AUTHORITIES detained Daiwan Justice (IMO 9709312) this past Saturday (2 March) at Lyttleton Port of Christchurch after a complaint that the crew had not been paid for close to four months.
Maritime NZ southern regional compliance manager Michael Vredenburg said the detention was lifted later the same day after the ship’s operator, Taiwanese company Wisdom Marine International Limited, paid the crew.
“We acted on information provided to us by the International Transport Workers’ Federation,” Mr Vredenburg said.
A maritime officer went on board the vessel to investigate. The officer interviewed the ship’s master and crew, inspected documents and found evidence that the crew had not been paid.
When confronted with the evidence the ship’s master admitted the wages had not been paid. The officer then took immediate action to detain the vessel.
“Maritime NZ applies maritime law irrespective of the flag of the ship and the nationality of the crew,” Mr Vredenburg said.
He said Maritime NZ is now considering what compliance actions may be taken against Wisdom Marine International.
Last year Daiwan Fortune (IMO 9713820), also operated by Wisdom Marine International, was also detained. In both cases, Maritime NZ detained the ship until wages were paid.
Foreign-flagged vessels must at all times comply with international conventions that New Zealand is party to, and in New Zealand waters within 12 nautical miles of the coast, must also comply with the Maritime Transport Act.
Information about the detentions has been shared with other Asia-Pacific countries’ maritime authorities as part of the regional and international port state control (PSC) system that operates in the region under an agreement known as the Tokyo MOU.
The PSC system ensures foreign ships coming to ports can be inspected to ensure they comply with minimum safety, security and environmental protection requirements set down in international conventions, including the MLC.
The Tokyo MOU is an agreement between 20 countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Its purpose is to help improve maritime safety by co-ordinating the gathering and sharing of PSC information to identify ships and operators that break the rules or are a risk. New Zealand was a founding member of the MOU and serves a leadership role in the organisation, which is based in Tokyo, Japan. Similar MOUs are in place in other regions around the world to ensure global coverage.