Brazil questions Argentina charging tolls on Paraná Waterway

Brazil questions Argentina charging tolls on Paraná Waterway

Wednesday, August 9th 2023 – 10:26 UTC

Itamaraty is concerned about the escalation of the situation

Brazil’s Foreign Ministry Tuesday said Argentina charging tolls since the beginning of the year to barges sailing along the Paraguay-Paraná Waterway had affected other countries in the region and questioned the legality of the one-sided measure, Agência Brasil reported.

“In the understanding of Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Uruguay, the Argentine government has not been able to demonstrate, so far, to constitute a toll for the reimbursement of services actually provided on the Waterway,” Itamaraty argued. Hence, the condition provided for in the Paraguay-Paraná Waterway Agreement for any collection has not been met, Brazil’s Foreign Ministry also explained.

The issue has already been dealt with in the Agreement Commission (CA), a technical body, without reaching an understanding, and should now be dealt with in the Intergovernmental Committee of the Waterway (CIH), of a political nature. Since January, the Brazilian Embassy in Buenos Aires has also been making efforts to eliminate the charge with the Argentine authorities, Agência Brasil also pointed out.

Recently, a Paraguayan-flagged tugboat owned by a Paraguayan subsidiary of a Brazilian company was detained on the waterway. According to Itamaraty, the event is worrying, as it contradicts freedom of navigation and legal certainty. “From the Brazilian point of view, we are thus concerned about the escalation of the situation with the retention of vessels due to debt collection when the discussion on the toll has been legitimately questioned by the other member states of the Waterway Agreement within the framework of that instrument,” said the Ministry.

The Brazilian Association for the Development of Inland Navigation (Abani) also views with extreme concern the unilateral creation of fees and the decision to retain the Paraguayan company’s vessel. “This decision affronts the interests of Brazilian companies established or operating along the Paraguay River. In recent years we have had high Brazilian investments in terminal construction and acquisition of assets for navigation,” Abani said.

(Source: Agencia Brasil)

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