Negotiations underway to temporarily waive fines for Myanmar sailors at Brazilian ports

Port sskm
Bird’s-eye view of the Port of Santos in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Myanmar’s Ambassador to Brazil U Aung Kyaw Zan engaged in a productive discussion with the chief representative of the cross-border crime department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Brazil yesterday. The central topic of their discussion was centred around the potential exemption of Myanmar seafarers from bearing fines imposed at Brazilian ports, marking a significant step towards fostering stronger bilateral relations.
During their cordial meeting, Ambassador U Aung Kyaw Zan and the head of Brazil’s cross-border crime department explored the possibility of introducing a grace period during which Myanmar sailors disembarking at Brazilian ports without a valid Seafarers Identity Document (SID) would be spared from incurring fines. The ambassador meticulously outlined the strategic mechanisms through which essential consular protection would be extended to these seafarers. The comprehensive discussion included Minister Marcelo Della Nina, who oversees Brazil’s cross-border crime department, and together, they evaluated the practical implementation of these measures.
In addition to this vital initiative, Ambassador U Aung Kyaw Zan also dedicated time to elaborate on Myanmar’s steadfast commitment to combatting human trafficking. He presented a comprehensive overview of the ongoing fourth five-year plan (2022-2026) and elucidated the seamless continuity of pivotal processes to address this issue.
Brazilian regulations stipulate those foreign seafarers, hailing from diverse nations, can access Brazilian ports under specific conditions. Crucially, entry is conditional upon the presentation of a valid SID or a pre-entry visa when the ship arrives. However, instances of seafarers arriving without SID due to various reasons have been a recurring concern, often resulting in unwarranted fines. To mitigate this issue, the ambassador and his counterparts are diligently coordinating to streamline the process of obtaining SIDs. Letters of support are being issued to Myanmar seafarers destined for Brazilian waters, while the Seafarers Division under the Directorate of Marine Administration (DMA/SD), is expediting SID issuance.
Furthermore, the Brazilian Embassy to Myanmar remains steadfastly committed to securing exemptions for Myanmar seafarers from detention or financial penalties and providing unwavering support and assistance to sailors in need, reaffirming the strong ties between Brazil and Myanmar. For seafarers seeking guidance or support, the Brazilian embassy stands ready to extend its helping hand at any juncture. — MNA/KZW

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