ITF News Update

Shipping industry concern mounts over bullying and sexual harassment

Danish government is latest authority to warn that incidents have reached ‘unacceptable’ levels. Harassment remains a widespread problem in shipping, ministers and campaigners have warned, more than a year after a highly publicised sexual assault case highlighted problems facing an industry that underpins global trade.


Ukrainian seafarers face being barred from Russian waters

A new law coming into place on Monday, the 600th day since Russia invaded its neighbour, will force Ukrainian citizens entering the country to come through just two entry points: Sheremetievo airport in Moscow and Ludonka on the border with Latvia.


Maersk Gives its Seafarers Starlink Internet

Maersk Line has joined the growing number of top-tier shipping companies fitting their fleets with Starlink satcom terminals. SpaceX’s low-earth-orbit, high-speed, low-latency, low-cost Starlink service has rapidly gained market share in maritime, starting with data-hungry power users in the cruise market.


Seafarer’s refusal of medical treatment is not disqualification on disability benefits

The Supreme Court ruled in Roberto Rodelas, Jr., v. MST Marine Services (Phils.), Inc. (GR 244423. November 04, 2020) that seafarers do not lose their right to consent to the prescribed medical procedure of the company-designated physician.


Stranded Goan seafarer returns safely from Iran, family heaves sigh of relief

Third Engineer Govind Suresh Naik from Chicalim, along with 22 other Indian Nationals, was stuck on board the ship named ‘Advantage Sweet’; the vessel was detained by the Iranian Navy in April; all 23 nationals were released on October 9.


Excessive speed leads to tugboat accidents

Owners are urged to reduce speed during bow-to-bow operations during ship towage. Two tugboat incidents on the US Gulf Coast in 2022, resulting in a combined US$2.2M of damage to tugs, were the result of extreme speed for specialised towage operations, according to accident reports.


Disruption feared for ships with Ukrainian crew at Russian ports

New temporary rules introduced from Monday could bar shore leave and crew changes for Ukrainian seafarers, says American Club. Ships crewed by Ukrainians face significant difficulties from Monday as Russia starts new rules limiting entry to the country, the American Club says.


Pressure mounts on Indonesia to release three Indian crew under house arrest

Indonesia has been accused of illegally holding three Indian seafarers from a beached ship under house arrest, using them as leverage to get money from the ship’s owner to cover the costs of removing the wrecked ship.


MOL to Install Starlink Satellite Internet on Over 200 Ships

SpaceX’s satellite internet service Starlink is continuing to increase its presence in the commercial maritime sector with Japanese shipping company Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) announcing a deal to roll out the service on more than 200 ocean-going ships.


Charity calls for levy to fund welfare services for seafarers

WELFARE services at ports across Britain should be funded by a mandatory levy on all ships, a Southampton-based charity has said. A major report from the Merchant Navy Welfare Board, launched in Westminster last night, says charities expect to spend £4.8m this year alone on seafarers’ welfare.


Columbia launches female cadet mentoring programme

As part of its bid to attract more women into the maritime sector, shipmanangement giant Columbia Group has launched a mentoring programme aimed at female cadets.


Iran Sentences Tanker Crew to Jail for Alleged Fuel Smuggling

A court in Iran has reportedly sentenced the crew of a Panama-registered tanker [Ariana] to jail as part of the Iranian’s efforts to crack down on alleged fuel smuggling in the Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman. Last October, the Iranian detained a tanker that they identified as the Ariana (17,475 dwt) alleging it was part of a larger smuggling ring.


European Parliament votes to bring EU fisheries into the digital era

After no less than 5 years of negotiations, the European Parliament has voted in favour of adopting the new EU fisheries Control Regulation. After years of complex technical negotiations, the EU’s new system to ensure that fisheries rules are effectively applied has been formally adopted by the European Parliament.


Shore leave: a seafarer’s right

The employment relationship with the employer does not stop but continues to be in force even when the seafarer is on shore leave (Susana Sy vs. PTC, G.R. No. 191740, February 11, 2013). Shore leave is defined as the period during which a seafarer is allowed to take a leave from the ship while the vessel he is working on is docked in the port.


Ukraine’s Risky Bet Pays Off With Ships Streaming to Ports

(Bloomberg) — A steady stream of ships is hauling grain and metals from Ukraine a month after the first inbound vessel sailed through its new shipping corridor in the Black Sea in defiance of Russian threats.


Russia Closes Border to Ukrainians, Affecting Port Calls and Crew Change

On Monday, the government of Russia shut down border crossing access for Ukrainian citizens, tightening security after a series of covert attacks on Russian soil. The closure is expected, but it may have effects on shipping because of the large number of Ukrainian seafarers employed in international trade, according to the American Club.


Detained and ‘voluntarily’ removed: migrant fishers treated as criminals not victims by UK Home Office

Three migrant fishers who faced enforced removal and 10-year re-entry bans were voluntarily removed from the UK after being failed by their employer – who faced no penalty to date – and UK authorities who were unable to penalise the illegal employer.


Portugal Vows to Tackle Harassment, Bullying in Maritime Sector

The Government of Portugal has committed to addressing harassment and bullying in the maritime sector. It deposited with the International Labour Organization (ILO) the declaration of acceptance of the Amendments of 2016 to the Code of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006, as amended (MLC, 2006).


Extreme weather is making major trade routes less reliable, and it’s only going to get worse

It’s now seriously affecting supply chains and hampering the flow of goods on vital waterways – and we’re expecting this to gain momentum moving forward. Shippers should be prepared for the risk of this phenomenon returning in 2024 and work on the resilience of their supply chains.