Chinese Crews Cleared to Conduct Crew Changes in Brazil

Chinese crews have been allowed to embark, disembark and go ashore in Brazil after five years of suspension, according to the Shipping Protection Ship Services from Brazil.

The shipping agency told World Maritime News that it has obtained authorization from Brazilian authorities for all Chinese crews holding Chinese seaman book to carry out crew changes again and go ashore in all Brazilian ports.

Since 2011, the Brazilian immigration authorities have prohibited Chinese crew members holding Chinese seaman books to embark and disembark as well as to go ashore in Brazilian ports, having in view the International Labour Organization (ILO) Conventions 108 and 158, of which China is not a signatory country.

The adoption of the directive applied to seafarers from all countries that are not party to the ILO conventions, who were told to refrain from effecting crew changes in Brazilian ports, as there was a risk that on arrival in Brazil the substituting seafarer would not be permitted to leave the airport and, as a consequence, would be directed to return to his country of origin.

The terms of the directive also stated that in the event of non-compliance the seafarer(s) concerned would be fined as much as USD 1,000 per seafarer.

“However, as shipping agents and after investigating the above matter deeply, we have learnt of the existence of an Agreement signed between the Government of Brazil and the Government of the People’s Republic of China in 1980 which is still in force but it was not being respected by Brazil,” the agency said.

After several consultations with the Head of the Brazilian Immigration in Brasilia and thereafter the Presidency of Brazil regarding this issue, the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Immigration Division Control in Brasilia determined early this week that based on the said agreement, which is still valid, Chinese crew members holding Chinese seaman book are again authorized to embark, disembark and go ashore in all Brazilian ports, the agency explained.

World Maritime News Staff

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