The Brazilian President signed the Law no. 13.194 of 24/11/2015, amending the Law no. 7.573 of December 23rd, 1986, which set forth provision on Seafarers Professional Education.

The bill which resulted in the approval of referred law is an initiative of the Ministry of Defense, by means of the Navy Command, considering that the entry into the Merchant Marine Officers Training School (EFOMM) were laid down by means of regulations and notifications supported by the Law no. 6.880 of 1980  and Law no. 11.279 of 2006, this latter repealed by the Law no. 12.704 of 2012

This legal framework was considered weak by the Federal Supreme Court, which understands that the requirements for joining the Armed Forces, being the EFOMM part of the armed forces, as well as considered as a military institution, must be defined by Law, being inappropriate the regulation in another normative type.

In view of this scenario, the Navy Command took the initiative to prepare a draft bill in order regularize the situation of the seafarer´s professional education.

The new law brings some important changes in relation to the former law, such as distance vocational training and requirements for entry into the EFOMM.

At last, the law also sets out that the seafarers who perform their duties offshore are not included in the sum of shipping company workers for determining the quantity of company positons that should be filled in with reinstated beneficiaries or disabled people, according to the set forth in the Law no. 8213 of 1991.  This provision identifies a serious distortion in the application of the Law no. 8213 to the shipping companies, considering that in general approximately 70% and 80% per cent of their work force is comprised by seafarers, who by virtue of their activities cannot have any health impairments.

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