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New Rule allows E&P companies to Charter vessels for maritime support navigation in Brazil

  • Legal Development 20 July 2021 20 July 2021
  • Energy & Natural Resources

New Rule allows E&P companies to Charter vessels for maritime support navigation in Brazil

Traditionally, the Brazilian regulatory framework has only allowed maritime support navigation to be performed by Brazilian Shipping Companies (called “EBNs’’ locally), duly registered as such with the National Waterway Transportation Agency (“ANTAQ’’).

After years of discussions, ANTAQ has issued a Resolution (nº 44/2021) allowing E&P companies (not registered / set up as EBNs) to charter vessels for maritime support navigation activities.

This new Resolution has changed ANTAQ’s Resolution nº 1/2015, which governs the chartering of vessels by EBNs for maritime support, cabotage, port support and long-haul navigation.

The New Rules

The new rules provide that EBNs may time charter Brazilian flagged vessels to E&P companies who operate in the exploration of minerals and hydrocarbons in national territorial waters and in the Economic Zone.

The above is subject to two caveats: (i) the nautical management of the vessel shall remain with the EBN and (ii) the E&P charterer must not use the vessel to provide navigation services to third parties or sub-charter the vessel.

In addition to being authorized to charter Brazilian flagged vessels, E&P companies shall also be able to charter foreign flagged vessels from EBNs under bareboat charters.

On the chartering of foreign flagged vessels, the EBN shall remain responsible for the authorization and circularization procedures vis-à-vis ANTAQ.

Opportunities

The above new rules are expected to increase competition and efficiency in the Brazilian shipping and oil & gas markets, which may attract more players and foreign investments to the country.

For further guidance on the new ANTAQ Resolution, please do not hesitate to contact the Authors below.

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