Title 5 Regulation 5.2.2

Regulation 5.2.2 - Onshore seafarer complaint-handling procedures

1. Each Member shall ensure that seafarers on ships calling at a port in the Member's territory who allege a breach of the requirements of this Convention (including seafarers' rights) have the right to report such a complaint in order to facilitate a prompt and practical means of redress.

Standard

Standard A5.2.2 - Onshore seafarer complaint-handling procedures

1. A complaint by a seafarer alleging a breach of the requirements of this Convention (including seafarers' rights) may be reported to an authorized officer in the port at which the seafarer's ship has called. In such cases, the authorized officer shall undertake an initial investigation.

2. Where appropriate, given the nature of the complaint, the initial investigation shall include consideration of whether the on-board complaint procedures provided under Regulation 5.1.5 have been explored. The authorized officer may also conduct a more detailed inspection in accordance with Standard A5.2.1.

3. The authorized officer shall, where appropriate, seek to promote a resolution of the complaint at the ship-board level.

4. In the event that the investigation or the inspection provided under this Standard reveals a non-conformity that falls within the scope of paragraph 6 of Standard A5.2.1, the provisions of that paragraph shall be applied.

5. Where the provisions of paragraph 4 of this Standard do not apply, and the complaint has not been resolved at the ship-board level, the authorized officer shall forthwith notify the flag State, seeking, within a prescribed deadline, advice and a corrective plan of action.

6. Where the complaint has not been resolved following action taken in accordance with paragraph 5 of this Standard, the port State shall transmit a copy of the authorized officer's report to the Director-General. The report must be accompanied by any reply received within the prescribed deadline from the competent authority of the flag State. The appropriate shipowners' and seafarers' organizations in the port State shall be similarly informed. In addition, statistics and information regarding complaints that have been resolved shall be regularly submitted by the port State to the Director-General. Both such submissions are provided in order that, on the basis of such action as may be considered appropriate and expedient, a record is kept of such information and is brought to the attention of parties, including shipowners' and seafarers' organizations, which might be interested in availing themselves of relevant recourse procedures.

7. Appropriate steps shall be taken to safeguard the confidentiality of complaints made by seafarers.

Guideline

Guideline B5.2.2 - Onshore seafarer complaint-handling procedures

1. Where a complaint referred to in Standard A5.2.2 is dealt with by an authorized officer, the officer should first check whether the complaint is of a general nature which concerns all seafarers on the ship, or a category of them, or whether it relates only to the individual case of the seafarer concerned.

2. If the complaint is of a general nature, consideration should be given to undertaking a more detailed inspection in accordance with Standard A5.2.1.

3. If the complaint relates to an individual case, an examination of the results of any on-board complaint procedures for the resolution of the complaint concerned should be undertaken. If such procedures have not been explored, the authorized officer should suggest that the complainant take advantage of any such procedures available. There should be good reasons for considering a complaint before any on-board complaint procedures have been explored. These would include the inadequacy of, or undue delay in, the internal procedures or the complainant's fear of reprisal for lodging a complaint.

4. In any investigation of a complaint, the authorized officer should give the master, the shipowner and any other person involved in the complaint a proper opportunity to make known their views.

5. In the event that the flag State demonstrates, in response to the notification by the port State in accordance with paragraph 5 of Standard A5.2.2, that it will handle the matter, and that it has in place effective procedures for this purpose and has submitted an acceptable plan of action, the authorized officer may refrain from any further involvement with the complaint.