Amendments to the list of IBF Risk Areas and collective agreements

The International Bargaining Forum (IBF) has made additions to the list of IBF Risk Areas as trade unions and employers have agreed on amendments to  IBF Collective Bargaining Agreement and ITF Standard Collective Agreement.  Thus, the list of IBF Warlike Operations Areas now includes 3 new zones: the Sea of Azov north of  latitude 46N, the Northern Black Sea Region  and all seaports in Ukraine. The amendments entered into force on March 1, 2022.

As the ITF circular letter notes, in practice these amendments mean  that seafarers on board vessels working within IBF Risk Areas would be entitled for certain benefits. They include  bonus equal to the base wage, payable for 5 days minimum, doubled compensations for death and disability;  right to refuse sailing to Risk Area, with repatriation at companys cost and compensation equal to 2 months basic wage.

Besides, while working in these areas, the International Negotiation Forum recommends to operate vessels at ISPS Level 3.

ITF Maritime Coordinator Jacqueline Smith emphasized that due to the rapidly evolving situation the list of IBF Risk Areas  may be revised in terms of the coordinates and working conditions for seafarers. The IBF  also has committed to monitor the situation in the areas adjacent to the conflict region between Russia and Ukraine to identify possible risks and take appropriate measures.

In addition, the list of IBF Risk Areas includes:

IBF Warlike Operations Area - 12 nautical miles from Yemen, including all Yemeni ports except the Maritime Security Transit Corridor (MSTC) in the Red Sea;

IBF High Risk Area - Gulf of Aden and 12 nautical miles off the east coast of Somalia;

IBF High Risk Area - The Gulf of Guinea, defined by the territorial waters (at a distance of 12 nautical miles from the coast), ports and inland waterways of Nigeria and Benin, excluding the Maritime Exclusion Zone (MEZ), the Safe Anchorage Zone (SAA) and  Ship- to-Ship (STS) Zone;

IBF Extended Risk Zone - the western part of the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea to the border of Yemen / Saudi Arabia (16⁰ 22N), including the Maritime Security Transit Corridor (MSTC), but excluding the IBF Warlike Operations Area and IBF High Risk Area;

IBF Extended Risk Zone - MEZ, SAA, STS;

IBF Extended Risk Zone - The Gulf of Guinea from the Liberia/Côte d'Ivoire border to the Congo/Angola border, excluding the IBF High Risk Area.

The  Seafarers' Union of Russia  reminds that the list of IBF Risk Areas should be be kept on board a ship and be available to crew members at any time. The SUR also emphasizes that employment conditions on board vessels operating in IBF Risk Areas can only be changed by the decision of the International  Bargaining  Forum (IBF) composed of shipowners and maritime trade unions, including the Seafarers' Union of Russia.