AMSA bans bulk carrier for six months

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has banned Liberian-flagged bulk carrier Agia Sofia (IMO 9706786) from Australian ports for six months.

The Agia Sofia, previously known as Trade Spirit, is owned and operated by Greek company Marmaras Navigation.

AMSA inspected the ship at Hay Point in Mackay on July 25th after receiving a complaint via the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF).

During its inspection AMSA found evidence that some seafarers on board the ship had not been paid their wages in full since August 2019, with the outstanding amount having reached about A$45,000.

AMSA said that it had taken steps to ensure that the seafarers onboard are paid in full before the ship leaves Australia.

AMSA Acting General Manager Operations Michael Drake noted that “in January 2018 AMSA detained another company ship, Koundouros, at Port Walcott for owing its seafarers more than A$7,500. The operator was fortunate that AMSA did not ban Koundouros at the time and those seafarers were paid their outstanding wages before the ship was allowed to leave.”

Drake said that “bringing a second ship, Agia Sofia, to Australia with the same breach is inexcusable and has left us with little choice but to ban this ship from Australian ports.”

2016-built, Liberia-flagged, 44,192 gt Agia Sofia is owned by Fiona Maritime Inc care of manager Marmaras Navigation Ltd of Athens, Greece. It is entered with North of England Club on behalf of Fiona Maritime Inc.