Shipping & Transport updates


Contributed by Venetucci & Asociados
New regulation aims to combat spread of Asian and Japanese gypsy moths
  • Argentina
  • 14 April 2021

A new regulation has entered into force to combat the risk of Asian and Japanese gypsy moths being transported into Argentina. The new regulation affects vessels which have been to certain regions of concern in the past 24 months. This article outlines the procedure which such vessels must follow before arriving in Argentina.

New regulation makes waves: Coastguard establishes maximum speed for stretch of Parana River
  • Argentina
  • 03 March 2021

A new Coastguard regulation has established the maximum speed between km 406 and km 435 of the Parana River. This regulation is the result of pressure from local dinghy sailors and yacht owners which have allegedly suffered damages while moored in this spot. The reported damages were allegedly caused by the waves that vessels produce when travelling at high speeds.

Use of open-loop scrubbers complies with Argentine regulations
  • Argentina
  • 29 July 2020

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).

Transport restrictions introduced due to coronavirus outbreak
  • Argentina
  • 01 April 2020

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.

Bunker supply and VAT
  • Argentina
  • 24 April 2019

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.


Contributed by Kegels & Co
Ship arrests in Belgium – law and practice
  • Belgium
  • 24 February 2021

This article provides an overview of the law and practice concerning ship arrests in Belgium. It examines the procedure for arresting sea-going vessels under various laws and treaties and the consequences thereof, as well as the definition of a 'sea-going vessel' for arrest purposes.

Ship arrests in Belgium – essential statute law
  • Belgium
  • 02 December 2020

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.

New Maritime Code: what about arrest of sea-going ships?
  • Belgium
  • 29 May 2019

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.

Changes ahoy! New Maritime Code enacted
  • Belgium
  • 24 April 2019

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.

Sweet and sour: courts consider scope of CMR application and awardable damages
  • Belgium
  • 16 April 2014

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.


Contributed by Kincaid | Mendes Vianna Advogados
Brazil decides not to renew bilateral agreements on maritime transport with Argentina and Uruguay
  • Brazil
  • 26 May 2021

Brazil will not renew its bilateral agreements on maritime transport with Argentina and Uruguay, which have been in force since 1985 and 1976, respectively. The main issue addressed by both bilateral agreements was that the movement of goods between the signatory countries' ports should preferably be carried out by ships under the flag of one of the signatory countries. This decision, among other things, demonstrates a clear trend towards the opening up of Brazil's deep-sea navigation.

New draft resolution to standardise how container terminals provide basic services
  • Brazil
  • 24 March 2021

The National Waterway Transportation Agency recently published Notice of Public Hearing 4/2021, soliciting feedback on a draft resolution which aims to standardise how container terminals provide basic services and establish guidelines for the provision of supplementary services. The draft resolution will apply to port facilities that handle or store containerised cargo through a lease or other authorisation, including back-up port areas within ports.

STJ confirms five-year limitation period for collection of demurrage of containers in maritime transport
  • Brazil
  • 13 January 2021

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.

CNIg amends rule for foreign seafarers in vessels that operate in Brazil
  • Brazil
  • 16 December 2020

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.

New bill to develop cabotage trade sent to Congress
  • Brazil
  • 16 September 2020

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.

Cayman Islands

Contributed by Ogier
Vessel registration in the Cayman Islands
  • Cayman Islands
  • 16 December 2020

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.


Contributed by JJR Abogados
Supreme Court grants compensation for hydrocarbon spill
  • Chile
  • 05 May 2021

The Supreme Court recently granted compensation for moral damages (pain and suffering) to workshop service providers and fisherpeople in the context of a hydrocarbon spill. The spill occurred when a tank vessel discharged crude oil at Empresa Nacional del Petróleo's terminal in San Vicente Bay. The shipping industry should follow this development carefully as it implies more certainty on the indemnification parameters for future spill cases.

Protocol for detection of suspected COVID-19 cases in Chilean ports
  • Chile
  • 23 December 2020

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.

Complementary resolutions to cargo delivery procedures issued
  • Chile
  • 05 August 2020

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.

Constitutional remedy incorrect legal tool for challenging vessel arrests
  • Chile
  • 29 April 2020

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.

COVID-19 crisis and changes to cargo delivery procedures
  • Chile
  • 01 April 2020

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.