Seamen got additional rights related to going ashore.

As of January 1, 2018, amendments to the IMO Convention on Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic (FAL Convention) came into effect, thanks to which seafarers around the world received additional rights related to ashore.

In accordance with the new provision of the global maritime treaty, public authorities are no longer allowed to deny access to the ship’s crew on the basis of discriminatory factors such as race, religion and citizenship. The new provisions and requirements are aimed at achieving unhindered transit of ships, cargo and passengers in ports around the world.

The new amendment is based on the requirement to allow the crew access to the shore while the vessel in which they operate is in the port, not allowing local immigration officials to refuse the above access based on such factors as nationality, race, color, sex, religion, political opinions or social origin of the seaman.

In addition, the amendment states that shore leave should be granted regardless of the flag state of the vessel. If the exit to shore was denied, the relevant government authorities are required to provide a written explanation to the crew member who was refused, and also to the master of the vessel.

The FAL Convention, which entered into force in 1967, covers issues that facilitate the smooth transit of ships, cargo and passengers during ship parking in ports. The Convention includes a clear description of customs declarations for cargo and ship stocks, permits for entry and exit for the crew, passengers and their baggage, as well as permits for the import and export of personal belongings of crew members.

The Convention is constantly changing and updated by the IMO Member States in the FAL Committee, which meets once a year at the IMO headquarters in London.


Ukrainian ports are allowed to enter ships without an e-declaration.

At the end of the year, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine decided to mark 334 normative acts, among which was a document on the abolition of the norms on the prohibition of entry into the water area of ​​merchant vessels that were refused acceptance of an electronic declaration for cargo.

“This document accelerates the implementation of control procedures in seaports, reduces the cost of time for both representatives of the GFS and business.” A strange rule is removed when, in case of refusal to accept an electronic declaration for cargo, the vessel could not even enter the water area. “- commented on the initiative of the Cabinet of First Deputy Minister of Economic Development Maxim Nefyodov.

The new norm will work in all Ukrainian ports as early as next 2018.