The Director General of Shipping, India, has asked recruitment agents and companies to abstain from taking money for employment of seafarers. The Director General gave the direction, stating it was unlawful under Maritime Law in the country.
A circular was issued in this regard after several complaints were raised about the companies and recruiting agencies collecting money in the name of recruitment.
In the circular of February 13, the Director General said section 97 of the Merchant Shipping Act mandates that no person or company or organisation should demand or receive any remuneration or donation from a seafarer, who seeks employment. They should only take the fees as per the Act, the Circular read.
Further, the DG said that all shipping companies and RPSL companies should display the circular in their offices.
As part of bringing in transparency in the recruitments, the DG, Shipping last year introduced grading system for agencies that recruited sea fearers. An outside agency did the grading.
Last year, the DG shipping last October, the DG Shipping decided to grade the performance of seafarers’ recruitment and manning agents through an external agency. The DG shipping will also hold an annual Comprehensive Inspection Programme of the RPSL holders. This will be conducted by one of the eight ship classification societies that is authorised by the Director General.
Indian Register of Shipping, Bureau Veritas, Lloyd’s Register Group Ltd, Nippon Kaiji Kyokai, American Bureau of Shipping, Korean Register of Shipping, DNV GL A S and RINA Services S P A are the eight societies.