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Brazilian labour block ports as protest against hike in fuel prices, taxes

Brazilian labour block ports as protest against hike in fuel prices, taxes

BRASLIA: The trouble has been ongoing for the past few days, beginning as an isolated protest over rising fuel prices, tolls and taxes and a new regulation which aims to limit their working hours per day.

But, the problem has spread and is now affecting ports in central and southern states, including Rio Grande do Sul, Parana, Santa Catarina, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Goias, Minas Gerais and Sao Paulo. The roads leading to Brazil’s busiest ports, Santos and Paranagua, are among those said to be blocked.

Despite intervention by the authorities and police, clearing a number of highways on late Saturday 28 February and Sunday 1 March, the truck drivers resumed the strike on Monday 2 March. The southern ports are said to be the most affected with 23 roads still remaining blocked.

In response to the strike, the federal government proposed signing into law a new truck drivers bill aimed at lowering toll costs and waiving fines for overloaded trucks, but has not been accepted by many who are looking for set lower fuel prices.

According to Skuld, a number of ports have reported a significant drop in cargo arriving and that this will lead to disruptions for subsequent vessels if the protest continues.

The following includes some port specific information from our correspondents. The situation on ground has been changing rapidly and we

The marine insurer is now advising members to contact local shipping agents for up-to-date information, and those with vessels already heading to Brazil, or waiting at anchorage, should check contractual provisions including notices of readiness, laytime, payment of hire, freight and demurrage, and responsibilities for providing and loading of cargo.

Skuld says there’s also a physical aspect to consider, which includes ensuring that vessels unexpectedly delayed have sufficient stores, water and fuel on board. Waiting at anchorage may also impact planned crew change-overs and any delivery of spares for maintenance, it says, so, these issues should be checked now and addressed appropriately.