Argentine exports may be transferred exclusively in Argentine ports or in other ports of the Mercosur’s Member States that maintain maritime transport agreements with Argentina.
On October 29, 2013, Resolution No. 1108/2013 issued by the Sub-Secretary of Ports (the “Resolution”) was published in the Official Gazette.
The Resolution established that within the geographical area of the Mercosur’s countries, exports originated in Argentine ports can only be transferred in other ports of national jurisdiction or in ports of the Mercosur’s Members States and its Associated States that maintain maritime transport agreements with Argentina in force.
It is important to mention that the Argentine Republic and the Federative Republic of Brazil signed the Agreement of Maritime Transport on August 15, 1985 (approved by Law No. 23,557), which is still in force. This agreement grants reciprocity to both countries regarding maritime transport, and also establishes that goods originated in Argentine ports and destined for Brazilian ports shall be transported only by ships with the national flag of the States Members (with equal shares over the total transports made). There are no other bilateral and/or multilateral agreements in force within the Mercosur.
In the Mercosur, the Sub-Group No. 5 – “Transport” – is in charge of the negotiations between the different Members States, and organizing meetings with specialists in maritime transportation, to achieve regional integration and the development of the merchant navy and the promotion of the navy industry of the Member States. In this regard, in recent years the parties are negotiating a draft Multilateral Maritime Transport Agreement.
The Member States were not able to agree of the terms and conditions for the implementation of this Multilateral Maritime Transport Agreement.
In fact, the Resolution restricts maritime transport within the Mercosur (the goods can only be transferred in Argentine ports and/or in ports of other Member States and their Associated States that maintain maritime transport agreements in force with Argentina (e.g. Brazil).
Any Member State that interprets that the Resolution violates the Asunción Treaty (Mercosur) may use the proceedings stated for the resolution of controversies in the Mercosur (“Protocolo de Olivos para la Solución de Controversias en el Mercosur” and the “Protocolo Modificatorio”).
This article is intended to provide readers with basic information concerning issues of general interest. It does not purport to be comprehensive or to render legal advice. For advice about particular facts and legal issues, the reader should consult legal counsel.