News 13 Apr, 2011

Brazil - Immigration Fines - Further Update

Our news article of 25 January 2011 referred to the suspension of immigration fines in the case of seafarers who do not possess a seaman’s book issued by a country which has ratified ILO conventions No. 108 or No. 185 and lack a valid Brazilian visa in their passports. Further developments have since been reported by local correspondents Representacoes Proinde Ltda.  

Contrary to earlier advice, the Immigration National Council and General Co-ordination of Immigration Police have now decided that sanctions will indeed be imposed. Consequently seafarers joining a vessel or being repatriated may not use their seaman’s book to leave or enter Brazil unless it has been issued by a ratifying country. Such seafarers will now need to use their passports and ensure that it contains a Brazilian visa before doing so.    

Previously the risk of fines for incorrect documentation was largely confined to the ports of Recife and Suape. However, this decision is expected to result in many more Brazilian ports following suit.  

Vessels arriving in Brazil with seafarers on board who do not possess such documentation will not be fined if the seafarers concerned remain on the ship throughout its stay in port. Although a strict interpretation of the requirements suggests that a seafarer lacking the necessary documentation may not be granted permission to receive medical attention ashore, this has yet to be tested in practice.  

Owners may appeal against fines for breaches of regulations via the local federal court. However, the outcome of such an appeal cannot be predicted.  

The countries that have ratified ILO Conventions 108 and 185 are, at the date of publication, as follows:


ILO Convention No. 108 ILO Convention No. 185
Algeria Guatemala Panama Albania
Angola Guinea-Bissau Poland Azerbaijan
Antigua and Barbuda Guyana Portugal Bahamas
Barbados Honduras Romania Bosnia and Herzegovina
Belarus Iceland Saint Lucia Brazil
Belize India Saint Vincent & Grenadines France
Bulgaria Iran Seychelles Hungary
Cameroon Iraq Slovenia Indonesia
Canada Ireland Solomon Islands Jordan
Cuba Italy Spain Kazakhstan
Czech Republic Kyrgyzstan Sri Lanka Republic of Korea
Denmark Latvia Sweden Madagascar
Djibouti Liberia Tajikistan Moldova
Dominica Lithuania Tanzania Nigeria
Estonia Luxembourg Tunisia Pakistan
Fiji Malta Turkey Russian Federation
Finland Mauritius Ukraine Vanuatu
Ghana Mexico United Kingdom Yemen
Greece Morocco Uruguay  
Grenada Norway    

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