In 2009, the National Federation of Port Workers (FNP) filed information with the Federal Accounting Court (TCU) alleging irregularities in the exploration of private terminals located in organized port areas.

According to the federation, some terminals act as public terminals to the extent that they handle small portions of own cargo in comparison with third-parties’ cargo. Being private terminals, they are not subject to the conditions of operation imposed by the Ports Act (Law No. 8.630 of 1993), which obligate the use of manpower controlled by the Manpower Management Entity (OGMO), which implies higher costs than the simple application of the regime set forth in the CLT. This more favorable condition for the operation of private terminals and the extensive offer of port services to third-parties’ cargoes create unfair competition with respect to public terminals.

In 2012, the Department of Inspection, Privatization and Regulation (Sefid), TCU’S technical unit, issued an opinion pointing out that there were irregularities in the authorizations granted to some of these private terminals, on account of the imbalance between the volumes of own cargo and third-parties’ cargo handled.

Judging the matter, TCU’S justices decided by seven votes to one not to follow the technical opinion, for they understand the new regulatory landmark for exploration of ports and terminals, established by Provisional Presidential Decree No. 595, does not require own cargo to prevail over third-parties’, and it provides a timeframe for contracts existing prior to the publication of the Decree to be brought into compliance.