UNIONS OF THE MARITIME SECTOR OF ARGENTINA ON ALERT AGAINST THE FLIGHT OF SHIPS TO THE REGISTRY OF SHIPS OF PARAGUAY
Changes are due to the excessive burden of the national, provincial, municipal and port state bureaucracy
The cases of Argentine ships that change to the Paraguayan ship registry to take advantage of the tax advantages that the latter country offers are repeated. According to infobae, the maritime unions are on alert and anticipate force measures that could affect the transport of goods.
These actions would be led by professional centers that concentrate the personnel of the ships that navigate the main Paraguay-Paraná waterway, such as the Center for Patrons and Fluvial Officers of Cabotage, which through a statement described the determination to change the flag of an Argentine tugboat: “Dear Members: Victim of bad policies, of the lack of regulation of the Merchant Marine Law and the high tax pressure on Argentine flag vessels, plus the ineffective and high state and provincial bureaucracy, municipal, port, customs authorities and security police, the ‘B / M Piray Guazu’ is sailing towards Paraguay to proceed with the change of flag. “
The tugboat that performs work on the Paraguay-Paraná Waterway, propelling the barges that transport bulk cargo or containers to and from ports in Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia, is one of the many that have been changed registration. Situation that has led the union to point out that “we put the entire river fleet dependent on this Employers’ Center on alert, in protection, defense and care of work sources, national capital, loss of hold and sovereignty of our seafarers, “according to the statement.
However, the sailors have asked the Argentine authorities to prevent the loss of a new ship. “On Monday we will be announcing the action plan that we will carry out to end this bleeding. If necessary, we will paralyze the entire fleet that transits the Paraná,” they maintain from the union.
For river captain Jorge Bianchi, member of the board of directors of the Center for River Captains and director of the Argentine Naval League, the matter is not trivial. “It is something really serious. At the end of December we were faced with a problem related to a new ship – in this case the ‘Piray Guazú’ – which is sailing upstream to carry out a halt to the Argentine flag to move on to that of Paraguay. Once it obtains its new flag, it will continue doing the same commercial traffic that it carried out until the end of 2021, but with Paraguayan crew and paying taxes to the neighboring country.
He added that “transporting the same container with a ship registered in Argentina is much more expensive than transporting the same container in the same ship with another flag” and explained that “the problem is fundamentally due to a very high tax burden to which is added a huge national, provincial, municipal and port state bureaucracy. This inefficiency makes the competitiveness of the national flag in river traffic unfeasible. “
Bianchi also pointed out that the social, labor and economic implications for Argentina of this flight of ships abroad are various: “we are losing foreign exchange for the country, sources of work not only for the embarked personnel but also for our shipyards, and obviously the possibility of transporting our production in national flag vessels “.