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Marine notice 04/2020—Summary of statistics

The following statistics relate to the complaints received by AMSA since we issued Marine notice 04/2020 (expired 30 September 2020) and Marine notice 10/2020 (expired 28 February 2021).


Marine notice 10/2020: Temporary arrangements for the maximum period of shipboard service for seafarers during COVID-19 pandemic (superseding Marine notice 04/2020) expired on the 28 February 2021. 

AMSA inspectors will continue to verify compliance with Regulation 2.4 of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 ensuring seafarers serve no longer than 11 months continuously onboard a vessel. Refer to Marine Notice 17/2016 - Maximum period of shipboard service for seafarers for further information about the maximum continuous period that a seafarer can serve on board a vessel without taking leave.

While MN 04/2020 and MN10/2020 were in place, we received many Maritime Labour Convention complaints relating to the main themes in the notice.

The themes are:

  1. Seafarers serving at sea with expired Seafarer Employment Agreements (SEAs),
  2. No plans for the repatriation of seafarers after their employment agreements expire, and
  3. The amount of time spent on board by a seafarer being in excess of 11 months.

AMSA will continue to monitor these statistics to measure compliance in this area. The below statistics cover the period from 26 June 2020 to 31 July 2021.

Update: 31 August 2021

Information Number Notes
Total number of complaints received 273

263 of these have been investigated and resolved to AMSA’s satisfaction.

10 are under investigation or awaiting the ship’s arrival in Australia. Inspections have been scheduled for these 10 vessels.

Nature of complaints:

The following provides an indication of complaints that relate to Seafarer Employment Agreements, repatriation, and time on board. Some complaints include just one element, and some include all three.   

Expired Seafarer Employment Agreements  208 76.6% of complaints referenced expired, invalid, or extended Seafarer Employment Agreements.
Repatriation plans 241 88.6% of complaints referenced a lack of repatriation plans for one or more seafarers.

More than 11 months on board*

(One or more seafarers)

129 27.1% = 11 months on board
24.0% = 12 months on board
16.3% = 13 months on board
15.5% = 14 months on board
17.1% = 15 months or more on board

*This data refers to the number of complaints where one or more seafarers had been on board for more than 11 months without leave/repatriation.

Summary

We investigate every MLC complaint received. For some complaints, the ship has not arrived in Australia or is not coming to Australia. 

For ships that are not coming to Australia, we refer the complaint to the ship’s flag State Administration, and where possible, the port State Administration of its next destination. 

For ships that have not arrived in Australia, we schedule an inspection for when it arrives.  We may also contact the shipowner, master or agent via email to resolve the complaint. Where serious concerns are found, we will issue deficiencies and detain the ship.

Detentions and deficiencies 

Since June 2020 we have identified the below deficiencies and detentions that are related to the effects COVID-19 has had on seafarer repatriation and Seafarer Employment Agreements (SEAs). 

The below statistics cover the period from 26 June 2020 to 31 August 2021.

Information Number Notes
Total number of port State control (PSC) inspections conducted 3599 -
Total number of deficiencies issued that relate to seafarer repatriation or SEAs. 382 (to 259  ships)

Of the 382 deficiencies:

  • 241 deficiencies were issued requiring rectification before the ship's departure (AMSA has received information that these deficiencies have been addressed).
  • 124 deficiencies required rectification at a specific port in accordance with an agreed plan, or within 14 days.
  • 18 of these ships were detained (see below for more info).

Details of detentions

Since 26 June 2020, 18 ships have been detained because of MLC related deficiencies. 

Five of these (shaded) were directly related to the issues identified in the Marine Notices (04/2020 and 10/2020).

4 August 2021  Annika N - The Marshall Islands flagged bulk carrier was detained in Port Kembla on the 04 August 2021. The seafarers were not paid their wages in full at no greater than monthly intervals. 
1 April 2021

Tue Dian 85 - The Hong Kong, China flagged bulk carrier was detained in Abbot Point on the 01 April 2021. The ship failed to pay seafarers wages every month in accordance with Seafarer Employment Agreements. 

10 March 2021

Ever Brilliant – The Panama flagged bulk carrier was detained in Brisbane on the 10 March 2021.

The ship failed to provide fall preventive equipment or life jackets for crew, despite being advised by the Port State Control Officer. 

4 March 2021

Movers 3 – The Panama flagged bulk carrier was detained in Weipa on the 4 March 2021 for several deficiencies including failure to provide suitable quantity and quality of food.

The freezer room was found to be defective, resulting in unsafe and insufficient food for crew. The ship was banned from Australia for 18 months. The operator, Aswan Shipping, was also responsible for Maryam, which was detained in February. 

19 Feb 2021

Maryam – The Panama flagged bulk carrier was detained in Port Kembla for multiple deficiencies including breaches of the MLC. The vessel was found to have no electricity or air-conditioning on board the ship. 

28 December 2020 Tokyo Bulker - The Panama flagged bulk carrier was detained in Newcastle on 28 December 2020 for a number of issues including 3 seafarers serving 12 months on board. Rectified in accordance with flag State approved repatriation plan.
30 November 2020 Zarnata Express – The Panama flagged container ship was detained in Melbourne on 30 November 2020. The ship failed to provide COVID-19 personal protective equipment (PPE) to seafarers onboard.
13 October 2020 Yangze 8 – The Liberian flagged bulk carrier was detained in Port Kembla on 13 October 2020 for breaches to the Maritime Labour Convention, including incorrect hours of work and rest records and shipboard working arrangements. 
5 October 2020 Sofrana Surville - The Liberian flagged container ship was detained in Brisbane on 5 October 2020. Objective evidence was found that indicated more than one set of wage accounts was in use. Seafarers agreed to a single contract and outstanding wages were paid.
25 September 2020

Star Eva – The Maltese bulk carrier was detained in Abbot Point on 25 September 2020. Objective evidence was found that seafarers were not being paid as per their respective Seafarer Employment Agreements (SEAs) and some seafarers were working hours in excess of their SEAs.

Outstanding wages were paid and a rectification action plan provided to ensure seafarers do not work hours beyond their contracts.

17 September 2020

AC Sesoda – The Panama flagged bulk carrier was detained in Mourilyan on 10 September 2020. Objective evidence was found that indicated more than one set of wage accounts in use. Multiple seafarers were found to be systemically underpaid. The ship was banned from Australia for 12 months as of 17 Sep 2020.

Read our media release for the banning of this ship.

7 August 2020 Ben Rinnes –The Marshall Islands flagged bulk carrier was detained in Geelong on 7 August 2020. Two seafarers had served onboard for more than 14 months, with no flag approved/mutually agreed plan for repatriation and leave. Three seafarers were disembarked and repatriated to their home country.
30 July 2020

Unison Jasper – The Hong Kong-flagged bulk carrier was detained in Newcastle on 30 July 2020 for breaches of the Maritime Labour Convention The breaches related to the operation of several sets of wage accounts and conflicting seafarer employment agreements.

On Friday 31 July 2020, 11 crew members were landed ashore and transferred to Sydney for quarantine while they awaited repatriation to their home country.  The ship was not permitted to leave Newcastle until the minimum safe manning standards were met to the satisfaction of AMSA and the ship’s flag State.

Due to the systemic nature of the underpayment, the ship was banned from Australia for six months.

Read our media release for the banning of this ship.

30 July 2020 Interlink Fortuity – The Marshall Islands flagged bulk carrier was detained for minor underpayment of wages for several seafarers. Complaints relating to this ship had been received by AMSA, which prompted AMSA to inspect this ship.
25 July 2020

Agia Sofia - The Liberian flagged bulk carrier was detained due to systemic underpayment of seafarers, with $45,000 AUD owed to the seafarers on board. Due to the systemic nature of the underpayment, the ship was banned from Australia for six months.

Read our media release for the banning of this ship.  

24 July 2020

TW Hamburg – The Liberian flagged bulk carrier was detained due to the ship failing to provide decent working and living conditions required under Article IV of the MLC. This included systemic underpayment of seafarers, failure to provide sufficient quantity and quality of food, and attempts to coerce seafarers to withdraw their complaints. Due to the systemic nature of the underpayment, the ship was banned from Australia for 12 months.

Read our media release for the banning of this ship

7 July 2020 Grand Venture – The Panama flagged bulk carrier was detained for failing to provide decent working and living conditions required under Article IV of the MLC. Part of this failure was that there were no plans in place for the repatriation of seafarers.
29 June 2020 SKS Doyles - The Norwegian flagged oil tanker was detained because 11 seafarers were found to have expired seafarer employment agreements. Five seafarers were found to have extended employment agreements with no evidence of flag State agreement of these extensions. The ship was also detained for the failure to maintain the vessel in accordance with mandatory regulations (MLC).

Last updated: 

Wednesday 8 September 2021