Canada joins Australia in committing to get overworked crews home

Transport Canada has issued a notice that it intends to finally enforce the Maritime Labour Convention provisions on duration of contract and repatriation. This means that if a seafarer has completed 11 months onboard, he or she has the right to get off and be repatriated at the owner’s cost.

“Issues of fatigue and mental health of seafarers may have deteriorated to a point that they may endanger health and safety,” Transport Canada noted in a release.

Foreign vessels in Canadian waters operating without a valid seafarer employment agreement for all crew members will be subject to enforcement action such as detention and/or a fine.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has announced similar measures that take effect from February 28.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


  1. I’m not sure that this is deserving of applause. I think it’s more of a cop-out. Maybe I’m being naive, but I think that the majority of shipowners would like to change their crews when due, but Australia is currently one of the last countries that you would want to try to do it. Instead of just enforcing a rule and then saying to shipowners complaining about the impediments placed in the process “too bad, it’s not our problem”, they would get more kudos if they tried to establish a bureaucrat-free pathway to enabling crew changes.

Back to top button