Live from Seatrade Maritime Middle East 2018

The Seatrade Maritime reporting team bring you all the key stories in the run-up to, and live on the ground during, Seatrade Maritime Middle East 2018. The maritime market place for the Middle East.

UAE working to ratify the Maritime Labour Convention

The UAE is working towards ratifying the International Labour Organization’s Maritime Labour Convention (MLC), following a sharp rise in seafarer abandonment cases over the past two years.

The MLC, dubbed the seafarers bill of rights, concerns the right of seafarers to decent conditions of work and rest.

Abdulla Darwish Al Hayyas, director of maritime transport affairs at the country’s Federal Transport Authority told the Seatrade Maritime Middle East Exhibition & Conference in Dubai that the UAE has seen 60 crew abandonment cases involving 300 seafarers in the last couple of years.

Some 95% of the cases have concerned foreign flag ships, owners and seafarers, and usually were the result of ship owners facing financial problems. The seafarers are left without provisions, medical care and fuel to run generators.

Al Hayyas said that with the exception of Panama and India the UAE received no assistance from the flag states in dealing with the cases, and the FTA had felt compelled to get involved on a humanitarian level.

The abandoned vessels were usually tankers and offshore service vessels, and many were substandard, belonging to owners vulnerable to financial problems.

In response to the wave of abandonments, and also a spate of safety incidents, the FTA has introduced a 25 year age restriction on tankers, and all commercial ships must now be fitted with AIS tracking, including dhows. Four ship owners, including India’s Varun Resources Limited, have been banned from calling at UAE ports. Seafarer insurance has also been made compulsory for all ships over 200 gross tonnage entering UAE waters. The insurance has to cover four months of salaries as well as repatriation.

“We are aiming to ratify the convention as soon as we can,” said Al Hayyas. “It is a priority for us.”

Posted 1 November 2018

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Saudi Maritime Congress 2020

Saudi Maritime Congress

22 – 23 March 2020 | Dammam, KSA

Connecting Saudi shipping and logistics industry.

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Marcus Hand

Author Bio ▼

Editor, Seatrade Maritime News Marcus Hand is the editor of Seatrade Maritime News and a dedicated maritime journalist with nearly two decades of experience covering the shipping industry in Asia. In addition to running Seatrade's maritime and offshore news website based from Singapore he is the Asia Editor of Seatrade Maritime Review. Marcus is also an experienced industry commentator and has chaired many conferences and round tables. Prior to joining Seatrade at the beginning of 2010 Marcus worked for shipping industry journal Lloyd's List for a decade and previous to that the Singapore Business Times covering shipping and aviation.

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