27-06-2018

Indian Maritime body MASSA requests Government of India to allow the disembarkment of Indian and foreign seafarers at all Indian ports

India’s leading maritime association, The Maritime Association of Shipowners Shipmanagers and Agents (MASSA) has expressed its serious concern as Government of India has not taken appropriate steps so far to allow and facilitate an exit of crew change arrangements for Indian as well as foreign seafarers from about 10 prominent ports of India. These ports include important maritime destinations like Ratnagari, Kochi, Karaikal, Jaigarh, Dhamra, Dighi, Revdanda, Sagar, Jakhau, etc.

“Around 100 cargo ships including tankers having aboard about 2000 Indian as well as foreign seafarers visit these Indian ports in a year for cargo loading and unloading. Most seafarers are Indian nationals. These seafarers, even if necessary during an extreme medical emergency, face huge challenges to disembark from the vessels. In Kochi, the disembarkation of a seafarer is possible only if the vessel calls the berth and is not away anchored at an harbor off the port. We have raised this issue many times before with The Directorate General of Shipping, Government of India,” said Capt Prashant Rangnekar, Chairman, MASSA.

“Government of India should immediately take appropriate steps and depute immigration officials at these ports, and also streamline the ports’ standard operational procedures to solve this serious problem. On the ‘Day of Seafarers’ celebrated world-wide to address seafarers’ wellbeing, we sincerely urge both, Ministry of Shipping and Ministry of External Affairs to address this grave issue in the interest of Indian seafarers,” added Capt Rangnekar.

Operational since 1947 in India, MASSA provides an ideal forum to various maritime stakeholders to interact with the Government of India in all matters relating to employment, training and welfare of merchant navy workforce. MASSA’s members include global shipmanagement companies which have a long association with Indian manning and are identified as traditional employers of Indian merchant navy officers and ratings.

Source: MASSA

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