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What we do

The ITF represents over 600,000 unionised seafarers helping affiliated unions improve working conditions for all seafarers.

Our role is to:

  • make sure the shipping industry is regulated effectively
  • attack substandard shipping and help crews, regardless of their nationality or the flag of the ship
  • offer support, advice and information to workers

To bring about these industry-wide changes and make our unions stronger, we:

Flags of convenience

The ITF opposes the flags of convenience (FOC) system. This system allows ship owners to register their ships under foreign flags, avoiding taxation and regulations imposed by their own countries. FOC vessels have a high percentage of casualties and port state control detentions. There is little or no control over ship owners by FOC states.

The ITF works to ensure the established standards are met and seafarers are informed about their rights under ITF approved collective agreements.