Estonia, Port, Transport

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Monday, 10.08.2020, 18:45

Estonian Maritime Administration stops vessel sailing under Panama flag

BC, Tallinn, 03.07.2020.Print version
The Estonian Maritime Administration on Thursday stopped the Panamanian ship Pacific Seagull sailing under the flag of convenience in Muuga Harbor in connection with a complaint made by the ship's crew to an inspector of the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) in Estonia, informed LETA/BNS.

The vessel arrived in Estonia on June 29 and was visited by an ITF inspector the next day. An inspection revealed that nine Filipino seafarers have been on board the vessel since February 26 last year, that is for more than 16 months, and that their nine-month employment contracts and contract extensions expired on March 26 already.

Promises had been made to sailors to send them home since the beginning of the year, but due to the situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic, these have remained promises only.

Jaanus Kuiv, ITF inspector in Estonia, said that Estonia has significantly eased the coronavirus-related restrictions and the exchange of ship crews is also allowed here. "Pacific Seagull's next destinations are ports in Honduras and Guatemala, but their borders are closed. So, the best opportunity to send seafarers home was now. Some of them have been on board for approximately 1.5 years and that is entirely too much as well as a gross violation of the Maritime Labor Convention. According to the latter, a seafarer can be held on board for a maximum of 11 months," he said.

The ITF inspector informed the ship's flag state, the Panama Maritime Authority, the shipowner and the Estonian Maritime Administration.

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