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C185 - Seafarers' Identity Documents Convention

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ILO Convention 185 came into force in Brazil in December 2015, gained momentum in November 2019, when consolidated by Decree 10.088 and is now being put in practice by the Federal Police (immigration) as a consequence of article 11 of Resolution 42 issued by the National Council on Immigration, which was published on 14/10/2020.

Article 11 states, free translated:


"...the seafarer and other professionals on board the vessel may enter the country with a visiting visa, being exempt from it the holders of the international seafarer card issued under the terms of Convention 185 of the International Labour Organization."


The list of countries whose nationals need a visa to enter Brazil can be found on the website of the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (

No visa will be required from seafarers and other foreign shipboard professionals with a valid passport,  whose nationality exempts them from a VIVIS visa and/or who hold a ILO C185 SID.

Basically, for stays up to 90 days, immigration officials shall be fining crew members that do not hold ILO C185 SIDs or, depending on the nationality of the seafarer, do not have a valid passport with a Visitor Business Visa (VIVIS).

It is foreseeable that this can disrupt crew changes with seafarers being disallowed entry into the country.

This article was written in collaboration by and David Henderson