FTA banned vessels from entering its waters as a backlash for shipowner’s repeated abandonment of the seafarers.
The maritime industry faces The UAE Federal Transport Authority banned fourteen ships from entering its waters as a backlash for shipowner’s repeated abandonment of the seafarers.
Abandonment seafarers is a deeply concerning issue in the maritime industry. It is a blatant abuse of human rights. Some crews are reported to have been deprived of their travel and identification documents, living with limited to no food and unsanitary conditions.
In recent years the UAE government has been taking many actions to enforce issues of Corporate Social Responsibility.
In 2018, the UAE joined entered into Maritime Labour Convention (MLC). The FTA is cracking down on cases of human rights abuse.
In early 2018, FTA mandated that all ships above 200 gross tons flying the UAE flag, to obtain insurance for the protection seafarers against abandonment, death or injury, including up to four months’ owed wages and entitlements.
In 2019, the UAE has also joined the International Maritime Security Construct – a US-led international alliance that aims to protect merchant ships and ensure freedom of maritime navigation and international trade.
Industry-specific human rights incidents can cause far worse economic and reputational damage.
Besides the harsh penalties, financial losses are caused by contract claims due to damage by association. For example, under the BIMCO Supplytime Standard Terms, owners warrant compliance with relevant international conventions.
As a result, Charterers can claim for breach of warranties. A charterer can face sanctions from government-owned sub charterer, and can thus claim losses from shipowners.
Even outside of Maritime, it is increasingly critical for organizations to become proactive on human rights issues.