A new management structure is to be implemented at the port of Marseilles-Fos under French government reforms affecting the nation’s seven main ports.

Legislation changing the so-called ‘autonomous’ status of the ports came into effect on October 10 with official publication of the terms of application. The Port Autonome de Marseille will now be known as Grand Port Maritime de Marseille (GPMM) and governed under a three-tier system of executive, supervisory and development boards.

The four-strong executive board, with a president to be designated by the State, will take prime responsibility for strategic planning, which in future will focus on infrastructure development. The first task is to define strategy over the next five years, including details of the transfer of cargo handling to the private sector as required by the new law.

The other two boards will replace the current administrative council of 26 members. The supervisory line-up of 17 members will include five State appointees, three from GPMM, four local authority representatives and five from bodies such as the chamber of commerce. They will meet four times a year to review the executive’s policy and budget proposals.

In a consultative role on strategy and tariffs, the development board is to meet at least twice a year and will include 40 members – 12 each from port professionals, local authorities and development parties as well as four from port-based companies.