Indian seafarers ship bridge

Indian Union Accuses China Of Unofficial Seafarer Ban

John Konrad
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July 25, 2021

Today Indian media reported that Beijing has imposed an unofficial ban on ships crewed by Indian seafarers.

The Times of India, which is the largest selling English-language daily newspaper in the world, says the ‘All India Seafarer & General Workers Union’ issued a written letter to the Indian government claiming that China is imposing an unofficial “ban” on Indian seafarers. They claim the ban prevents Indian nationals from entering Chinese ports and, as a result, “21,000 Indian sailors are facing job losses, directly or indirectly”.

This is not the first time China has banned Indian seafarers. Earlier this year, 18 Indian crewmembers of the MSC ship Anastasia were stranded off the coast of China after being denied entry. The problem was not resolved until MSC diverted the ship to Japan after five months of negotiations and waiting.

Also Read: Coles Launches Seafarer “Green Channel Travel” Petition

Amitabh Kumar, India’s Director General of Shipping, denies the Union’s claim but Captain Sanjay Parashar, a member of India’s National Shipping Board, is concerned.

“China has told foreign shipping companies they can lift or unload the cargo only if they agree to its terms,” says Parashar. “(Those terms are) not to employ Indian crew.” 

Zodiac Marine’s Rakesh Coelho told TOI, “The Chinese restrictions against Indian crew started somewhere in March.”

Read the full story at The Times Of India: China ‘ban’ on entry of Indian sailors, says seafarers’ body

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