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SG/TU/WG.SERV/DOC.2/97/Rev. 2
25 February 1998
Original: English



3.4 River Transport

A. Sub-Regional Sectoral Agreement


1. Acuerdo de Transporte Fluvial por la Hidrovia Paraguay - Parana (Puerto de Cáceres - Puerto de Nueva Palmira) (Agreement on River Transport through the Paraguay-Paraná Hydro way (Port of Cáceres - Port of Nueva Palmira))

DATE: June 26, 1992

MEMBERS: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay

Summary of Provisions

Objective and Scope:
Article 1:
The present Agreement has the purpose to facilitate the navigation and the commercial, longitudinal, river transport in the Paraguay-Paraná Hydro way (Port of Cáceres - Port of Nueva Palmira), in the scope of the Treaty of “Cuenca del Plata”, through the establishment of a common normative framework favoring the development, modernization and efficiency of such operations, and which facilitate and allow the access in competitive conditions to overseas markets.

Article 2: The Hydro way contains the Paraguay and Paraná Rivers, including the different ends of Paraná River’s mouth, from Cáceres in the Federative Republic of Brazil to Nueva Palmira in the Oriental Republic of Uruguay and the Tamengo Channel, an affluent of Paraguay River, shared by the Republic of Bolivia and the Federative Republic of Brazil.

Article 3: The provisions of this Agreement apply to the navigation, commerce and transport of goods and persons involving the use of the Hydro way.

This Agreement does not cover the passage of war ships and other vessels with non-commercial activities, as well as the cross-border river transport, which will be regulated by existing treaties and standards or that will be signed in the future between the riverside countries of the Hydro way or between those and third countries.

Freedom of Navigation:
Article 4:
The signatary countries reciprocally recognize the freedom of navigation of vessels of their respective flag, as well as vessels of third flags, in the whole Hydro way.

Article 5: No tax, obligation, fee, contribution or exemption on the transport, vessels or their shipments, based only on the act of navigation can be established without previous agreement between the signatary countries.

Equality of Treatment:
Article 6:
In all operations regulated by this Agreement the signatary countries reciprocally grant to the vessels of the other signatary countries’ flag, identical treatment to the one accorded to the national vessels in terms of taxes, tariffs, fees, contributions, rights, procedures, practices, piloting, towing, port and auxiliary services, and no type of discrimination because of the flag will be allowed.

Article 7: The signatary countries will make compatible and/or harmonize their respective legislation as necessary, to create conditions for the equality of opportunities, allowing, simultaneously, the liberalization of the market, the reduction of costs and greater competition.

Article 8: All the advantages, favors, exemptions, immunities and privileges applied by the signatary countries to their vessels in all operations regulated by this Agreement, as a result of agreements between the signatary countries or between them and third countries, or unilaterally granted to any of them, will be automatically extended to all the other countries signing this Agreement.

Traffic Freedom:
Article 9:
The freedom of traffic of vessels, goods and persons of the signatary countries in the Hydro way is recognized and only the returning fee for the services effectively offered can be charged.

It is equally recognized among the signatary countries the freedom of transference of cargo, loads, transhipment and deposit of merchandise in all installations which are qualified for such, and no discrimination is allowed because of the origin of the cargo, the starting, entry or exit points, the destination or any circumstances related to the ownership of the merchandise and the vessels, or to the persons’ nationality.

Article 12:
For the purposes of this Agreement, the carriers in the Hydro way will be the carriers from the signatary countries, recognized as such by their respective legislation.

Trade and Transport Facilitation:
Article 16:
With the purpose to facilitate the operations of transport of goods and persons, and of trade which take place in the Hydro way, the signatary countries commit to gradually eliminate the regulatory obstacles and restrictions, and the procedures’ barriers which obstruct the development of such operations.

Article 17: In order to achieve the successful implementation of this Agreement, the signatary countries convene to celebrate the following Additional Protocols:

a) Customs Issues; 

b) Navigation and Safety; 

c) Insurance; 

d) Conditions of fairness of opportunities for greater competition; 

e) Settlement of Disputes; and 

f) Temporary cease of flags.

Implementing Entities:
Article 22:
The entities of this Agreement are:

a) The Intergovernmental Committee of the Hidro way (C.I.H.), entity of the Treaty of “Cuenca del Plata”, is the political entity.

b) The Agreement’s Commission, from now on “the Commission”, is the technical entity.

The signatary countries will designate the national competent entities for the application of this Agreement. The accredited representatives of these entities will constitute the Commission, which will be the technical agency for the application, pursuit and development of this Agreement within the areas established in Article 23.

Article 23: The Commission will have the following functions:

a) to observe the accomplishment of this Agreement’s provisions and solve the problems which may arise in their application;

b) to study and propose the adoption of measures which facilitate the achievement of this Agreement’s objectives;

c) to approve its internal regulations and dictate the provisions considered necessary to its functioning;

d) to recommend to the C.I.H. modifications or additions to this Agreement;

e) to inform the C.I.H. at least once a year about the results and advances achieved with the application and development of this Agreement; and

f) to accomplish any other commitment assigned by the C.I.H..

Settlement of Disputes:
Article 26:
The disputes which may arise over the interpretation, application or nonfulfillment of the provisions of this Agreement, as well as of its Protocols and of the C.I.H.’s decisions, will be subject to the procedures of the Protocol on the Settlement of Disputes, mentioned in Article 17, item e), of this Agreement.

Evaluation and Adjustments:
Article 27:
The Commission will annually evaluate the results which were achieved under the framework of this Agreement, and shall present its conclusion to the C.I.H. for its consideration.

Article 28: Annually, in the occasion of the evaluation mentioned before, the Commission may bring modification and development proposals to the C.I.H.’s consideration.

Article 29: The modifications and additions to this Agreement shall be approved by the C.I.H. and formalized through Additional or Modifying Protocols.

Entry into Force and Duration:
Article 30:
This Agreement and its Additional Protocols will enter into force thirty (30) days after the ALADI’s General Secretariat has communicated the receipt of the last notification on the accomplishment of the required internal legal provisions for the Agreement’s implementation. It will have a duration of ten (10) years.

Article 31:
This Agreement will be open to the adhesion, given previous negotiations, of the member countries of the ALADI wishing to participate in all aspects of the Program of the Paraná-Paraguay Hydro way.

Article 33:
Any signatory country of this Agreement may denounce it after four (4) years of its entry into force. For such it will notify its decision with sixty (60) days of anticipation, depositing the respective instrument with the ALADI’s General Secretariat, which will inform the denouncement to the other signatory countries.

General provisions:
Article 35:
This Agreement will be named “Acuerdo de Santa Cruz de la Sierra”.


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