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August 6, 2017 - The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has banned the Bahamas-flagged bulk carrier MV Rena from entering or using Australian ports for six months. The prohibition comes after the 81,700 dwt ship repeatedly failed to pay outstanding wages and maintain a safe workplace for its crew. On June 30, AMSA received a complaint from the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) alleging the crew had not been paid their total wages for several months. AMSA conducted a port state control inspection when the Panamax ship arrived at Hay Point in Queensland on July 6.

Upon completion of the inspection, the authority issued the ship with a number of serious deficiencies including failure of the emergency generator to start, failure of the life boat starting arrangements, short comings in the safety management system (ISM) and failure to pay crew the cash component of their wages which totalled about USD 53,000. As informed, the ship had also been detained by AMSA earlier this year in February at Port Adelaide for a number of serious deficiencies, including crew working excess hours.

The MV Rena remained detained at Hay Point for 29 days until AMSA and the vessel’s flag state received evidence that the crew had been paid their outstanding wages on August 3. Substandard ships are not welcome in Australian waters, and as such AMSA has banned the MV Rena from Australian ports for a period of six months. The ban will expire on February 3, 2018. If the ship returns to Australia after the ban expires and is detained again by AMSA for serious deficiencies, it may be subject to a further ban of twelve months.

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