The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has banned the Panamanian-flagged bulk carrier Costanza from Australian ports for three months for underpaying crew wages.
AMSA boarded the Constanza earlier this month for a routine port state control inspection and to investigate a complaint from the International Transport Federation (ITF) about underpayment of seafarer wages.
During the inspection, AMSA inspectors found evidence that crew were owed about AUD$108,000 (approximately US$72,700) in wages. The majority of the crew seafarer employment agreements also had a salary amount less than the collective agreement for the vessel.
The ship was immediately detained for breaches of the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC).
“Taking financial advantage of seafarers in this way is nothing short of exploitation. The majority of industry operators do the right thing by their seafarers, but for the few who do not, consider this a reminder that you will be held accountable. We do not tolerate the exploitation of seafarers in our waters,”
AMSA Executive Director of Operations, Michael Drake, said.
AMSA, however, said it has received confirmation from the ship’s operator, Orient Line Corp. Japan, that the affected seafarers have now been paid their outstanding wages. The vessel has therefore been released from detention but once it departs, it will not be permitted to approach or enter an Australian port for three months, until February 9, 2023.
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