The container is a versatile and durable equipment. However, before being reused for other purposes, the product is initially manufactured for use in offshore installations.
According to the definition in DNV 2.7-1, the offshore container is “a portable unit with a maximum gross mass not exceeding 25,000 kg, for repeated use in the transport of goods or equipment, handled in open seas, to, from or between fixed and/or floating offshore installations and ships”.
To be used safely, the offshore container must be manufactured in compliance with internationally recognized manufacturing standards: DNV 2.7-1, EN-12079 and IMO MSC / Circ.
In general terms, the useful life is variable, and the owners or leasing companies that rent the equipment, after some time of use, classify them as “unusable”. Typically, this sorting occurs after the container manufacturing value has already been returned and the cost of maintenance is no longer advantageous.
In this way, the container is no longer used in the offshore market, but its material of manufacture is extremely resistant and, with that, it can be destined for other purposes. In any case, the container, after being considered unusable, can be sent for scrapping, domestic use or shipped abroad on a trip without return.
The nationalization process of the container
After its shelf life at sea, the container enables reuse in various activities, such as construction, industry, housing, commerce, fishing market, among others. However, before being “transformed”, the container needs to be nationalized, because it is an item manufactured outside Brazil and for entering the country on a temporary basis.
Only after this nationalization, the container can be transformed into an office, for example. At the end of the nationalization process, which must be initiated with the IRS (Receita Federal, in Brazil), the equipment will have two documents related to the nationalization taxes: LI (import license) and DI (import document).
The transformation of the equipment to other purposes
According to Weslley Gimenes, a civil engineer specializing in container processing, the modification process is relatively simple, however, requiring skilled labor, since welding and other processes performed on the equipment require the service of a trained professional.
“First, with the use of blowtorch and soldering machine, the openings and installation of doors, windows and air conditioning are done, which follow a unique design to transform each unit”, he explains.
Then, the walls and ceiling are lined with thermal and acoustic insulation material and vinyl blanket placement on the floor of the equipment. “Afterwards the paint finish is done, with special paint, aiming for a better finish and durability, leaving the equipment ready for use”, he emphasizes.
According to Fernando Valentim, director responsible for the purchase and control of maritime container contracts, another important variation of the equipment concerns the use as a refrigerator container. “Today, 20-foot (6-meter) dry containers can now carry up to 27,000 kg of payload. They are the so-called containers tested for 30 tons, that is, the total cargo less the tare of the container”, he explains.