Brazilian shippers call for national fleet

14/07/15 11:44 AM


The dominant role that international shipping lines play in deciding the future of the Brazilian port sector has led to calls for the government  to tighten regulation and support domestic container vessels, delegates at the 3rd. Shippers' Forum, in Rio de Janeiro heard this week.


“We think that shipping companies that come to Brazil should be under some control by authorities, as happens in the aviation industry. The Brazilian government does not even know whether a company is really German or French, or if their vessels are registered in Liberia or Panama” said Andre de Seixas, president of Rio's shippers association Usuport-RJ said.


The forum, organized by Usuport-RJ, brought together key figures from the Brazilian shipping and port sectors to discuss regulation and the latest developments. Advocates for tougher legislation included Harvard-trained legal expert, Osvaldo Agripino, who called for regulation similar to that which has existed in the U.S. for over 60 years.


Agripino called for revision of Terminal Handling Charges (THC) -  a tariff to covers stevedoring costs -  claiming some shipowners used only returned part of these payments to pay terminals with the rest being "illegal profit". He also called for an end to the "demourrage" tariff which is aimed at compensating shipping companies for delays in ports.


“We discovered that, in some cases, the owners claim more days as lost time in Brazilian ports than is warranted, and, due to that, illegal overcharges are applied to exporters and importers. We listed about 20 items which are applied to freight rates in Brazil and some of them are illegal or overcharged,” Agripino said.


The lawyer informed delegates that local shippers recently joined London based Global Shippers' Forum, in order to defend clients rights towards shipping companies and terminals.


Former owner of shipping firm Transroll, Washington Barbeito  meanwhile  renewed demands for the government to support a national shipping fleet, calling it “unacceptable” that  the world’s  seventh largest economy should not have even one container vessel in foreign trade.


As the former owner of 50% of Santos' Tecondi Terminal - now called Ecoporto Santos - Barbeito suggested that government should approve a more effective second register - besides the present REB (Registro Especial Brasileiro) - in order that, with lower costs, local businessman could form new Brazilian companies to operate with container vessels to and from local ports to Europe and USA, and, in a second step, to Asia.







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