High Risk Agreement

After much speculation an agreement has been reached regarding the area to be deemed as “High Risk” with regards to seafarers  wages and compensation.

The International Bargaining Forum of the marine employers’ Joint Negotiating Group and the International Transport Workers’ Federation have reached agreement extending the area deemed at risk of piracy in the Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea and North Indian Ocean.

Mirroring the spread of the pirates, as of April 1 the geographical coverage of the IBF High Risk Area will extend thus: “The western border of the zone runs from the coastline at the border of Djibouti and Somalia to position 11°48’N, 45°E; from 12°00’N, 45°E to Mayyun Island in the Bab El Mandeb Straits. The eastern border is set at 78°E, the southern border is set at 10°S and the northern border set at 26°N.”

While vessels are in transit in the high-risk area seafarers are entitled to compensation of 100% of basic wage. In the event of death and disability compensation is doubled. Seafarers also have a right not to proceed with the passage if vessels are bound to enter the HRA, and must be repatriated at the owner/operators’ cost.

With effect from 0001Z on 1st April 2011 the Extended Risk Zone is as follows:

“The western border of the Zone runs from the coastline at the border of Djibouti and Somalia to position 11 48 N, 45 E; from 12 00 N, 45 E to Mayyun Island in the Bab El Mandeb Straits.
The eastern border is set at 78 E, the southern border is set at 10 S and the Northern Border set at 26 N.”

The IBF Extended Risk Zone Map is attached in Annex.

2. The IBF constituents have agreed that during a vessel’s transit of the Extended Risk Zone protection of seafarers through the provision of increased security measures should be adopted. Such measures must be above the latest Best Management Practice level and may include the provision of personnel or systems which appropriately reduce the vulnerability of a vessel. The sufficiency of such extra security measures should be determined depending on vessel type, size, freeboard during transit and speed, with consulting and seeking advice of respective ITF union(s) where necessary.

In addition the IBF constituents confirm that the adoption of Best Management Practice is required of all vessels operating under IBF agreements as a minimum standard of protection.

See the ITF site for full details http://bit.ly/hSTfKx

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