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Brazil: New Law Regulates Professional Drivers

(Mar. 12, 2015) In an effort to diffuse a strike of professional truck drivers that partially paralyzed the movement of goods in the country, on March 2, 2015, Brazilian President Dilma Roussef signed Law No. 13,103. (Lei No. 13.103, de 2 de Março de 2015, PLANALTO.) The enactment of the Law was part of the agreement reached between the government and representatives of the truck drivers, and it was expected to put an end to the strike. (Paulo Victor Chagas, Lei dos Caminhoneiros é Sancionada, AGÊNCIA BRASIL (Mar. 2, 2015).)

Law No. 13,103 determines, among other things, that unloaded trucks will not have to pay tolls for suspended axles (art. 17); that fines received in the last two years for overweight cargo will be forgiven (art. 22(II)); and that the cargo shippers (rather than the truck drivers) will be held responsible for overweight loads and cargo overflow (art. 18).

In addition, Law No. 13,103 amends several articles of the Consolidation of Labor Laws (Consolidação das Leis do Trabalho, Decreto-Lei No. 5.452, de 1 de Maio de 1943 (as amended), PLANALTO), including articles 168(§§ 6 & 7) and 235-B(VII), which require a mandatory toxicological and alcoholic test of a professional driver before the person is hired and after the person is dismissed; and article 235-C, which permits the addition of two to four working hours, on top of the regular eight-hour shifts, for a total of 12 consecutive working hours, provided that such a schedule is included in a union agreement between the employees and the transportation company.