New guarantees for seafarers in the UAE

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Since February 20, 2018, all merchant ships with a capacity of more than 200 BRT when entering the territorial waters of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are obliged to have on board a certificate confirming the insurance of seafarers from death and injury. They must also have the document which guarantee payment of arrears for four months. Otherwise, ships can be prohibited from entering the country’s ports.

The relevant circular was issued by the Federal Transport Authority of the United Arab Emirates (FTA). This step was seen by many as the willingness of a country that recently joined the IMO Council to ratify the Maritime Labor Convention (MLC): the requirements of the FTA actually coincide with the amendments to the MLC, which came into force on 18 January.

So, ship owners in the waters and ports of the UAE will need to get insurance contracts for all sailors onboard, the UAE’s FTA has announced.

Ships not following these requirements will be prohibited to moor on the UAE ports.

It’s a good measure, which will safeguard the interest of the seafarers.

“We hope that the Emirates will soon join the states that have ratified the MLC,” says Chirag Bahri, ISWAN regional director for South Asia. – Over the past few months, we have encountered several cases where shipowners threw crews in the waters of the UAE or when there were accidents leading to death of people. This is a sad statistics, and I want to believe that with new measures similar incidents will disappear”.

Foreign countries also welcome any steps to improve the protection of seafarers’ rights.

If the Emirates ratify the MLC, this will have a positive impact on the working conditions of both local and foreign seafarers. In addition, the decision will be an example for other Arab states and will reduce the number of disadvantaged ships in the Persian Gulf.

To date, the Convention has been ratified by 84 countries.

ISWAN is a non-profit organization that promotes the well-being of seafarers, directly supporting them in difficult circumstances.

Seafarers, responsible for transporting 95% of world goods, often remain without attention, not receiving proper social protection and assistance. Seamen for long periods are away from family, friends. Institutions providing social services on board ship and shore plays a role of great importance for the crew.

November 27, 2012. – A meeting was taking place in London, where the members of the International Committee on Seafarers’ Welfare (ICSW) voted to merge with the International Seafarers Assistance Network (ISAN). The new organization was renamed into The International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN).

ISWAN began its official activities in 2013.

The role carried out by ISWAN is to promote the well-being of seafarers, to solve problem issues, and to implement the relevant sections of the Maritime Labor Convention (MLC).