A report published by the International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) details best practice in establishing and operating a port levies scheme in all ports around the world.
The report, Port Levies and Sustainable Welfare for Seafarers,documents how levies make a real difference to welfare organisations and the services that they are able to provide for seafarers, at a time when funding for seafarers’ welfare is under intense pressure.
Speaking at the ISWAN seminar on port levies and seafarers’ welfare today Ben Bailey, Public Affairs Manager, from The Mission to Seafarers said:
“The Mission welcomes this excellent report which outlines the clear benefits in maintaining a high quality welfare service for seafarers supported by a port levy.
“The rates of contribution to local port levies vary widely across our network of 121 seafarers’ centres. The Mission in Saldanha Bay in South Africa attracts a full contribution from a basic port levy per vessel of US$40, and this funds essential transport links and centre maintenance. The seafarers’ centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia on the other hand only receives a 7% contribution to total running costs from the port levy.
“Port levies are vital in sustaining local services, because they provide a minimum level of financial security. It is also important to note, that over 70% of port welfare funding comes from national state welfare initiatives where it exists, and the charity and voluntary sectors. The Mission to Seafarers relies entirely on voluntary donations and we would call on the shipping industry to give due consideration to supporting local port welfare committees with funding for welfare services through port levies.”
The Secretary General of The Mission to Seafarers Andrew Wright said:
“ISWAN has made a series of sensible recommendations following the publication of their research, including a call for a quality standards system for welfare provision and gathering regular feedback from seafarers themselves. The Mission is currently reviewing our ports welfare provision in our five yearGlobal Review and we have already implemented a Seafarers’ Satisfaction Survey in 2013 to further support this work.
“The Mission would like to take this opportunity to thank all those ship agents and shipping industry leaders who are already championing port levies to help seafarers in need in ports globally.”
Source: The Mission to Seafarers