The Brazilian courts recently confirmed that unpaid debts for bunkers supplied to vessels are considered claims with a privileged nature under Brazilian law and thereby permit creditors to obtain security for any debts by arresting vessels in Brazilian ports. This case is one of the first precedents dealing with the application of the Liens Convention 1926 and grants legal safety for bunker suppliers and all other parties that hold credits of a privileged nature under Brazilian law.
The Baltic and International Maritime Council recently published two new clauses which require time charterparties to reduce sulphur emissions. The clauses regulate the effects of Annex VI of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, which stipulates that, from 1 January 2020, vessels will be able to consume only fuel with a sulphur content less than or equal to 0.5%.
Two members of Parliament recently presented a draft law that would mandate the installation of additional passive safety equipment for new boat engines and factory outlets. The draft law builds on previous legislation which sought to reduce the large number of serious accidents between vessels and the North Region's riverside inhabitants. Legislators await a congressional order to define the committees that will analyse the draft law and its procedural arrangements.
A court recently confirmed the Brazilian courts' lack of jurisdiction to judge a claim brought by a foreign bunker supplier against a foreign shipowner and operator seeking arrest of the debtor's vessel while calling at a Brazilian port. The decision sets an important precedent and should help to prevent ungrounded arrest claims, as it clarifies that it is paramount to carefully analyse all of the risks involving an arrest lawsuit in Brazil before taking any action in order to avoid unnecessary exposure.