Brazil Port Hampered by Y2K : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

No URL - sorry... From TB2000 list and one interesting response...

W IRE:01/07/2000 12:58:00 ET Brazil port hassled by Y2K glitch, but no delays RIO DE JANEIRO, Jan 7 (Reuters) - Brazil's key Santos port this week experienced a computer hiccup in its customs process related to the so-called Y2K bug, but authorities said it was not hampering South America's busiest seaport. The port, through which 35 million tonnes of cargo move each year, had reprogrammed its computers last July to read dates with a four-digit instead of two-digit number for the year to avoid the bug reading "00" as "1900" and not "2000."

But after Dec. 31, the new programme failed to recognise customs registrations issued from the old system.

Experts across the world had made dire predictions that the millennium bug would snarl up computer systems to such an extent that the turn of the year would bring mass power failures, airline crashes and other disasters particularly in the more developed emerging market countries like Brazil.

But the customs glitch is the first to be reported in Brazil, where government officials had prepared a Y2K command centre for the transition staffed with technical experts on everything from health services to banking, electricity and telephone lines.

Financial markets opened on Monday without a hitch and all other systems appeared to be humming along perfectly across Latin America's biggest country.

Port authorities first discovered a problem on Tuesday as cargo ships began showing up at Santos, near the industrial city of Sao Paulo, with supposedly valid three-year import credentials that the computers did not accept because they had been issued before June 1999 and had not been updated.

"After July last year, the system changed over to read the four digits, which has created problems for the companies that did not do the renewal," Santos port customs inspector Aroldo da Costa Amorim told Reuters.

He said Brazil's tax authorities had sent out a renewal notice last year to all of the 40,000 shipping companies that regularly pass through Santos, but only half of them complied.

After discovering the glitch, customs officials began accepting the faulty credentials and updating them in a matter of minutes. "There's absolutely no problem now, whether it be import, export or whatever," Amorim said.

He said a television news report that a ship with a cargo of wheat had been held up for three days at great expense to the importer had been misleading and the problems with its documentation had nothing to do with the millennium bug.

Customs workers at Santos are now systematically updating -- at the rate of about 1,000 a day -- all of the 300,000 credentials that have been issued since 1997, even if they were for a one-off operation.

A spokesman for the Santos Port Authority, Codesp, said there could still be knock-on delays for ships loading and unloading cargo as a result of holdups in the process that happened before officials discovered the problem.

"These types of things take a week or so to have an effect," the spokesman said.

Amorim said, however, none of the ships entering or leaving were in danger of losing their cargo because of the snag.

A similar problem surfaced at the Viracopos airport in the interior of Sao Paulo state and the customs computer system held up the offloading of some cargo there, officials said.

But the airport has since added extra staff to help process the re-registrations, its customs workers' union said.

-- Roland (, January 07, 2000

Brazil has a lot of foundries that supply engine blocks and large castings to the heavy duty diesel engine metalworking industry in the U.S. (or what is left of it). This includes Ford and some other Fortune 500 companies.

-- Y2kobserver (, January 07, 2000.

-- Sheri Nakken (, January 07, 2000


Sheri -

Here is the link from Yahoo News:


-- Jennifer Bunker (Salt Lake City, Utah) (, January 07, 2000.

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