The president recently signed Law 13,194/2015 into force. The new law has amended Law 7,573/1986, which sets out the requirements for professional education programmes for seafarers.

The bill establishing Law 13,194/2015 was a Ministry of Defence initiative undertaken by the Navy. Before the law was enacted, entry into the Merchant Marine Officers Training School (EFOMM) was governed by regulations and notifications based on Law 6,880/1980 and Law 11,727/2006 – the latter of which was repealed by Law 12,704/2012.

According to the Supreme Court, this legal framework was weak, as the requirements for joining the armed forces – including EFOMM – must be defined by law, rather than other normative regulations. In light of the Supreme Court's stance, the Navy prepared a draft bill in order to standardise the professional education of seafarers.

The new law has also introduced some important changes, such as distance vocational training and new requirements for entry into EFOMM. In addition, under the new law, seafarers who perform their duties offshore are no longer included in a shipping company's total number of employees with regard to the disability quota set out in Law 8,213/1991. This is due to a serious distortion in the application of Law 8,213 with regard to shipping companies, as approximately 70% to 80% of their workforces are comprised of seafarers who, by virtue of their activities, cannot be disabled.

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

This article was first published by the International Law Office, a premium online legal update service for major companies and law firms worldwide. Register for a free subscription.