Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) recently banned a Hong Kong-flagged bulk carrier from Australian ports for the period of six months.
Following its detention in the Port of Newcastle, "Unison Jasper" bulk carrier was further banned by AMSA for failing to pay seafarers their wages in full and on time.
Namely, the vessel has remained alongside in the Port of Newcastle, under detention, since 25 July 2020 for breaches to the Maritime Labour Convention.
In fact, the breaches were related to the operation of several sets of wage accounts and multiple conflicting seafarer employment agreements.
According to AMSA, there were also found insufficient quantity and variety of food onboard and an ineffective complaints procedure.
General Manager Operations Allan Schwartz noted that the decision to ban the Unison Jasper was the result of a combination of factors and systemic failings by the operator, and the ship resulting in serious breaches of the Maritime Labour Convention.
Our decision to ban Unison Jasper reflects our zero tolerance for the mistreatment of seafarers. We are sending a simple message to operators: Pay your crew properly, treat them respectfully, and comply with the requirements of the Maritime Labour Convention or you will not be welcome in Australia.
...Mr Schwartz added.
For the records, Unison Jasper is now the fifth ship in the last 12 months to be banned by AMSA for failing to pay seafarers their wages in full and on time.
Australia is signatory to the Maritime Labour Convention, and the banning of the Unison Jasper along with AMSA’s banning of four ships within the last 12 months, signifies the importance that Australia places in the welfare and wellbeing of seafarers.
Overall, AMSA previously detained a Hong Kong-flagged cargo ship for serious and repeated safety and pollution prevention related failures.