Opportunities and challenges on the Brazilian Shipping & Offshore Industry
On February 13th an audience of more than 70 people attended this seminar organized by BNCC in collaboration with and sponsored by Oslo Shipowners’ Association (Oslo Rederiforening) and Shipping & Offshore Network. The meeting room at the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association was filled with professionals from management, legal and technical areas of the shipping community.
The main speakers of the event were the guest speakers from Brazil, representing the legal firms Vieira Rezende and Wikborg Rein.
Following up, Dag Schjerven, President and CEO of Wilhelmsen Maritime Services, shared the company’s experiences in Brazil with the audience and HE Ambassador Flavio Helmond Macieira rounded off the seminar and invited all present to the social part with a sampling of Brazilian wines and tapas. Bernardo Mendes Vianna gave an overview of the Brazilian legal system relevant to shipping, mentioning especially the new Brazilian Bribery Act which entered into force on January 29th. This legislative instrument is stricter than many similar international laws and if properly enforced, should reduce the corruption problem in Brazil. However, the lack of coherence in the legal system with federal, state and municipal laws and regulations requires sound professional advice to avoid costly and lengthy legal problems.
Rafael Amorim discussed the complexity of the Brazilian tax system, which like the legal system
reflects the federal, state and municipal policies. Import duties were specially covered, as was the special benefits available to shipping and offshore service providers in the Repetro scheme.
Joyce Jacobsen explained to the audience how Petrobras organized their tender processes, how to deal with the main terms of Petrobras contracts and the challenges with Local Content requirements both to equipment and crewing.
From the discussions during the seminar and in the ensuing mingling session it appears that although there was a general mood of head-shaking over the complexity of the legal and taxation issues, and the apparent disadvantageous and rigorous Petrobras contract terms, the consensus is that Brazil still seems to be an attractive business opportunity – at least as long as you have good local legal and financial advisors.
HE Ambassador Flavio Helmond Macieira closing the seminar: