Argentine sailor unions are warning against the trend whereby Argentine-flagged ships are turning to Paraguayan registration to both circumvent Argentina's blood-thirsty taxation plus benefitting from Paraguay's own scheme, a process which seems likely to go on in the near future.
“Dear Members: Victim of bad policies, of the lack of regulation of the Merchant Marine Law and the high tax pressure on Argentine flag vessels, plus the ineffective and high state, provincial, municipal, port bureaucracy of customs authorities and security police, the M / P PIRAY GUAZU is sailing to Paraguay to change the flag and then continue to carry out the same commercial traffic that until today it did with the Argentine flag, read a statement from the Center for Patrons and Fluvial Cabotage Officers.
The case marks a new case in the exodus of an Argentine ship to Paraguay, with the subsequent loss of jobs, among other very serious consequences. The Piray Guazú is just one of the many push tugs navigating the Paraná Paraguay Waterway, driving the so-called “barge trains” that transport bulk or container goods to and from ports in Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia.
These ships connect the region's river ports with port terminals which handle 90% of the region's imports and exports.
Despite the efforts of the crews to make their salaries more competitive, the circumstances mentioned above determine the making of this decision by the shipbuilding company, which we do not blame, but rather victimize, the union document states.
For this reason we put the entire river fleet dependent on this Patrons Center on alert, in protection, defense and care of the sources of work, the national capital, the loss of hold and sovereignty of our sailors, concludes the statement .
According to union sources quoted by Infobae, the departure of the Rio Piray Guazú is temporarily delayed due to a specific cessation of activities. Push tugs are coupled to barge trains that transport all types of bulk or containerized cargo, becoming large convoys.
“On Monday we will be announcing the action plan that we will carry out to end this bleeding. If necessary, we will paralyze the entire fleet that transits the Paraná,” union leader Jorge Bianchi told Infobae.
The boats are leaving us ... due to the fiscal costs to which the Argentine flag subjects them. They promptly asked us to readjust the labor costs and we did it to save the source of work. There is no case, transporting the same container with a ship registered in Argentina is much more expensive than transporting the same container in the same ship with another flag, Bianchi explained.
Given the high level of the [US] dollar, our workforce is on the ground, he went on. But the problem is fundamentally due to a very high tax burden, to which a huge national, provincial, municipal and port state bureaucracy is added, which renders the competitiveness of the national flag in river traffic unfeasible,” he also pointed out.