Argentina has not ratified Annex VI of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships and there is no domestic legislation concerning the use of exhaust gas cleaning systems. As a result, there is no prohibition on the use of open-loop scrubbers in territorial seas or internal waterways (eg, when manoeuvring inbound or outbound on the Paraná River or when a vessel is idling or carrying out a loading or discharging operation at a port).
Further to a National Cabinet meeting on 16 March 2020, a new regulation was introduced which prohibits entry into Argentina by sea, air or land for 15 calendar days by non-resident foreign nationals; this timeframe may be extended or lifted by the government as deemed appropriate. Given the uncertainty about the duration of these measures, it remains to be seen what effect they will have on the maritime industry.
The question of whether foreign-flagged ships involved in international trade are subject to value added tax (VAT) when supplying bunkers in Argentina is frequently posed. If a vessel is supplied bunkers in one Argentine port and subsequently calls to another Argentine port before proceeding overseas, this is generally considered to be cabotage and is therefore subject to VAT.
Local authorities have increasingly exercised their power to enforce local regulations concerning waste disposal and broadened the responsibility of vessels in this regard. It has become common practice for local authorities to request the compulsory discharge of waste from vessels, even if this action appears to go against commonly accepted international law that is binding in Argentina.
Ships calling at ports on the Parana river are increasingly being asked to submit a pest control certificate to the Health Authority. Failure to comply with this request could require the ship to be fumigated. However, this can be avoided if a ship can prove that it has been fumigated by a competent authority or if it has been exempted from such operation in the past six months and obtained a certificate from the health authorities of a port officially authorised for this purpose.
The new Belgian Maritime Code (NBMC) recently came into force and includes changes to the law on the arrest of sea-going vessels with regard to material law (arrests can now be made for non-maritime claims) and formal law (the legislation on the arrest of sea-going vessels has moved move from the Judicial Code to the NBMC). This article provides an overview of the essential law concerning ship arrests in Belgium.
The Chamber of Representatives recently enacted the new Maritime Code. Whereas the substantive rules on the arrest on sea-going ships will be directly governed by the International Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules Relating to the Arrest of Sea-Going Ships 1952, the procedures governing how to obtain an arrest authorisation will not fundamentally change. Belgium will remain a favourable place to arrest sea-going ships in order to obtain security for unpaid maritime claims.
The Chamber of Representatives recently enacted the new Maritime Code, which will replace – to a large extent, but not completely – numerous provisions in several existing codes. The new code is over 470 pages long and consequently cannot be explained in a few lines; however, this article highlights some of the major changes that will be introduced in relation to existing legislation.
The Supreme Court has rendered its second decision in the long-running road haulage dispute known as the 'sugar case'. The Supreme Court considered the scope of application of the Convention on the Contract for the International Carriage of Goods by Road (CMR), and whether all damages resulting from a loss that arises from a CMR contract can be recovered from the road carrier.
Over the past few years, the Antwerp Commercial Court has considered on multiple occasions the question of whether a carrier's terms and conditions published on its website can be validly incorporated into an agreement. Although the court has provided insightful guidance on the matter, further questions remain unanswered.
In October 2020 the Second Panel of the Superior Court of Justice issued a unanimous decision, on repetitive appeal, establishing that a claim to collect amounts relating to expenses for demurrage previously established in a maritime transport contract (unimodal) is limited to five years by the statute of limitations. This decision ratifies the court's prevailing position on the matter.
The National Immigration Council recently published Normative Resolution 42, which regulates the granting of residence permits for work purposes where no employment relationship exists in Brazil for seafarers on board vessels or foreign-flagged platforms. The new resolution provides an extensive definition of maritime workers, as well as definitions of non-crew professionals and non-sea crew members.
More than 20 years since the enactment of Law 9,432/97 (the Navigation Act), a major reform of Brazil's cabotage laws is underway. The federal government, after public hearings and debate, recently concluded the draft of the BR do Mar Bill and sent it to Congress for urgent review. This article examines the bill's main aims and the measures that it proposes to introduce.
The National Petroleum Agency recently published a resolution regulating the bulk transportation of oil and its derivatives, natural gas and biofuels by water, including deep-sea navigation, cabotage and maritime, port and inland support. According to the new resolution, waterway transportation for export purposes must be carried out by Brazilian companies.
The São Paulo Court of Appeals recently issued a ruling in a redress lawsuit filed by an insurer against an ocean carrier, confirming the lack of proof of subrogation and disregarding the cargo survey carried out unilaterally by the insurer's surveyor. The case concerned cargo damage which had allegedly occurred during ocean carriage from Shanghai to Santos.
The yachting industry, like many other travel-related industries, was initially hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there are now signs of recovery in the area of yacht sales and charters and the Cayman Islands continues to be a key player in the vessel registration space in these unprecedented times. This article summarises the registration process and sets out some of the key reasons for registering vessels in the Cayman Islands.
The Sub-secretariat of Public Health recently developed the Protocol for the Detection of Suspected Cases of COVID-19 in Ports (Phase 4). The protocol aims to define actions for vessels requesting entry into the country or carrying out cabotage, establish guidelines for the timely detection of COVID-19 in ports and determine the action to be taken in the face of suspected COVID-19 cases detected at ports.
Customs recently issued three complementary resolutions to its cargo delivery procedures. However, grey areas remain regarding their interpretation and practical implementation, particularly in connection with the potential delivery of cargo without surrender of the original bill of lading. In this respect, ocean carriers should proceed carefully and liaise with their Chilean port agents to define interim protocols.
In an unprecedented action, the owners of a vessel attempted to undermine arrest measures by bringing a constitutional remedy before the Concepción Court of Appeal. The decision helps to protect the institution and procedure relating to vessel arrests and implies more certainty in terms of the outcome of such proceedings.
In the context of the current COVID-19 crisis, Customs recently issued Resolution 1179/20, which implements transitory modes for the treatment of various customs procedures and the ways of presenting documents associated therewith to facilitate foreign trade transactions. Among these transitory measures, Customs has authorised electronic exchanges and amendments to bills of lading. However, customs agents must now obtain the original bill of lading from its issuer and keep it in its importation file.
The Merchant Navy Law, which includes a cabotage reservation system, implies that only Chilean vessels are permitted to provide maritime or fluvial transport services (of cargo or passengers) within Chile or its exclusive economic zone. However, Law 21,138 recently came into force, allowing passenger cabotage on foreign cruise vessels provided that certain conditions are met.