MSC said in its announcement that it does not oversee the maintenance, or the workforce, of the chartered vessel "Kia Ora".
MSC is not the target of a recent Australian Maritime Safety Authority instruction about crew wages: this is directed to the operator of this vessel. The vessel was off-hired immediately upon MSC becoming aware of the AMSA findings.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has banned the Liberian-flagged container ship 'MSC Kia Ora' from Australian ports for three months, after the vessel's operator failed to ensure crew were paid their wages in full and on time, and that critical equipment was maintained.
AMSA inspected the ship in the Port of Brisbane on 14 March, after receiving a complaint which alleged that crew had been underpaid. Upon inspection, AMSA found evidence that crew had been underpaid for the previous four months (November 2017 -February 2018) and were owed more than AU$53,000. The outstanding wages had been transferred to the crew just 24 hours before the inspection.
Failure to pay crew their wages in full and on time is a clear and unacceptable breach of the Maritime Labour Convention. Further breaches of the Maritime Labour Convention were also found during the inspection, relating to hours of rest and fitness for duty, Mr Schwartz said, placing the safety of the crew and the ship at risk.
The inspection also revealed that two of the ship’s four generators were defective, as well as the starboard main engine fire damper. In total, 24 deficiencies were issued to the MSC Kia Ora, leading to detention, the same evening.
On 25 March, AMSA reinspected the vessel and found all detainable deficiencies had been rectified. As such, the ship was released from detention and immediately issued with a ban, preventing it from accessing Australian ports for a period of three months.