BG Verkehr / Dienststelle Schiffssicherheit
Referat ISM/ILO - Bereich Seearbeitsrecht
Brandstwiete 1
20457 Hamburg

Fax: +49 40 361 37-204

Tilo Berger
Phone: +49 40 361 37-213

Sven Reese
Phone: +49 40 361 37-313

Kathrin Saß
Phone: +49 40 361 37-260

Florian Reise
Phone: +49 40 361 37-214

Seafarer's complaints

Seafarers have an extensive right of complaint

The Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) provides seafarers with an extensive right of complaint. Seafarers are entitled to complain about any violation regarding working and living conditions on board. Complaints should initially be addressed to the superior on board. If the complaint is not resolved, the seafarer can refer it to the master or to the shipowner. In addition, all seafarers are entitled to file a complaint also directly with the competent flag state authority.

Ship safety division of the BG Verkehr is the competent German flag state authority for complaints

The central point of contact for complaints of seafarers on German-flagged ships is the ship safety division of the BG Verkehr. Complaints can be filed at any time and are treated confidentially.

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On-board confidant for complaints

The shipowner or the master on his behalf must appoint one person on board the ship who can on a confidential basis provide impartial advice to the seafarer in respect of a complaint. The seafarer may be accompanied or represented by this confidant or by another person enjoying his confidence on board the ship during the complaint procedure. A seafarer must not be victimised because of lodging a complaint.

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Shipowners must inform seafarers about their right of complaint

Shipowners must inform seafarers on board of their ships about the applicable complaint procedures in writing. The information must also include the contact details of the ship safety division and the name of the appointed on-board confidant. The name of this confidant may be posted up on board to keep it up to date.

Here you can download a proposal for an on-board complaint procedure of a German-flagged ship.

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