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I am a UK seafarer and I work onboard a yacht that was detained in the EU in 2022, suspected of belonging to a sanctioned individual.

Subsequent legal investigation has found this not to be the case, but due to the lengthy legal process and the politicisation of this issue we are still not fully cleared.

The knock-on effect of this is that a huge number of companies have refused to do business with us. I understand that companies are cautious, but several are sole providers of services that directly relate to safety issues, and their refusal to render services puts seafarers' lives at risk.

Some of the companies that have refused service have not only been class societies, insurance underwriters, etc but FFE servicing technicians, including manufactures of fixed fire systems (who will no longer provide us with service), LSA servicing companies, naval architects, and engine manufacturers.

I have tried reminding these companies that we have a legal obligation to maintain crew safety systems, environmental protection and general health and safety onboard at all times but I think few people understand that their refusal to provide services on safety matters is only putting seafarers' lives at risk, as no guests are onboard these yachts while they are laid up.

My request to you would be to assist in highlighting these issues within the industry and seek clarification from the UK and EU bodies imposing these sanctions with regards to maintaining mandatory safety services onboard. Also, to ensure safety providers have clear guidance that they will not be in contravention of any sanctions if they are carrying out works to assist in safety-related maintenance tasks.

Membership no 1212036

Union advice on this matter is now available here

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