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ANTAQ changes its position regarding chartering of vessels for inland navigation

Infrastructure and Energy; Shipping and Ports

In a recent decision in administrative proceeding 50300.000538/2018-45, the Executive Board of the Brazilian National Agency of Waterway Transportation ("ANTAQ") held that a Brazilian Shipping Company ("EBN") operating in inland navigation may bring and maintain in Brazil the same foreign vessel for a period longer than 36 months, provided that no other EBN blocks the foreign vessel and new charter-parties are signed.

The main point of the decision focuses on the sole paragraph of article 11 of ANTAQ Resolution No. 1,864/2010 (which concerns rules on chartering for inland navigation). Such rule establishes that if the case of a bareboat charter or time charter of a foreign vessel for inland navigation, the charter must have be for a maximum period of 12 months, 2 renewals of 12 months each being permitted.

ANTAQ has historically applied the most restrictive interpretation of this rule, i.e., the foreign vessel could only remain in Brazilian inland waters for 36 months and after such period could not be used under another charter-party.

Under ANTAQ's new interpretation, the foreign vessel may remain in Brazil for an indefinite period, as long as the EBN signs new charter-parties and the vessel is not blocked.

This new position is in line with the charter rules for other types of navigation (long haul, cabotage, offshore supply and port supply), where a charter authorization may be successively granted for periods of up to 12 months without limitation, if the vessel is not blocked.

ANTAQ has been discussing a review of the charter rules for inland navigation (ANTAQ Resolution No. 1.864/2010) and the market expects that ANTAQ will soon publish a draft of a new resolution for public consultation. 

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