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09 April 2014
In order to abide by Article 1(II) of Decree 7,860/2012, on December 16 2013 the National Committee for Pilotage Matters published Public Consultation 02/2013 in the Official Gazette. The consultation deals with the maximum price schedule per manoeuvre for pilotage services in Pilotage Zones PZ-12, PZ-14 and PZ-16, which cover areas at the ports in the states of Sao Paulo, Espirito Santo and Bahia.
In order to set the maximum prices submitted for public consultation, the committee used the methodology for the regulation of prices of pilotage services, which was approved by the committee in Resolution 3 (ratified by Ordinance 284/2013 issued by the Directorate of Ports and Coastlines on September 25 2013). The methodology is based on the parameters for several US ports with a strong correlation to the Brazilian port system.
Following publication of Public Consultation 02/2013, pilots and service providers have raised concerns that the maximum prices set by the consultation do not offer fair remuneration for the services provided. Given these circumstances, the National Pilotage Council filed a writ of mandamus against the director of ports and coastlines of the Brazilian Navy, seeking preliminarily to obtain (as regards its associates):
The writ of mandamus was distributed to the 17th Federal Court of the Judicial District of Rio de Janeiro.(1) The court rendered its decision on January 15 2014, granting the injunction sought by the National Pilotage Council.
In his decision, the judge argued that any stipulation of maximum prices for pilotage services can occur only in exceptional cases, as interpreted by Article 14(II) of Law 9.537/1997.
No appeal has yet been filed by the defendant authority (which was notified on January 16 2014) with regard to the in limine decision at the Regional Federal Appellate Court of the Second Region, which was competent to consider a possible appeal.
The regulation of pilotage prices is considered a fundamental issue in ensuring greater competitiveness among Brazilian ports, as the costs of such services in Brazil are among the highest in the world.
For further information on this topic please contact Godofredo Mendes Vianna at Kincaid | Mendes Vianna Advogados by telephone (+55 21 2276 6200), fax (+55 21 2253 4259) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). The Kincaid | Mendes Vianna Advogados website can be accessed at www.kincaid.com.br.
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