The United Arab Emirates’s Federal Transport Authority (FTA) and the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) have agreed to work together to tackle abandonment cases in UAE waters.
FTA and ITF officials have met to discuss the increasing number of abandonment cases faced by the UAE and the Gulf state’s desire to bring an end to the problem. The FTA recently banned all ships linked to India’s Varun Shipping from entering UAE waters, after the Mumbai owner abandoned a number of ships there over the past few years.
The FTA and ITF agreed to develop a protocol to govern a closer working relationship, including increased cooperation and information exchange.
The FTA officials announced that they would push for the UAE to ratify the Maritime Labour Convention 2006, and the ITF committed to provide advice, training and expertise to assist with this.
David Heindel, chair of the ITF seafarers’ section, said: “I’m heartened that the FTA is taking this issue seriously. The scourge of shipowners who think that they can dump their ships and leave their crews without pay and essential supplies must be brought to an end. It is good to know that the FTA is taking the initiative and have already banned the vessels of one shipowner who repeatedly abused seafarers’ rights. This is setting a good example to other states in the region and I hope they will follow suit.”