Specifically, REGINAVE (Maritime, River and Lake Navigation Regime) is the main regulatory body concerning navigation in Argentina, relating to safety of individuals, vessels and the environment.
- Argentinean Coast Guard
The new changes see the Coast Guard having the ability to impose fines to foreign seafarers and shipowners in case of breaches.
Also, the GS is now entitled to detain any foreign vessel in which an infringement was committed, until any fine is paid or guaranteed by a National Individual or Entity which provides sufficient financial guarantee at the discretion of the CGs.
The fines are expressed in Unidades de Multa (UM – units of fine).
Before the new changes, each UM was worth AR$ 1.5 and the maximum fine amounted to 60,000 UM equivalent to AR$ 90,000 (today about US$ 1,500).
After the changes, each UM is worth AR$ 10 and the maximum fine seems to amount to 3.000.000 UM equivalent to AR$ 30,000,000 (today about US$ 500,000).
Moreover, the UM will be adjusted annually according to the inflation rates UNDER INDEC.
- Direct / Indirect liability to shipowners
Before, the infringements endorsed to the seafarers were pursued personally against the seafarers; and those endorsed to the shipowners were pursued against the shipowners. Therefore, if the shipowners were not in infringement personally, then they had no administrative responsibility for their seafarers.
Now, the companies can be held responsible for the infringements committed by their agents and by those who act on their behalf. So, shipowners can be held responsible along with the seafarer who committed an illegal act.
Concluding, Pandi Liquidadores SRL, P&I Club, comments that
The above mentioned comments are only preliminary ones as the new regulation just came out. As mentioned above, we are considering further the new REGINAVE which is a substantial Regime. As long as relevant aspects become evident, we will circulate them as usual. However, we wanted to let you have the first relevant aspects noticed in the new regulation coming into force – but not the only ones.