|Abandonment ID:|| 00593|
|7-digit IMO no.:||9828948|
|Port of abandonment:||Barcelona, Spain|
|Abandonment date:||5 November 2021|
|Notification date:||30 November 2021|
|Reporting Member Govt. or Org.:||ITF|
|No. of Seafarers:||21|
|Circumstances:||P&I: West P&I|
Received complaint from crew regarding repatriation. Crew had 8-month contract with commencement in 29/12/2020 and 22/02/2021, expired at the date of the complaint.
|Actions taken:||5 November 2021: Flag State informed|
After the ITF inspection, extensions were offered in compliance with ITF CBA and signed. Complainant later stated it was forged. PSC complaint was filed 29/11 and inspection was carried out 05/11. Nine crew ratified their desire to be repatriated and authorisation was acquired from immigration. Without the seafarer’s agreement, company, PSC and flag agreed to a rectification action plan which will force them to work at least until 11/12/2021 according to expectancy of the company.
|Repatriation status:||6 January 2022: Repatriated|
All crew repatriated, the situation has been resolved.
|Comments and Observations:||ITF (30 November 2021)|
Though COVID-19 restrictions made repatriation difficult, not enough was done to guarantee their rights. It is our firm belief that their fundamental rights have been violated and MLC standards have not been withheld in the protection of these. The seafarers request nor the efforts of the ITF, as their representatives, were considered, as per MLC requirements. This, under our impression, is a case of forced labour as there is no valid agreement entered into freely by the seafarers for their continuation on board.
Govt. of Liberia (17 December 2021)
From Associate Manager, Investigations & Security
The Liberian Administration acknowledges receipt of your email. Please provide details of the operator or managing Company for verification; however, the appropriate Authority to handle this complaint will be the Flag Administration(Marshall Island).
International Maritime Organisation (20 December 2021)
Thank you for your swift response concerning the ‘ARCHON’, IMO Number 9828948, Flag: Marshall Islands, Manager/Operator: Liberia, which is abandoned since 5 November 2021 in Barcelona, Spain having on board 21 seafarers from China (People’s Republic of,) who urgently requested repatriation.
As you kindly requested I herewith provide further details of the operator and managing Company for your verification, which you also may find in the attached information that is publicly available from both IMO GISIS and EQUASIS. According to this information the registered owner is a single ship company Sea Wind Marine Inc. ship, IMO Company number 6036858, registered in the Marshall Islands but has chosen as address the office of its managing/operating/beneficial owner/company Blue Planet Shipping Ltd, IMO Company number 1476739, address: 5-7, Agiou Nikolaou Street, 185 37 Piraeus, Greece. However, the managing/operating/beneficial owner/company Blue Planet Shipping Ltd is according to the attached information registered in: Liberia.
SEA WIND MARINE INC
Company name (full): Sea Wind Marine Inc
IMO Company Number: 6036858
Company address: Care of Blue Planet Shipping Ltd , 5-7, Agiou Nikolaou Street, 185 37 Piraeus, Greece.
Country of registration: Marshall Islands
Company name: BLUE PLANET SHIPPING LTD
Company name (full): Blue Planet Shipping Ltd
IMO Company Number: 1476739
Company address: 5-7, Agiou Nikolaou Street, 185 37 Piraeus, Greece.
Country of registration: Liberia
Furthermore, I have also included the IMO focal points of Greece. We look forward to hearing from you soon, as well as from the Marshall Islands as you point out that the appropriate Authority to handle this complaint will be the Flag Administration.
Govt. of Liberia (20 December 2021)
From Associate Manager, Investigations & Security
This matter should be handled by Marshall Islands as Flag Administration of the subject vessel. Further, the registered owner, SEA WIND MARINE INC., is not a Liberian non-resident entity; therefore, Liberia has no jurisdiction over the company and its activities.
The Maritime Labor Convention (MLC 2006) specifically provides that "if a complaint cannot be resolved on board, the matter should be referred ashore to the shipowner, who should be given an appropriate time limit for resolving…”
Based on the foregoing, SEA WIND MARINE as owner, should be contacted for resolution of this matter.
Govt. of Marshall Islands (21 December 2021)
From Deputy Commissioner of Maritime Affairs
There seems to be some confusion and misunderstanding about the Archon case.
1. As noted below, the Archon is a Marshall Islands-flagged vessel (not a Liberian-flagged vessel).
2. In early November, ICS, IMEC and MI explained that this was not an abandonment case and asked that it be classified as SCAT (see 2nd attachment, RE: Archon case).
3. The Barcelona Harbor Master’s report (the first attachment) accurately explains the situation. It also supports the view that this is not an abandonment case but of the inability of the shipowner to repatriate the crew.
4. The final attachment shows correspondence between the ship operator and ITF. Under the repatriation plan (deadline given by PSC Barcelona), the seafarers should have been repatriated by 11 Dec. However, the shipowner had encountered delays at anchorage at Yuzhny due to port congestion. We will follow up to see where this now stands and revert.
Finally, apologies for excluding the long list of persons on the email. Given that this went to the wrong flag State and the list was long, I’m just sending it to IMO and ILO. Please forward to whomever you need to so that the case may be resolved.
ITF (21 December 2021)
From ITF Coordinator, Spain
The case could have been solved "on board", by repatriating the seafarers from Barcelona as they had rightly requested , supported by the ITF inspector in the area.
However, the lack of MLC understanding and the lack of willingness of PSCO who received the MLC complaint; the excuses given by others involved in the matter, and the fact that it was Friday ( apparently the seafarers 'rights are abolished over the weekends... ) made that the Chinese crew over contract, who had reported being exhausted and not able to keep working on a safe manner, were obliged to risk their lives ( and other seafarer´s lives) by sailing for weeks without an end before reaching their homes.
I may say that, implementing the MLC on this way, means that human seafarers´ rights still mean nothing for some in this industry.
Note: this case has been raised to the National Direction of Maritime Affairs at national level, we need to avoid that this kind of cases overshadow the good cooperation with many PSCOs who properly implement the MLC in our country.
International Maritime Organisation (22 December 2021)
I would like to inform you that according to the procedures of the joint IMO/ILO Database on Abandonment of Seafarers a case of abandonment can only be considered as being resolved if, and only if, ILO has received clear advice from the Member State or relevant organization that reported the abandonment that:
(i) the totality of the crew has been successfully repatriated; and
(ii) the totality of all outstanding remuneration and contractual entitlements have been paid and duly received by all the crewmembers.
Therefore, it would be good if ITF could provide for a further update on the current status as they initially reported this abandonment case.
Govt. of Marshall Islands (30 December 2021)
From Deputy Commissioner / Blue Planet Shipping Safety Quality Environmental Department
Please be advised that MV Archon is en route to Beihai, China with ETA 31/12/2021.
New joiners arrived at Beihai on 28th December 2021 and all going well we expect crew changes to be completed on 01/01/2022 once vessel will be alongside.
The vessel arrives 31 December/1 January at China and we are awaiting berthing instruction from Chinese authorities, as soon as the vessel is alongside nucleic acid test will take place and the crew change will be concluded within 24 hours after the results are issued.
Our crew elected the disembarkation at China as per the attached constituting a free and informed decision.
ITF (6 January 2022)
The crew disembarked the vessel yesterday and are currently on their way home. RESOLVED.