The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has announced a ban on 2016-built 82,000 dwt pamamax bulk carrier Agia Sofia from Australian ports for six months for underpaying seafarers.
AMSA inspected the ship at Hay Point on July 25 after receiving a complaint via the International Transport Workers’ Federation, and it found evidence that some seafarers onboard the ship had not been paid their wages in full since August 2019. The total outstanding wages is around A$45,000 ($32,100).
AMSA said it has taken steps to ensure that the seafarers onboard have been paid in full before the ship leaves Australia.
According to Michael Drake, acting general manager operations of AMSA, it wasn’t the first time the owner Marmaras Navigation had been caught underpaying crew in Australian waters. AMSA had previously detained Marmaras bulker Koundouros for similar reasons.
“The operator was fortunate that AMSA did not ban Koundouros at the time and those seafarers were paid their outstanding wages before the ship was allowed to leave. Bringing a second ship, Agia Sofia, to Australia with the same breach is inexcusable and has left us with little choice but to ban this ship from Australian ports,” Drake said.
Agia Sofia is the third ship in the last 12 months to be banned by AMSA for failing to pay seafarers their wages in full and on time.