AMSA bans bulker Movers 3 from Australian ports

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has handed down an 18-month ban to Panama-flagged bulk carrier Movers 3, which is operated by Aswan Shipping.

Illustration. Image by AMSA

Movers 3 has been detained at anchor off Weipa in far north Queensland since 4 March 2021 for failing to carry out important regular surveys of the ship, and for appalling working and living conditions onboard.

Overnight, outstanding issues, namely the replacement of poorly maintained ballast tank head vents and the updated ship surveys, were finally resolved after a lengthy port state
control detention.

On 29 April 2021, AMSA released Movers 3 from detention and immediately issued a ban, prohibiting it from entering an Australian port for 18 months.

AMSA Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Sachi Wimmer, said Aswan Shipping had shown “a complete disregard” for its obligations to provide decent working and living conditions for its seafarers and had not ensured its ships were maintained so they were safe for the crew and Australia’s marine environment.

“Aswan Shipping’s neglect has resulted in a difficult two months for the seafarers on Movers 3, let alone the effort required by many organisations to support them during this time,” Wimmer said.

“We are holding Aswan Shipping accountable, it needs to step-up and fulfil its obligations as a ship owner and operate responsibly if it wants to trade in Australian ports in the future.”

Wimmer thanked the various parties involved who had assisted where Aswan Shipping had failed to act, organising food and welfare support for the impacted seafarers.

“The banning of Movers 3 should serve as a stark reminder to the maritime industry that AMSA will not tolerate or accept sub-standard ships in Australian waters,” Wimmer stressed.

“A banning constitutes more than just a disruption to shipping schedules, it comes at great financial and reputational loss to the companies associated with these ships.”

Another of Aswan Shipping’s ships, Maryam is still under detention in Port Kembla for similar issues after being inspected by AMSA back on 19 February 2021. AMSA said it continues to work with all parties involved in resolving the outstanding issues with Maryam.