On April 25 2016 the National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels (ANP) published Notice of Public Consultation and Public Hearing 9. The consultation and public hearing sought comments regarding the enactment of a regulatory act which will declare whether maritime vessels used to acquire seismic data that were built or remodelled in Brazil between 2008 and 2015 fall under the local content exemption rule.

The consultation was called in large part due to local content exemption requests from oil companies operating in Brazil, based on the understanding that the vessels used for the acquisition of seismic data were not built or remodelled in Brazil.

In light of the oil companies' requests, ANP opened an administrative proceeding entitled "Investigation on the inexistence and/or unavailability of maritime vessels for acquisition of seismic data" which, among other things, required a public consultation to be held.

Notably, in November 2015 when the National Agency for Waterway Transportation (ANTAQ) was consulted by ANP, ANTAQ held that seismic research vessels fall outside the scope of the agency's jurisdiction, although the agency's jurisdiction is being revised.

The public hearing closed on June 23 2016.

For further information on this topic please contact Godofredo Mendes Vianna at Kincaid | Mendes Vianna Advogados by telephone (+55 21 2276 6200) or email (godofredo@kincaid.com.br). The Kincaid | Mendes Vianna Advogados website can be accessed at www.kincaid.com.br.

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