THE Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has banned the Hong Kong-flagged bulk carrier MV Shandong Hai Wang (IMO 9591557) for 12 months after it was discovered that crew had been deliberately underpaid.
On Friday 6 July AMSA received information from the International Transport Workers’ Federation alleging discrepancies in the payment of crew wages.
AMSA surveyors boarded the ship when it arrived in Gladstone on Saturday 7 July to investigate the allegations.
During the inspection, the surveyors found evidence that crew had been deliberately underpaid by about $56,000 from the amount specified in their seafarer employment agreements.
The ship was immediately detained for breaching the Maritime Labour Convention.
AMSA’s general manager of operations Allan Schwartz said the authority would not tolerate ships that underpay their crew in Australia.
“The international conventions that protect seafarers’ rights are very clear,” he said.
“This is the fourth time in the last year that a ship has been banned from Australian ports for underpaying crew. AMSA takes a zero-tolerance approach to the mistreatment of crew and all ships coming to our shores should be aware of the consequences.”
Mr Schwartz said ships visiting Australian ports had been put on notice.
“The next ship we find deliberately and repeatedly underpaying its crew and attempting to deceive authorities, can expect an even more severe penalty than that handed to the Shandong Hai Wang.”
According to AMSA, the Shandong Hai Wang is operated by Qilu Ship Management Co. Limited.
AMSA received confirmation today (12 July) that all outstanding wages had been received by the crew.
The ship was released from detention this afternoon and issued with a direction notice banning its return to Australian ports for 12 months.