Organisation and duties


The Port Authority of Papeete was created on January 13th 1962, the year when the “Centre d’Expérimentation du Pacifique” settled in the island of Moruroa, located in the Tuamotu Archipelago of French Polynesia. In 1997, with the statutory reform, the PAP became an “Etablissement Public à Caractère Industriel et Commercial” (EPIC) and beneficiated from self-governance.



Statuses of the Port Authority of Papeete define its duties and institute operating rules.



The Port Authority of Papeete was organised as an “Etablissement Public Territorial” by deliberation n°62.2 of January 5st 1962 delivered by the Territorial Assembly and made effective by decree n° 108 AA/IAA of January 13th 1962. This decree was then completed by decree n°1138/CM of November 21st 1985. These texts define characteristics of the Port of Papeete’s district and deals with operating rules of the Board of Directors, composed by the establishment’s status. The decree n°1138/CM specifies the Board of Directors is directed by the Minister in charge of the management of ports. It also defines powers of the Board of Directors which especially deliberates on all investment projects and land acquisitions. It fixes budget, financial and accounting rules applicable to the establishment. Otherwise the decree specifies characteristics of the COO, the organizer of revenues and expenses charged to apply final deliberations of the Board of Directors and to ensure the good working of the establishment and staff management.


A reform for more flexibility and reactivity

In 1997, with a statutory reform, the Port of Papeete gains more autonomy. Since the adoption of deliberation n°97-231 of December 22nd 1997 by the Assembly of French Polynesia, the Port of Papeete became an “Etablissement Public à Caractère Industriel et Commercial”, under the supervision of the minister in charge of the Port of Papeete and the Chairman of Board of Directors. This deliberation has been completed by decree n°1473 in Council of Ministers of December 26th 1997. This decree fixed rules about the internal organisation and working of the Port. With this new legal regime and these new development prospects it offers in terms of flexibility of management particularly, the Port of Papeete have major assets to reconcile requirements linked to its duty of public service with expectations of economic partners.


Financial and management autonomy

The Port of Papeete remains submitted to rules of public accounting and to procedures proper to public establishments. Nevertheless, new operating rules of the entity enable it to model its management methods on those of the private sector, and then to beneficiate from a bigger margin of management and a high ability to react. This “EPIC” status enables a logic of business, an idea that ports in France already applied. The Port Authority of Papeete enjoys a full financial autonomy, managing its own resources and expenses. The investment budget is funded by surplus of products or by borrowings to official bodies such as the “Caisse Française de Développement”. Receipts essentially come from services provided and from management of the assets. A toll tax on goods, perceived by the Customs Service to the benefit of the PAP ensures the complement of receipts. The Board of Directors can fix tariffs, duties and taxes in force in the Port. But it can’t fix the toll tax, which rate is fixed by deliberation of the Assembly of French Polynesia.


Resources of the Port Authority of Papeete

We can distinguish fees and taxes perceived on vessels, goods and various services provided and services relating to the occupation of the port district.
Fees and taxes chargeable by vessels include mooring and berthage fees as well as towing and boatage rates.
Fees and taxes chargeable by goods are made up of a toll tax, wharfage, berthage and storage fees.
Fees perceived on various services provided concern services like vessel towing, energy supply (water, electricity, phone, Internet), renting of tugboats and speedboats, security watch and household garbage collection. Fees perceived on the occupation of terrestrial, real-estate and maritime domains are farms-out of sheds, buildings, offices and premises, sites and platforms.



Serving customers, investing, managing the domain and protecting installations: these are duties of the Port, an essential player of the economic development in French Polynesia. Thus, the Port Authority of Papeete undertakes actions and investments to complete successfully these duties.

Duties of the Port Authority of Papeete are made in the port district which extends on a maritime domain of 2250 hectares and a public terrestrial domain of 80 hectares, between land and a barrier reef on the North side. The port district is divided into several decentralized areas: the Port of Papeete, the Port of Vaiare in Moorea and the Marina Taina, located on the west coast of Tahiti in the commune of Punaauia. Since April 1st 2001, special layouts in the Port of Papeete are governed by the “Code des ports maritimes de la Polynésie française”, adopted by deliberation n° 2001-5/APF on January 11th 2001.


Services and activities adapted

The Port Authority of Papeete is charged to create and manage all public services necessary for vessel traffic and port activity in French Polynesia. It proposes to customers with diverse expectations a wide range of services, by implementing human resources and specialized infrastructures in order to facilitate maritime trade. The Port is also charged to undertake every industrial, commercial or service activity contributing to its economic activity. We particularly note the realization and management of equipment, installations, stocking and handling buildings, industrial areas and various activities. To that end, the Port has all powers about the administration and use of real or personal properties constituting its assets. The Port is also allowed to put aside or earmark lands for future property developments.


Constant investments

The Port Authority of Papeete is assigned with making extensions, improvements, renovations, rebuilding operations and layouts of port industrial areas and yachting areas; and this, to provide economic players of the country with a modern and successful infrastructure. Improvement and development of port infrastructures is one of the priorities of the Port. Each year, an investment program which amount represents close to half of the budget, is settled to develop international and local trade. Using port infrastructures requires construction of platforms for material handling. Improving reception of passengers in transit coming from cruises and inter-island travels is also a priority.


Management and protection of the domain

The Port is responsible for managing a strategic domain located in the heart of the capital. This strategic domain is continually highlighted to the benefit of the Polynesian community, so that every user can work efficiently: ship-owners, shipping agencies, stevedoring companies, local and foreigner fishermen, importers and forwarding agents. They have more than 157 800 m² of water covered areas, principally made up of sheds, warehouses and offices at their disposal.


Security of traffic and installations

The Port Authority of Papeete, which is a mainstay of Polynesian economy, has to keep watch over installations ashore and maritime operations made in the port district. These duties are incumbent upon the Habour Master’s Office and the Port Police. The Harbour Master’s Office has to ensure regulation of sea transport within the port district, by controling daily entries and exits of vessels and berth appointments. Controling and watching at port works, buoys, lights and seabed conditions guarantee a total security for vessels calling at Port of Papeete.
The Port police is in charge of keeping watch over the port district and particularly the Customs area, where passes in transit the major part of goods coming from the whole world. The Port police keeps watch over the respect of anchorage regulations applicable to yachts and their use of quays. Finally, the Port Police has to regulate vehicle traffic on quays and annexes during loading and unloading of goods or disembarkation and embarkation of passengers.

Comments are closed.