XIX Conference of Viña del Mar Agreement

By Dialogo
October 12, 2012

The XIX Conference for the Latin American Agreement on Port State Control, better known as the Viña del Mar Agreement, will take place from October 15 to 19 at the Windsor Atlântica Hotel, in Rio de Janeiro.

Twelve countries will participate in the event: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Guatemala, Panama, Peru, Dominican Republic, and Uruguay. The representatives of both the Black Sea Memorandum of Understanding and the Equasis Memorandum of Understanding will also be present at the event.

Admiral Gilberto Max Roffé Hirschfeld, general director of navigation for the Brazilian Maritime Authority, will lead the opening ceremony. Vice Admiral Ilques Barbosa Junior, director of ports and coasts will lead the business meetings.

The agreement was established in the city of Viña del Mar, Chile, in 1992, by Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela, and later joined by Bolivia, Cuba, Guatemala, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic, a total of 15 countries. The secretariat of the Viña del Mar Agreement is located in Buenos Aires, Argentina, at the headquarters of the Naval City Hall, where the Latin American Agreement Information Center is located.

The main goal of the agreement is to establish the basis for a close collaboration between the maritime authorities of member countries, with the intent of coordinating supervisory measures of foreign ships visiting their ports.

The ships are monitored to achieve standardized inspection procedures that will verify the fulfillment of requisites stated in conventions, codes, guidelines, resolutions, and other pertinent documents from the International Maritime Organization, ensuring navigation safety and human life preservation, while preventing environmental pollution in maritime and fluvial areas.

The agreement has demonstrated effectiveness in maintaining an efficient system for vessel inspection and guarantees that all foreign nations, without distinction, will follow the safety rules established by the international and national legislation when visiting member countries’ ports. This way they keep ships that are considered deficient, and are internationally known as sub-standards, away from Latin American waters, thereby reducing the risk of incidents and accidents in jurisdictional waters of member countries.