908 - 08/13 - Visas for crew members - Brazil
There have been a number of recent cases where Owners have been fined, and crew members repatriated, due to non-compliance with Brazilian visa requirements.
Whenever a vessel is trading a Brazilian cargo between two Brazilian ports (cabotage), a Temporary V Consular Visa must be obtained for all crewmembers.
There is a grace period of 30 days for obtaining this visa (starting from the day the vessel first enters Brazilian Territorial waters), and if the visa is not properly obtained within this time frame, the Owners will be subject to large fines and crew may be ordered to be repatriated, often within a very short time period (such as within 72 hours).
Crew members joining the vessel during this time must already have obtained a visa prior to arrival via their local Brazilian Consulate.
In addition to crew visas, the vessel must also have a license from the Brazilian Authorities (Agencia Nacional de Transportes Aquaviarios - ANTAq) in order to trade Brazilian cargoes along the Brazilian coast.
If the vessel stays in Brazilian territorial waters for more than 90 days, 20% of the crew must be comprised of Brazilian seafarers, and after 180 days, this percentage is raised to one third (33.34%) of the total crew.
Members are encouraged to ensure that proper procedures and agreements are in place in order to avoid fines and forced repatriations due to issues with visas.
Source of information:
Thomas Miller (Americas) Inc