Indian Seafarers will Likely Benefit on Adoption of Two More IMO Conventions
Indian seafarers will likely benefit from one of the two International Maritime Organization (IMO) conventions that the country intends to adopt soon. As the country continues to find avenues to further improve its shipping sector, India is slated to adopt two more IMO conventions. One of which is the maritime labor convention that was first enforced in 2006. The measure intends to assure better working environment and provides comprehensive rights and protection for seafarers. It also seeks to ensure decent work for seafarers, as well as “secure their economic interests in fair competition for quality ship-owners.”India, which is home to around 1.2 million seafarers, has been facing challenges with regards to keeping the shipping sector on track due to poor freight rates and rising fuel costs. This has prompted some industry experts to believe that meeting IMO standards would be another obstacle.
“Cost of compliance will manifest. Most conventions have been signed and the time to bring them into force is now close. If companies don’t comply then it could have trade repercussions,” according to Hemant Bhatbhatt, Deloitte India’s senior director. The other IMO convention that India is keen on adopting is the anti-fouling systems mechanism. First enforced on September 17, 2008, the convention prohibits the use of harmful paints on vessels. Most Indian ship-owners are now complying with the standard, according to a senior Shipping Ministry official, noting that such harmful items can harm marine life, as well as the environment. The Shipping Ministry has already won support from Cabinet in ratifying the two conventions, which are expected to be adopted when Parliament approves a draft bill amending the country’s Merchant Shipping Act.