26 June 2012 Inchcape Shipping Services, the world’s leading maritime services provider, advises that strikes by Brazilian customs officers are disrupting major ports and that the clearance of imported goods has slowed significantly. The company reports that unless this week’s negotiations with the government around better salaries and working conditions are successful, interruption to vessel movements is likely to intensify.
Industrial action of varying lengths and degrees has already affected normal port operations in the majority of Brazil’s major ports including Santos, Paranagua, Salvador, Manaus, Santarem, Santana and Itacoatiara. Customs officers had originally advised shipping agents that they would stop work for two days a week, and only work at a minimal level on the remaining days, until an agreement is reached.
Customs’ leaders have now warned that if the negotiations taking place over the next few days are unsuccessful, they will start an undefined strike which will affect the whole country and paralyse Brazil including ports, airports and bonded warehouses. Importers, including industry which relies on raw materials and parts, are expecting to be particularly badly hit.
ISS Brazil is continuing to monitor events in the country on behalf of shipowners and operators, and will advise clients accordingly on how to mitigate the impact to their normal operations.