History of Ghent Port Company - the legal form

The Autonomous Municipal Company ‘Ghent Port Company AMC' was founded by the Ghent City Council on June 29, 1999 in execution of the decree on the policy and management of the seaports of March 2, 1999 (‘port decree’ = decreet houdende het beleid en het beheer van de zeehavens van 2 maart 1999). The company became operational on January 1, 2000.

Autonomous municipal port company
On March 27, 2008 the decree of February 1, 2008 for the modification of the port decree of March 2, 1999 with regard to the municipal decree was published. This decree modified the legal form of among others Ghent Port Company from an ‘autonomous municipal company' to an ‘autonomous municipal port company’ (ampc). The reason for this was that the rules concerning the usual autonomous municipal companies were no longer adapted to the specific situation of the port companies. After all, they have unique competences and obligations.

Consequently, a new legal form was created for the municipal port companies, being the ‘autonomous municipal port companies' (ampc). Because of this, also the articles of association of Ghent Port Company had to be adapted. The new articles of association were published in the annexes to the Belgian Law Gazette of November 10, 2008.

Nv van publiek recht (limited liability company under public law)
On January 1, 2014 Ghent Port Company’s legal form was changed into an 'nv van publiek recht' (limited liability company under public law). This decision allows the Port Company to have other partners than only the city of Ghent accede as shareholder to the port management. In particular the neighbouring communities of Evergem and Zelzate – over which the port area also extends - and the province of East Flanders are given the opportunity to form part of the port’s management. It gives them a fully-fledged say in managing the port. Moreover, the Port Company can easily participate in investments in and outside the port area and proceed to a capital increase.