Australia relaxes seafarer service rules because of Covid-19 outbreak

Australia will allow shipowners to extend seafarer tours of duty beyond the 11-month ceiling set down in the Maritime Labour Convention where the Australian Maritime Safety Agency (AMSA) has said. Requests for exemption would be treated on a case-by-case basis.

AMSA noted that travel restrictions and quarantine measures worldwide would inevitably impact working conditions at sea. AMSA reaffirmed its commitment to the strict controls on service periods at sea and seafarers’ rights to repatriation set down in the MLC, but said that situations might arise where crew were unable to leave a ship at the end of their contracts.