Indian union says China stopping Indian seafarers from entering

Mumbai-based All India Seafarers Union has said in a tweet that the Chinese government “is not allowing all those ships to enter into the port”.

It also said that Indonesia was opening up to crew changes for all seafarers except for Indians and South Africans.

The All India Seafarer & General Workers Union sent a letter to the minister for ports, shipping and waterways in which it claimed that about 20,000 seafarers were stuck at home in India because of what was effectively a ban instituted since March this year by Chinese officials on ships arriving with Indian crews.

Amitabh Kumar, India’s Director General of Shipping, denied the Union’s claim, while ship managers played down the concerns, but Captain Sanjay Parashar, a member of India’s National Shipping Board, said that “China has told foreign shipping companies they can lift or unload the cargo only if they agree to its terms,” says Parashar. “(Those terms are) not to employ Indian crew.”

Zodiac Marine’s Rakesh Coelho told Times of India that “the Chinese restrictions against Indian crew started somewhere in March.” However, international shipmanagers contacted by Splash on Monday said that ships with Indian crew calling at Chinese ports were not being turned away.