Paraguay will request international arbitration after the conflict with Argentina over the collection of tolls on the Waterway

The president of Paraguay, santiago penaannounced this Friday that he will request a international arbitrationaccompanied by the governments of Bolivia, Uruguay and Brazilto resolve the controversy with Argentina over the charging a toll to vessels that navigate the Argentine section of the Paraguay-Paraná waterway.

“We are requesting arbitration in the field of the Paraguay-Paraná waterway. This has the support of four countries, it is not only a proposal from Paraguay, it is also being supported by Bolivia, by Uruguay, and also by Brazil,” Peña confirmed in a Press conference.

The president who recently took office said that they are waiting for “Argentina, which has not yet appointed arbitrators in this area, to do so so that it can be settled as quickly as possible.”

President Santiago Peña got into the Hidrovía issue: “In Paraguay when we say something, it comes true”

Peña’s announcement was hours after Paraguayan Foreign Minister Rubén Ramírez reported that his country will go to the Permanent Review Court (TPR) of the Southern Common Market (Mercosur) to resolve the controversy with Argentina.

His chancellor’s announcement to go to the TPR of Mercosur is a measure that, according to his words, is based on the River Transport Agreement for the Waterway, signed in 1992 by Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Uruguay and Paraguay.

“Within the scope of Mercosur, we have decided to present a lawsuit regarding what is established in the Treaty of Asunción, for non-compliance with rules without free movement. As you know, the Treaty of Asunción, signed in 1991, which gave rise to the Mercosur agreement, has been a great advance, a success of regional diplomacy and trade,” he said.

These announcements, from both Peña and the Foreign Ministry, come one day after the Paraguayan Foreign Minister summoned the Argentine ambassador to Paraguay, Óscar Domingo Peppo, to a meeting at the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in Asunción, to express the protest of his country before the Government of Argentina for the “irregular” retention of a convoy of ten barges in a section of the fluvial corridor.

Anger with Sergio Massa in Paraguay for an alleged unfulfilled promise regarding the Waterway

In this context, the Paraguayan Foreign Ministry indicated that the determination “was taken ignoring even judicial provisions indicating that the convoy could not be retained“. By this fluvial corridor, Paraguay, which has no outlet to the sea, mobilizes much of its cargo.

Justice detained a Paraguayan barge that refused to pay the toll

The Federal Justice ordered the interdiction of a Paraguayan barge that refused to pay the toll of the Paraná Waterway in the Confluencia-Santa Fe section, judicial sources reported today.

It is an MGT 05 barge of the shipping company Mercurio Group SA that was interdicted by the Argentine Naval Prefecture on Wednesday noon, at kilometer 171 of the trunk waterway, waiting for the company in charge of its journey pay the toll owed.

The sum legally claimed by the General Administration of Ports from said barge amounts to $1,477.35to which the Federal Civil and Commercial Court 5 added the payment of an extra compensation of 50% of that amount “to cover interest and legal costs.”

This is the third vessel seized by court order due to non-payment of the toll. In the two previous cases, the companies in charge of the barges made the unreserved payment of the debts in a few days, closing the conflict and guaranteeing the corresponding payment of the claimed toll.

Paraná Waterway, the river route through which tons of drugs pass to Europe

Industry sources specified that the shipping company in charge of the vessel registers a negative balance of more than $27,000 by other barges that did not pay the toll for the use of the trunk waterway.

Paraguayan companies that question the legitimacy of the toll charged by Argentina for the use of the waterway presented various claims in local justice but all were rejected.

In this sense, the Paraguayan economic cabinet today rejected the collection of the toll by Argentina, arguing that it is a decision that was made “unilaterally” and requested that “arbitration” be launched on the waterway.

Working table between Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay

Technical teams from the General Administration of Ports (AGP) and the Permanent Transport Commission of the La Plata Basin (CPTCP), which brings together shipowners from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, They formed a work table this Friday within the framework of the Executive Secretariat of the Intergovernmental Committee of the Paraguay-Paraná Waterway.

The scheme replicates the user meetings that have been held for more than a year for everything related to the Santa Fe-Océano section, AGP sources reported.

The Waterway will remain under the leadership of the State until the tender

The representatives of both entities agreed on the need to work together towards find improvements that allow safer and more efficient navigation, with the ultimate objective of developing the full potential of the trunk navigable waterway (VNT) in the Santa Fe-Confluencia section, which will benefit users of the five member states that are part of the Santa Cruz de la Sierra Agreement.

The AGP controller, José Beni, explained the scope of the existing consultation mechanism in the section of the VNT south of the Port of Santa Fe and proposed replicating it to facilitate the treatment of technical issues requested by users and thus achieve greater system efficiency.

For his part, the president of the CPTCP board of directors, Diego Azqueta, who participated in the meeting at the invitation of the CIH executive secretary for the purpose of exchanging information regarding the navigation conditions of the Waterway, agreed with Beni on the importance of deepening dialogue between all sectors involved.

The AGP auditor emphasized the importance of “optimize the articulation between all the organizations involved in the management of the navigable waterway, as well as deepen the dialogue with private parties (the final users of the VNT) with a view to achieving a virtuous system that allows reaching the maximum efficiency of the system”.

Within this framework, Beni proposed “starting work on the aforementioned consultation mechanism” and suggested “a schedule of fortnightly meetings where technical issues related to user needs can be deepened.” This initiative was well received by Azqueta.

Both parties set a new meeting for September 22 in which the professional teams will carry out the first meeting to discuss technical issues concerning maintenance and improvements to the existing infrastructure in the section in question, and share information. that is necessary.

JD/Gi

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