On December 26 2017 the National Agency for Waterway Transportation (ANTAQ) published Normative Resolution 18, regulating the rights and duties of users, intermediary agents and companies operating in offshore and port support, cabotage and deep-sea navigation and establishing administrative infractions.
The normative was subject to ANTAQ Public Consultation 16/2016 and has ultimately introduced innovations into this field, particularly regarding:
- the regulation of intermediary agents;
- refusals to provide maritime transport services;
- rights to retain goods or refuse to issue a bill of lading until the payment of freight and the general average contribution;
- liability when delivering goods at the final destination in cases of suppression of scale (ie, having to cover costs);
- the definition of 'container demurrage';
- rules relating to information availability, price transparency and restrictions on collection; and
- representation of foreign maritime carriers.
In addition, ANTAQ created a registration process for foreign international non-vessel operators that have operations in Brazilian ports.
Further, as determined by the normative resolution, shipping agents may charge the shipper, consignee, endorser or the bearer of the bill of lading only those values that are due to the represented maritime carrier. On the other hand, maritime transporters and intermediary agents are forbidden from directly collecting from third parties outside the legal relationship.
Notably, the information to be provided by maritime carriers and intermediary agents regarding the services, operations or availability to be contracted by the users must be accessible in a clear and precise way (until contracting) to the shipper, consignee, endorser or bearer of the bill of lading, regardless of whether it is a contractor.
Further, it was established that the concept of adequate service and the prices charged therein should contemplate the actual costs and benefits to the users, in addition to establishing the obligations and penalties applicable to shipping companies during ocean navigation, cabotage, offshore and port support navigation, as well as carriers and non-vessel operating common carriers.
The resolution also set fines from R10,000 up to R100,000 in case of non-compliance.
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