Vega boxship banned

A German boxship has been banned from Australian ports for three months after being detained over crew wages and conditions.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said the 957–teu Vega Auriga (built 2006) had been held three times since July last year.

There were “repeated concerns” for the welfare of the crew, including improper payment of wages, inadequate living and working conditions and inadequate maintenance resulting in an unseaworthy and substandard vessel, it added.

The general manager of AMSA’s ship safety division, Allan Schwartz, said vessels entering Australian ports must ensure they meet minimum international standards.

“Vessels that do not meet such standards, including standards for the welfare and  treatment of crew, pose an increased risk to seafarers, safe operations and the marine environment,” he said.

Operator Vega Reederei is not yet commenting on the matter. The vessel is currently underway from Australia to Tauranga in New Zealand.

Australia is a signatory to the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC).