MSC Kia Ora (IMO 9364344) has been banned from Australian ports for three months after the Australian Maritime Safety Authority found the operator had underpaid the crew $53,000.
AMSA inspected and detained the Liberian-flagged general cargo vessel at the Port of Brisbane on 14 March after receiving a complaint about ongoing unpaid wages for the previous four months (between November 2017 and February 2018).
The Authority found the outstanding wages had been transferred to the crew just 24 hours prior to the inspection.
“Failure to pay crew their wages in full and on time is a clear an unacceptable breach of the Maritime Labour Convention,” said AMSA general manager of operations Allan Schwartz.
Further breaches of the Maritime Labour Convention were also found during the inspection relating to hours of rest and fitness for duty, Mr Schwartz said.
The inspection also revealed two of the ship’s four generators were defective as well as the starboard main engine fire damper.
In total, 24 deficiencies were issued to the MSC Kia Ora.
AMSA reinspected the MSC Kia Ora Sunday (25 March) and was satisfied that all detainable deficiencies had been rectified.
The ship was released from detention and immediately issued with a ban, preventing it from accessing Australian ports for a period of three months.
MSC Kia Ora is operated by Vega-Reederei, the same company which operated the Vega Auriga, which AMSA banned in 2014.
“Sub-standard and poorly managed ships that place the welfare of their crews at risk will not be tolerated in Australian waters,” Mr Schwartz said.