A Panama-flagged bulk carrier operated by Qatari shipping company Aswan Shipping has been banned from Australian ports for 18-months following a lengthy Port State Control detention for “appalling” conditions on board.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority says the Movers 3 has been banned after rectifying outstanding mechanical and survey issues. Movers 3 had been detained at anchor off Weipa in far north Queensland since early March for failing to carry out regular surveys of the ship, and for appalling working and living conditions onboard.
The outstanding issues, namely namely the replacement of poorly maintained ballast tank head vents and the updated ship surveys, were finally resolved this week and AMSA immediately handed-down the 18-month ban prohibiting it from entering Australian ports.
AMSA Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Sachi Wimmer, said Aswan Shipping had shown a complete disregard for its obligations to provide decent working and living conditions for its seafarers, and had not ensured its ships were maintained so they were safe for the crew and Australia’s marine environment.
“Aswan Shipping’s neglect has resulted in a difficult two months for the seafarers on Movers 3, let alone the effort required by many organisations to support them during this time,” Wimmer said.
“We are holding Aswan Shipping accountable, it needs to step-up and fulfill its obligations as a ship owner and operate responsibly if it wants to trade in Australian ports in the future,” she added.
Wimmer also thanked the various parties involved who had assisted where Aswan Shipping had failed, including by organizing food and welfare support for the impacted seafarers.
“The banning of Movers 3 should serve as a stark reminder to the maritime industry that AMSA will not tolerate or accept sub-standard ships in Australian waters,” said Wimmer.
The ban comes as another one of Aswan Shipping’s ships, named Maryam, remains under detention in Port Kembla for similar issues after an AMSA inspection back in February. Additional action on the Maryam seems likely.
“Ship operators like Aswan Shipping are not welcome in Australian waters,” Wimmer said.
The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) in March wrote a scathing article about the situation titled “Half of blacklisted Aswan fleet in hot water as Australia detains two ships,” where you can find more.
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