The Hong Kong-flagged bulk carrier MV Shandong Hai Wang has been banned from Australian ports for 12 months after it was discovered that its crew had been deliberately underpaid.
The ban was issued after the Australian Maritime Safety Authority’s (AMSA) surveyors found evidence on board the ship that crew had been deliberately underpaid by about AUD 56,000 (USD 41, 366) from the amount specified in their seafarer employment agreements.
The bulker was boarded by AMSA’s surveyors on July 7 following a tip from the International Transport Workers’ Federation alleging discrepancies in the payment of crew wages.
AMSA, which takes a zero-tolerance approach to the mistreatment of crew, detained the ship immediately for breaching the Maritime Labor Convention.
AMSA’s General Manager of Operations, Allan Schwartz, said AMSA would not tolerate ships that underpay their crew in Australia.
“The international conventions that protect seafarers’ rights are very clear,” Schwartz said, adding “this is the fourth time in the last year that a ship has been banned from Australian ports for underpaying crew.”
“Ships visiting Australian ports are put on notice. The next ship we find deliberately and repeatedly underpaying its crew and attempting to deceive authorities, can expect an even more severe penalty than that handed to the Shandong Hai Wang.”
According to the maritime safety authority, as of today, all outstanding wages had been received by the crew and the ship has been released from detention this afternoon, local time.
MV Shandong Hai Wang is operated by Qilu Ship Management Co. Limited.