HONG Kong bulker MV Xing Jing Hai (IMO 9728344) has been detained in Brisbane with some US$51,000 in unpaid wages owed to the crew.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority confirmed a complaint from the International Transport Workers’ Federation on Wednesday alleging the operator failed to pay wages for July and August.

AMSA surveyors boarded the ship to investigate.

While on-board surveyors interviewed the crew and reviewed documentation to determine if they were being paid in accordance with the Maritime Labour Convention.

The investigation found they had not.

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The ship was detained by AMSA for breaches of the MLC, the second in the past week with the Panamanian-flagged bulk carrier MV Fortune Genius still detained at Gladstone.

AMSA general manager Allan Schwartz said failure to pay seafarers in full and on time was “a gross breach” of their most basic rights to fair employment.

“When you sign a Seafarer Employment Agreement you expect to be properly paid for your work just like any other job,” Mr Schwartz said.

“You have faith that your employer will honour that agreement and your family back home has faith as well,” he said.

“It is completely unacceptable for shipping companies to take advantage of their seafarers by withholding their wages and we will not tolerate that in Australian waters.

“If you bring a sub-standard ship into Australian waters or you fail to meet the minimum standards set-out in international laws like the Maritime Labour Convention, we will hold you accountable.

“AMSA has the power to ban ships for repeated poor performance and it’s worth remembering before entering our waters.”

The MV Xing Jing Hai will remain under detention until AMSA is satisfied that all crew have been paid their outstanding wages in full and the company convince AMSA it won’t happen again.

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