Careers at sea and the bahamas maritime authority
BMA requires ship owners resolve seafarer’s onboard complaints to the satisfaction of the complainant within an overall period of 20 days, failing which the complaint must be referred to the Flag Administration’s Director of Labour. To comply with the 20 day period, the Ship Owners has set up a time line for various stages of complaint handling procedure as outlined below and applicable to Bahamas flag vessels within the fleet:
- A complaint addressed to the head of department or superior officer shall attempt to resolve the matter to the satisfaction of the complainant within a period of five (5) days,
- If the head of careers at sea department or supervising officer cannot resolve the complaint to the satisfaction of the seafarer, the seafarer may refer it to the Master. The Master shall then endevour to complete investigation and resolve the matter to the satisfaction of the complainant within a period of five (5) days (counted from day Master receives the complaint).
- If, in the unlikely event of the complaint not being resolved on board after a period of ten (10) days, since the date complaint was lodged, the Master shall refer the complaint to the Fleet Personnel Manager at the Ship Owners.
- If, after twenty (20) days, a conciliated settlement is not achieved , either party shall have a further 20 days to refer the complaint to the Director of Labour, to decide upon a satisfactory solution to the matter.
A seafarer choosing to lodge his complaint directly with an external authority must be aware of the following:
- If he chooses to lodge his complaint to an external authority, other than a BMA Official, he is obliged to provide the external authority with the contact information of Flag Administration along with a request to communicate the complaint to the BMA.
- The external authority has the option to communicate the complaint to the Ship Owners, who shall then be expected to resolve the matter in accordance with the terms and conditions of the seafarer employment agreement to the satisfaction of both parties.
- If a complaint is lodged directly with the Director of Labour, the Director of labour may also, if deemed necessary, involve the appropriate competent authority within the seafarer’s country of origin.