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Notice to Research Vessel Operators No. 107

Subject: Additional Information Relating to Brazilian Clearance Requests and Post-Cruise Data Exchange and Reporting, January 31, 1994 (This Notice supplements NTRVO NO. 84).
Released by the Department of State, Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs.


For the past year, approvals for U.S. marine scientific research in Brazil have been held up pending submission of data from previous cruises. OES/OA has had several meetings with the Brazilian Embassy in Washington, DC, and additional meetings have been held between the Brazilian Foreign Ministry and our Embassy Science Office in Brasilia.

Discussions at these various meeting has revealed that U.S. clearance requests have been delayed owing to research data from previous cruises not having been provided in the proper format or through official channels, or not provided in a timely manner. It has been established that the proper official channels are through the Department of State to the Brazilian Embassy, which forwards the data to the Foreign office in Brasilia for submission to the Brazilian Navy, and ultimately to the Brazilian Navy Hydrographic Office (DHN). Since it is likely that at least part of the problem regarding provision of these data stems from these circuitous procedures, it has been recommended by our Embassy in Brazilia that two copies of all data, analyses and reports be submitted to OES/OA; one to be provided to the Brazilian Embassy as required, and the other to be provided directly to DHN by our Embassy in Brasilia. They are confident they will be able to obtain receipts for provision of these data, etc.

The attached statement provided by the Brazilian Embassy indicates some required formats.

The Brazilian Government is strictly enforcing their requirement that all data, analyses and reports be submitted "not later than 12 months following the end of the research or scientific investigation". It is the explicit demand of the Brazilian Foreign Ministry that "all the data, information, and results obtained, accompanied by a detailed and complete evaluation thereof" be submitted within 12 months of the end of the research cruise. It is therefore recommended that all preliminary data be provided as soon as available.

It has also become apparent that the research requests for these previous cruises may have actually been the source of misunderstandings regarding data collections because they did not make it clear what data would be collected. It is extremely important to assure that the request is complete in every detail, and that nothing is left to assumptions. Every research procedure must be described in detail, and the expected data to result must be listed.

Since the report submitted by the Brazilian Naval Officer after his return from the research cruise is used in the final determination of what data will be expected by DHN, it is important for the Chief Scientist to assure that his Preliminary Cruise Report (submitted to Dept. of State within 30 days of completion of research cruise in Brazilian waters) agree with that report. In order to assure that there will be no discrepancy, the researcher should prepare the PCR prior to the departure of the Naval Officer and have him concur with it, and even attest to it by his signature, if possible. The schedule for delivery of the data should be clearly outlined in the PCR. It will then be essential that all submissions of data and reports be made in compliance with required formats, and according to the schedule outlined in the PCR.

All requests for foreign clearance should be made in compliance with appropriate NTRVO's and the "UNOLS Handbook for International Operations of U.S. Scientific Research Vessels". Please consult all appropriate NTRVO's and provide all required documentation when making requests.


The Brazilian Embassy Assistant Naval Attache provided the following requirements, procedures and suggestions regarding research requests and data transfer that contain details not provided in the Brazilian Decree described in NTRVO No. 84:

1. Brazilian law concerning scientific research and investigation on the continental shelf and waters under Brazilian jurisdiction, especially the contents of Decree 96,000/88 article 5 and its paragraph, article 6 and its paragraphs, article 7, article 11 and its paragraphs, article 15 and 16, must be strictly adhered to (articles of this decree are contained in NTRVO No. 84);

2. Oceanographic data gathered by foreign vessels must be officially submitted to the Brazilian Government, preferably by diplomatic channels. Only in exceptional cases, if accepted by the Navy Chief of Staff, may such data be received directly by the Brazilian Navy Ministry;

3. Data submitted to the Brazilian Government must be accompanied by supporting documentation. Data recorded on magnetic tape, 6250 or 1600 density, code ASCII, must have information on lay-out and size of the record and block factor. Data could also be recorded on 3 1/2" or 5 1/4" diskettes, files on ASCII format, with complete specification of the lay-out of the records, field to field, compatible with IBM-PC type micro-computers;

4. Data delivered to Brazilian researchers aboard foreign research cruises are not considered as officially submitted to the Brazilian government;

5. Data presented to the Navy Ministry will be studied by competent sectors, and only after the completion of that study will they be considered as having been verified and officially received (State is working with Brazilian Embassy to obtain written confirmation of such acceptance by the Brazilian Navy);

6. Requests for authorization sent by foreign governments must reflect the exact nature of the research and of the intended gathering of data. Requests for inclusion of data collection made during the cruise, as well as alterations of movements and the periods of time can only be authorized by the Minister of the Navy;

7. It is suggested that the foreign government or the institution responsible for the request does not authorize the vessel to leave its port of origin without having previous authorization issued by the Brazilian Government, according to terms of Decree 96,000/88 (only in extreme situations would the Department of State request that a vessel delay sailing; however, it must be considered that unless a Brazilian Naval Officer is embarked, Brazilian approval is unlikely);

8. Requests for authorization to conduct research in Brazilian jurisdictional waters must be received at least 180 days in advance as prescribed by Decree 96,000/88. The formal remittance of the collected data to the Brazilian Government should be made no later than 12 months after the end of the research.

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