Gov. Rosselló Signs Permitting Reform Act
SAN JUAN – Gov. Ricardo Rosselló signed Tuesday the Permitting Reform Act (Act19-2017), which seeks to streamline the permitting process for businesses and promote new investments, job creation and economic development.
“A few weeks ago, we introduced this bill, which now becomes law, to continue promoting economic development and reduce government red tape. It is part of our efforts, and our promise, to turn Puerto Rico into an attractive destination for investment,” Rosselló said during the signing ceremony.
The new law consolidates the process to obtain a permit, certification of fire prevention, environmental health, licenses, and authorizations into a single permit.
“This piece of legislation is a necessary structural reform that increases our competitiveness and puts us in a better position to attract foreign investment,” said Ricardo Álvarez-Díaz, president of the Builders Association of Puerto Rico.
Small and midsize businesses will be able to obtain the single permit automatically.
The law also creates the Unified Information System, which integrates all requirements to do business in Puerto Rico into a single website (One Stop-PR Doing Business), which will allow users to apply for both state and municipal permits and licenses online.
According to the World Bank’s Doing Business Report, Puerto Rico is currently listed 131 out of 190 countries in the ease of obtaining a building permit. Tuesday’s release says that obtaining a construction permit used to take on average 165 days and involved 20 separate processes.