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Brazil customs staff to strike Wednesday; port operations may be affected

Wednesday, 19 August 2015 | 11:00
Customs workers in Brazil are set to go on strike from Wednesday, a move that could impact port operations in the country, shipping sources said.

The "standard operation" strike, which means the minimum permitted numbers of staff will be on duty, currently has no set end-date, Inchcape Shipping Services said in an advisory Tuesday.

"ISS Brazil is working to co-ordinate berthing for its clients to avoid the strike and minimize impact where possible," the marine services provider said.

The strike is being called by the National Union of Customs Officials, known as National Sindifisco, and is aimed at improving salaries and working conditions for customs officers, according to a Brazil-based shipping agent.

Oil ports such as Santos in the south and Sao Luis in the north are expected to have customs offices working at a minimum level, said the shipping agent, adding vessel operations may not be affected.

A Brazil-based shipbroker said he understood the strike may not be a complete work stoppage, but "more like working at minimal levels.

"Also, instead of randomly checking cargoes, they will check everyone, which could create huge lines, just to make a point," he said. It will affect both ports and airports. Maybe there will be delays at the ports, I'm not sure. We'll have to see what happens."
Source: Platts
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