (9:00 am).
  • Bid Opening Date: April 22, 2024 (9:30 am).

Construction Period: 26 months from the receipt of the Project commencement order.

Project Execution Site: City of Presidente Franco, department of Ciudad del Este.

Eligibility Criteria: Companies interested in bidding must demonstrate financial capacity, technical capability, past contract performance/non-performance, among other requirements stipulated in the Project prequalification.

Subcontracting: Subcontracting the entirety of the works is not allowed. However, subcontracting for certain specialized parts of the works is permitted.

► Drinking Water and Sanitation Project for the Metropolitan Area of Asunción - Lambaré Basin ("Project")

The Ministry of Public Works and Communications (MOPC) through the Directorate of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DAPSAN) convened Prequalification 788 of the Project on February 15, 2024, aimed at contracting the design and construction of the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) and sub-fluvial emissary of the Lambaré basin, a city adjacent to Asunción. The Project is financed with funds from the IDB.

After notification of the prequalification results, the MOPC will invite the prequalified to submit their bids and proposals.

The Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) will require (i) design, (ii) construction, and (iii) provision of:

  • Dredging of approximately 1,000,000 m3 of sand in an area of 14 hectares and complementary works for stabilization and circulation. Internal and external drains, slope protection, vehicular and pedestrian access to the WWTP. The property must be raised to a level determined by the engineering design of the Project. This is because it is a flood-prone area near the floodplain of the Paraguay River.
  • Pumping Station 05 (PS05), pumping to the arrival chamber, and complementary works for its connection to the main collector.
  • Pre-treatment (PT) with odor control and treatment, Bypass (BY), Disinfection (DES emerg), and Sub-fluvial discharge emissary (EMIS).
  • Provision of electromechanical, electronic, electrical, automation, internal and external security equipment, etc.
  • Offices, warehouses, operation and maintenance structures, fences, gates, roads, and circulation routes for both vehicles and pedestrians. Personal safety systems and equipment.
  • Interconnection for access roads to the WWTP with the South Promenade.
  • Operation and maintenance for a minimum of 1 (one) year of the constructed works and transfer of knowledge to the future plant operator.

Financing: Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Official Credit Institute of the Kingdom of Spain (ICO). Approved by Law No. 7074/2023. It is noteworthy that the financing amount covers the entire work. 

Estimated Value: USD 165,000,000, of which USD 2,300,000 will be allocated to Consultancy.

Modality: International Public Tender.

Relevant Dates in Relation to the Project

  • Bid Submission Date: April 19, 2024 (9:00 am).
  • Bid Opening Date: April 19, 2024 (9:30 am).

Construction Period: 52 months plus 12 months of operation and maintenance following the inspection of the works.

Project Execution Site: The works will be carried out in the city of Asunción, and the land where the WWTP will be built is located in the Santa Ana neighborhood with an area of approximately 19 hectares. Additionally, the Sub-fluvial emissary will be executed in the Paraguay River.   

Eligibility Criteria: Companies interested in bidding must demonstrate financial capacity, technical capability, past contract performance/non-performance, among other requirements stipulated in the Project prequalification.

Subcontracting: Subcontracting the entirety of the works is not allowed. However, subcontracting for certain specialized parts of the works is permitted.

Other news:

  1. Acquisition of Aircraft for the Paraguayan Air Force

The Government announced its intention to acquire 6 "Super Tucano A 29" combat aircraft from Brazil for the Paraguayan Air Force (FAP). The aircraft would be used to combat organized crime. The investment would be approximately USD 121 million. The amount includes, in addition to the aircraft acquisition, the purchase of weapons, training programs for FAP air personnel, as well as the upgrade of another 6 "Tucano" aircraft of the FAP. The FAP commander indicated that the financing source for the aircraft purchase has not yet been decided; therefore, Government authorities are analyzing various alternatives to make the investment.

  1. Public Hearing Transmission Line 220KV Villa Hayes - Villa Real - Pozo Colorado - Loma Plata and Pozo Colorado Substation

On March 14, ANDE convened a public hearing to present the technical specifications of the construction project of the 220KV transmission line Villa Hayes - Villa Real - Pozo Colorado - Loma Plata and Pozo Colorado Substation. Among the most notable aspects of the hearing, we can mention the following: (i) it is expected that the tender will be launched during this semester; (ii) all lots comprising the tender can be awarded to one or several bidders; (iii) the tender rules will be those of the financier Kreditanstalt fur Wiederaufbau (KfW). The total value of the entire work is approximately USD 120,000,000.

For further information on any of the topics covered in this edition of our newsletter, please contact our experts: Silvia Benítezsbenitez@vouga.com.py); Manuel Acevedo (macevedo@vouga.com.py); Rodolfo G. Vouga (rgvouga@vouga.com.py); Carlos Vouga (cvouga@vouga.com.py) y Lucas Rolón (lrolon@vouga.com.py).