The Senate approves the “BR do Mar” project, which encourages cabotage

Port of Santos (SP). | Photo: Ricardo Botelho / Ministry of Infrastructure.

The plenary of the Senate approved this Thursday (25), by 75 votes to 6, the bill that creates the so-called “BR do Mar”, an initiative that aims to encourage cabotage, that is to say the transport of goods between national ports. The proposal had already been approved in the House in December of last year, but since it has undergone changes, it will have to be considered by MPs again.

The project establishes a legal framework for cabotage in the country. The main innovation brought by the proposal is the authorization to use foreign vessels by shipping companies operating in Brazil. The project provides for the creation of the Brazilian Shipping Investment Company (EBN-i), which is expected to build a fleet and charter the vessels for the Brazilian Shipping Companies (EBN) to operate. This eliminates the need for EBNs to invest in their own fleet.

The goal, according to the government, is to increase the supply of cabotage in Brazil, encourage competition, create new routes and reduce costs. Today, river transport represents only 11% of the total goods handled in Brazil, while road transport dominates 65% of the total. According to the Ministry of Infrastructure, the project has the potential to unlock investments in the sector and reduce reliance on transport by trucks and roads.

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