04.02.2021

Release is not ordered

Inspectors of the Kaliningrad Territorial Organization of the SUR visited two vessels in the port of Kaliningrad -the Icelandic ship Hav Scandic under the flag of Faroe and the Latvian Rix Gulf under the Portuguese flag. The first vessel is covered by the ITF TCC collective agreement, signed by the Icelandic Seafarers Union. Filipino AB is paid 2,050 dollars. Russians and Ukrainians work on the second vessel, where the AB rate of is 1,540 US dollars. The vessel as well is covered by ITF agreement, but in the IBF format, signed by the Latvian Merchant Seamen's Union. No complaints about Rix Shipmanagement were registered. The claim from that vessel, as well as from another, Rix River under the flag of Cyprus, was the same: why are we, citizens of the Russian Federation, not allowed to go ashore exclusively in Russia?

"Shore leave is allowed everywhere in Scandinavia, although Denmark was closed at the end of January. No problem in Germany and the Netherlands, Poland and the Baltic States. But in Russia, after the first hours after calling the port, the agent handed over an official notification stating that due to certain immigration rules, shore leave is prohibited until March 1, 2021. On what ground?

The inspectors of the Kaliningrad Territorial Organization of the Seafarers Union of Russia also became interested in which one. There is no information on this matter on the Russian Agency for Health and Consumer Rights (Rospotrebnadzor) website. Some kind of restrictions were imposed for those vessels which, for example, arrived from China, Britain, Ireland and Portugal, but not a word about those EU countries where both ships with Russian citizens on board came from. However, such informal ban was launched at the end of the summer, approximately since August. Although there is no official information on the websites of the competent authorities on the tightening of the rules, people are no longer allowed to shore leave

Port health authorities recommend the Russian seafarers to stay on board, otherwise on the way back to vessel the PCR test is required. At the same time, the express diagnostics in Kaliningrad is not available and it takes at least 30 hours for the standard test. The ship will not wait for the seafarer. This is the way the immigration rules look and work and no one is legally responsible for the implementation.

You know, even though I and half of the crew are from Kaliningrad, we will not go home ourselves. You never know what kind of infection I will bring there, and you never know what I will bring back to the ship with after the taxi ride. We live in a safe oasis, and I tell the crew that the best vaccine is to make sure you don't get sick. And traditional medicine, for example hydrogen peroxide, also works, said the captain of one of the ships

In general, our people traditionally survive on their own and treat official circulars with humor. On both vessels the seafarers are happy that they have a job. The area of navigation is Western Europe where regular shifts are guaranteed for crew on demand. So they have a chance to be repatriated after completion of the contract of employment.

Vadim Mamontov, Chairman of SUR

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