BIMCO position statement on fair treatment of seafarers


BIMCO's position has been approved by the BIMCO Board of Directors.


Fair treatment of seafarers in the event of a maritime accident is addressed in guidelines developed by a Joint International Maritime Organization (IMO)/International Labour Organization (ILO) Ad Hoc Expert Working Group in 2006. Mandatory provisions on fair treatment of seafarers are included in the 2010 IMO Casualty Investigation Code (CIC), the 2006 ILO Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) and the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Unfair treatment of seafarers can take many forms and be for many reasons. Incidents may relate to eg pollution from ships, even though very few of these incidents involve intentional or grossly negligent behaviour of seafarers. Other related incidents may involve the attitude of port state control officials towards ships’ crew and abandonment of seafarers.

Unfair treatment has an unacceptable impact on the seafarers involved. It also has a damaging effect on the image of the shipping industry and its ability to attract and retain qualified seafarers.

BIMCO’s position

  • BIMCO supports and advocates for fair treatment of seafarers in all respects and is committed to raising awareness.
  • BIMCO is opposed to liability regimes, which include presumption of guilt rather than innocence of seafarers, and legislation that makes an act illegal retroactively.
  • It is essential that states meet their international obligations under UNCLOS, including article 230 barring states from imprisoning seafarers serving on board foreign ships except in cases of wilful and serious acts of pollution within their territorial waters.
  • BIMCO supports the enforcement of the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) Maritime Labour Convention (MLC), which establishes mandatory requirements for shipowners to maintain financial security to cover abandonment, as well as death and long-term disability of seafarers owing to occupational injury.
Christian Hoppe
in Copenhagen, DK

VPS Bunker Alerts

Veritas Petroleum Services (VPS) publish regular Bunker Alerts based entirely on fuel samples and have kindly permitted BIMCO’s Members to access this information.

The Bunker Alerts are not intended to be an evaluation of overall bunker quality in the port or area concerned, but usually highlight a specific parameter within the fuel which has raised a quality issue.

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