Santos Customs on Strike Following Week of Slowdowns

Customs officers in the largest Brazilian port of Santos decided to proceed with a one-day strike, guaranteeing further delays and extra warehousing costs for shippers after a week of slowdowns, the Journal of Commerce reports.

All cargo will be affected apart from “essential” items, such as medicines, hospital supplies, livestock, and food for ships’ crews, according to Sindifisco, the union representing officers of the Receita Federal, which is the name of Brazil’s customs agency.

The union says they had to go ahead with the strike after the government failed to respond to last week’s slowdowns.

Sindifisco is now saying the government has reneged on promises made earlier this year to get them back to work.  The government counters that it has not gone back on the promises, but given the dire state of public finances, much of the agreement must be delayed.

While Sindifisco says that each day of downtime in Santos leads to the accumulation of 2,000 to 3,000 containers and delays in the collection of Reais100 million ($30.8 million) in federal taxes, members of the local shipping community dispute those figures.

Currently , hundreds of containers are delayed at Santos.  At this moment, it is difficult to say whether or not dispute will be resolved by November 1st.

Please be guided accordingl. RCL Agencies will continue to monitor the situation.