NOTIFICATION TO OUR CLIENTS
NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN THE VENEZUELAN PORTS
Caracas August 14, 2009
Further to our previous Circular dated June
17, 2009 we inform that per government decree dated July 29, 2009 the
state has now taken over the operations and warehousing of the main
Venezuelan Ports including Maracaibo, Puerto Cabello and La Guaira. The
Ports will be managed through the company named BOLIVARIANA DE PUERTOS (BOLIPUERTOS)
Warehouses and handling equipments have
been taken over from the private companies, which were handling the port
operations up to now. Port workers are also said to be taken over by
the state although we understand that an important number of managers
will not accept the transfer.
Operations, especially in Pto. Cabello were
interrupted for some days and now have been resumed although, as we
could notice, with delays and disorganization. The general cargo is
handled almost totally by the government; bulk cargo is still handled by
private stevedores for now.
The risk for the cargo is expected to
increase both during its handling as the warehousing. During the
transition time the risk will increase even more due to the general
confusion existing (For example we understand that the inventory system
for the merchandise in some warehouses is not working).
However we understand that the new Port Institution was making inquiries
regarding liability insurance, as stated in our previous circular, we
expect that claims against them regarding robbery and damage of
merchandise will be extremely difficult if not impossible. Also
stevedores damages to the vessels will be difficult to claim.
We will inform about any new developments,