Government of India in order to ensure complete effect of the provisions of Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 and Rules & Regulations made therein in respect of employment of Indian seafarers on Indian flagged ships and in the context of Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 has, vide M.S. Notice No. 07 of 2020, prescribed the following terms and conditions of employment which shall be incorporated in clear and unambiguous manner in the Seafarer Employment Agreements (SEA) / Articles of Agreement (AOA).
a) The contents of SEA / AOA/ and CBA (where forming part of SEA) shall also include following
GT , Type of Ship, Trading area ( Foreign going / Coastal/Near coastal voyage / Harbour)
The overtime allowance – whether on fixed monthly basis (in hours) OR on basis of actual overtime hours worked.
National holidays are to be taken into account.
Other allowances payable to seafarer.
The CBA must have express provisions in respect of contributions towards Seafarer’s Welfare Fund Society (SWFS) and Seamen’s Provident Fund Organization (SPFO) which shall be made by shipping companies and same shall not be deducted from the wages payable to the seafarer.
CBA agreed between ship-owners association and seafarer’s organizations including wages as determined under the CBA shall be strictly implemented by the individual members, however such shipowners association and seafarer’s organisations should be duly registered in accordance with the Indian laws.
b) In cases where CBA does not form part of SEA /AOA, the following must be complied;
Terms and conditions of employment are detailed in the SEA/ AOA with respect to the amount of wages, other remuneration, death & disability compensation and other terms and conditions for a seafarer shall be no less than the amount agreed upon in any CBA ( Foreign going / Home Trade / Coastal ) between any registered ship owners/seafarers' organization within India OR
The amount periodically set by the Joint Maritime Commission or another body authorized by the Governing body of the International Labour Office.
c) Any provisions made in SEA/ AOA / CBA should not contravene the provisions under Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 as amended and Merchant Shipping (Maritime Labour) Rules 2016 or any other applicable Act or Rules.
d) Following points have been detailed for compliance by ship owner;
All travel arrangements and costs including boarding & lodging arrangements where required, for seafarers when joining ship and for repatriation upon sign off from ship which will be responsibility of the ship owner.
Personal protective and working gear, food & catering, drinking water, hygienic and healthy living conditions and recreational facilities on board shall be provided to the seafarers free of cost which shall be mentioned in the CBA/AOA/SEA;
Death and disability compensations for all “Trainees” shall not be less than INR 10 Lakhs.
Payment of gratuity is optional as may be agreed in the CBA/ AOA/ SEA.
The disability compensation shall be over and above the cost of treatment and the wages payable as applicable. A disability of 50 % or more shall be considered as full disability.
ln case of loss or damage to the personal effects of the seafarer, as a result of the vessel, where he/she is employed, foundering or being lost, the compensation to the seafarer will be made in accordance with the terms and conditions agreed in CBA/AOA/SEA.
CBA/AOA/SEA shall specify the liability of ship owner to provide legal support and to bear legal expenses and means to cover this liability in the event if a seafarer is stranded, detained, arrested or in the captivity at a port during the course of employment onboard ship.
A probation period of not exceeding 10 weeks shall be applicable in case of Deck or Engine cadet or Trainee rating.
The wages as determined in the CBA, sector wise (Foreign Going/Home Trade /Coastal) shall prevail.
Seafarer Union/Association may collect their subscription & fee directly from seafarers and it shall not be part of CBA. Any deduction towards union fee, donation from wages of a seafarer or on behalf of seafarer will be subject to the seafarer giving a clear written authorization to the employer / shipowner.
Copy of a CBA entered/renewed shall be submitted to Administration (Directorate General of Shipping, Shipping Master Office & Seamen’s Employment Office) for reference and record.
Ship owners/ operators and masters of Indian flagged ships are advised to be guided by above.
This Technical Circular and the material contained in it is provided only for the purpose of supplying current information to the reader and not as an advice to be relied upon by any person. While we have taken utmost care to be as factual as possible, readers/ users are advised to verify the exact text and content of the Regulation from the original source/ issuing Authority.