AN AUSTRALIAN Maritime Safety Authority decision to ban the Panama-flagged bulk carrier Fortune Genius (IMO 9221877) from Australian ports for 12 months has been affirmed by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

AMSA surveyors boarded the vessel in Gladstone on 5 September 2019 following a complaint from the International Transport Workers’ Federation. 

The vessel was subsequently detained after an AMSA investigation found the crew had been deliberately underpaid by the operator for consecutive months totalling about $100,000, and used two sets of wage accounts in an apparent effort to deceive authorities.

AAT Deputy President Constance agreed with AMSA such contraventions of the Maritime Labour Convention are extremely serious, and banning the vessel was appropriate. 

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AMSA general manager of operations, Allan Schwartz said AMSA would never tolerate ships that underpaid their crews in Australia.

“The international conventions that protect seafarers’ rights are very clear,” Mr Schwartz said.

“The decision by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal supports AMSA’s approach to ban ships that underpay crew for extended periods of time,” he said.

“Ships visiting Australian ports are on notice that if we find deliberate and repeated underpaying of crew and attempts to deceive authorities, they can expect penalties.”

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