Greek-owned bulker banned from Australia for six months
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) banned the Liberian-flagged bulk carrier Agia Sofia from Australian ports for six months.
After receiving a complaint via the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) AMSA inspected the ship at Hay Point in Mackay on 25 July 2020.
During the inspection, AMSA found evidence that as of August 2019, certain seafarers on board the ship had not been completely paid their salaries.
The unpaid salaries exceed around AUD $45,000 and constitute an violation of seafarers' rights under their Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) work agreements.
Seafarers on board have been paid in full before the ship leaves Australia, the maritime authority took steps to ensure.
AMSA Acting General Manager Operations Michael Drake stated that it was not the first time that Marmaras Navigation Ltd was caught in Australian waters with an underpaying crew.
“In January 2018 AMSA detained another company ship, Koundouros, at Port Walcott for owing its seafarers more than AUD $7500. The operator was fortunate that AMSA did not ban Koundouros at the time and those seafarers were paid their outstanding wages before the ship was allowed to leave,” Drake stated.
“We do not tolerate that in Australian waters and Agia Sofia is now the third ship in the last 12 months to be banned by AMSA for failing to pay seafarers their wages in full and on time," he added.
Maritime Business World