07.03.2024

Security of overseas employment of Russian seafarers is in question

The adherence of crewing companies to fair practice is an important stage in the process of overseas employment of Russian seafarers. The Seafarers' Union of Russia believes this process should statutory require an adequate system of control over crewing agencies' operations. Experience has shown that by no means all private recruitment agencies take a responsible approach to their work, for example, some of them render services on a fee basis or send seafarers to abandoned ships. However, the present requirements applying to the operations of crewing agencies in relation to seafarers' employment on foreign-flagged vessels are being reduced.

For now, the Regulation on licensing activities related to the provision of employment services for citizens of the Russian Federation outside the territory of the Russian Federation continues to apply. However, by Decree No. 213 dated February 26, 2024, On Amendments to Certain Acts of the Government of the Russian Federation, amendments were made to Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation dated March 12, 2022, No. 353, On the Peculiarities of Permitting Activities in the Russian Federation. In other words, the Government of the Russian Federation has approved new features of activities related to the provision of services for the employment of Russians abroad, including those that apply to crewing activities.

From April 1, 2024, a new form of regulation of activities related to the employment of seafarers on ships flying a foreign flag will be introduced - a notification procedure for the start of such activities. From this date, crewing agencies must send a notification to Rostrud about the start of their activity. At the same time, the agency is not required to have a building or office to provide services, and its employees and managers are not required to have special education and work experience on board a sea vessel. 

In addition, the new features do not provide a mechanism for monitoring the activities of private recruitment services.

The Seafarers' Union of Russia warns: all this can lead to poor-quality of  services related to employment of Russian  seafarers on foreign vessels. This circumstance will make it possible to deceive seafarers and profit from maritime fleet workers - it will create fertile ground for violations of the rights of  maritime fleet workers.

-The adopted resolution significantly reduces the requirements currently imposed on crewing activities for the employment of seafarers on vessels  flying foreign flags, in comparison with the current licensing requirements for crewing, and does not comply with the provisions of the Maritime Labor Convention, -  a legal expert of the Seafarers' Union of Russia Svetlana Kolganova believes.

We would like to add that until March 31, 2024, Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation dated December 29, 2021 No. 2535 is in force.

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