Hurricane Maria's Aftermath, Part II: Puerto Rico Government Provides Various Exemptions And Extensions To Multiple Upcoming Deadlines

Author:Ms Lourdes Hernández-Venegas, Vanessa I. Marzán-Hernández and Ana María Bigas-Kennerley
Profession:Littler Mendelson
 
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In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria's catastrophic impact on Puerto Rico, in order to assist in rebuilding and recovery, Puerto Rico's governor and several agencies have issued multiple exemptions to previously established rules for operations, as well as extensions to multiple deadlines.1 Highlighted below are some of these exemptions and extensions. Given the scope of the damage caused by María, it is likely that additional exemptions and extensions will be approved in the coming weeks and months.

Office of the Governor

Executive Order 2017-053 (OE-2017-053), issued on September 28, 2017

This executive order:

Temporarily exempts contractors of any agency or public corporation, and any entity of the executive branch, from complying with multiple requirements for performing government contract work. Temporarily exempts government agencies, instrumentalities, public corporations and Puerto Rico executive branch entities, from complying with various requirements for leasing real estate from private parties, as long as contracts expire on or before June 30, 2018. Exempts individuals or companies engaged in the business of construction (including remodeling, modifying, altering, installing or performing essential repairs to residential structures, as well as those who, directly or indirectly, administer or direct such work) from having to register with the Contractors' Register mandated by Puerto Rico's Consumer Affairs Department ("DACO" for its Spanish acronym) in its Regulation No. 8172. Exempts individuals who possess a Puerto Rico driver's license in categories 6, 7, 8 or 9, from having to obtain a certification to transport fuel (such as gasoline, diesel and other petroleum-based products) through Puerto Rico's roads, provided they obtain a special dispensation from the U.S. Transportation Department. Authorizes the entry of any fuel transportation vehicles into any fuel distribution center. Orders the Puerto Rico Treasury to exempt fuel transportation vehicles from tax payments, subject to certain requirements. In addition, this executive order directs the PR Treasury and the Ports Authority to ensure expeditious entry of these vehicles into ports, and orders the Public Service Commission and the Environmental Quality Board to suspend certain permit requirements for fuel and generator transportation vehicles. Department for Consumer Affairs ("DACO" for its Spanish Acronym)

Administrative Order 2017-014, issued on October 3, 2017

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