Emergency measures in the context of Justice, Maritime Authorities, Regulatory Bodies and Associations
In view of the current scenario, on March 19th, the National Council of Justice issued Resolution nº 313 establishing the so-called Extraordinary Duty regime. That includes, among other issues, the implementation of virtual work by magistrates, as well as remote assistance to interested parties. Additionally, it was determined the suspension of the procedural deadlines until April 31st (extendable), guaranteeing the judicial assessment of matters considered as urgent.
In this same understanding, Ordinance nº 14, dated March 18th, edited by the Maritime Court, also decided to suspend the deadlines of the processes that are pending on it until April 1st, suspending the Judgment Sessions that would be held in the period (Ordinances 15 and 16, dated 18 March).
Representing the Maritime Authority regarding the safety of waterway traffic and the environment, the Directorate of Ports and Coasts edited Ordinance nº 85 last week (March 19th). That extends the validity of Water and Non-Water certificates for another 120 days, among them: Authorizations for the operation and / or permanence of a foreign flag vessel in Brazilian Jurisdictional Waters (AJB); the Civil Liability certificates for Damage Caused by Oil Pollution (CLC 69); the annual, intermediate Class inspections and renewal of statutory certificates recommended in the IMO Conventions and International Codes, and in the Norms of the Maritime Authority - NORMAM.
In a note published on-line on March 20th, the Brazilian National Waterway Transport Agency - ANTAQ clarified that public and private ports, other port facilities, as well as interstate and international waterway transport activities, remain in operation. The Agency made it clear, however, that companies must comply with measures to contain the spread of the new coronavirus (COVID-19), according to guidelines from Health Authorities and the Federal Government. Alleging questions of public interest, the Agency informed that any suspension of services on interstate, international and border waterway transportation lines is not a measure considered by the National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA). The complete suspension of this service would cause, among other aspects, damage to medical care and the displacement of health professionals, as well as the supply of vaccines, supplies and medicine to Brazilian states.
On March 18th, The Public Ministry of Labor, alongside the National Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels Agency – ANP, the Brazilian Navy, the National Health Surveillance Agency - ANVISA and the Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources - IBAMA, published a “Recommendation” addressed to the operating companies / concessionaires in the O&G industry and service providers in order to establish, develop and / or implement an emergency response organizational structure to prevent workers from the coronavirus (COVID-19) exposure, as well as an infection prevention plan involving workers acting on oil exploration and production platforms.
The Brazilian Association of Cabotage Shipowners – ABAC has already expressed itself for the continuity of cabotage services, in compliance with the principles of prevention and maintenance of product supply to society. It will offer free transportation of basic necessities to the needy population, providing a number of free multimodal operations according to the identification and demand of the Federal Government. This measure will be available until April 20th, 2020 and may be extended.
The Maritime team is available in case of doubts.