News 17 Jun, 2013

Union action at Argentinean ports

We are grateful to our representatives in Argentina Pandi Liquidadores S.R.L. for advising that the local branch of the Maritime Workers Union (SOMU) have begun attempts to block the entrance of vessels into the port of Bahia Blanca which fly one of the following flags and do not carry an ITF certificate:

Antigua & Barbuda Bahamas Barbados
Belize Bermudas Burma/Myanmar
Cambodia Cayman Islands Comoros
Cyprus Equatorial Guinea France
Georgia Germany Gibraltar
Honduras Jamaica Lebanon
Liberia Malta Marshall Island
Mauritius Mongolia Netherland Antilles
North Korea Panama Santo Tome & Principe
Sri Lanka St Vincent & The Grenadines Tonga
Vanuatu    

For vessels flying those flags SOMU require that a copy of the ITF certificate be e-mailed in advance of the vessel’s arrival to the address shown in their attached circular.

What precise steps SOMU will take to prevent vessels entering port is as yet unknown but are likely to involve a refusal to provide assisting tugs. SOMU are said to be seeking to extend their actions to include the Port of Buenos Aires as well. Our representatives are continuing to assess the matter locally but have suggested that in the interim owners of affected vessels and their local shipowner associations may wish to file a protest with the Argentinean authorities through diplomatic channels.

This action is in addition to problems encountered by vessels flying a British or “associated” flag because of the dispute over the Falkland Islands.