Manila ITF Inspector Arvin Peralta: “The ITF, ITF Inspectors, and the ITF Seafarers’ Trust”

Article audio (courtesy of Don Sheetz)

ITF Inspector Arvin Peralta, and former Chief Engineer, recently delivered an insightful presentation titled “The ITF, ITF Inspectors, and the ITF Seafarers’ Trust” to 20 students principally from Asia and Oceania participating in the ICMA training in Singapore. The presentation shed light on the pivotal role of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and its various sections, providing a comprehensive overview of the organization’s impact on maritime workers.

Understanding the ITF

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) is a global union federation dedicated to the welfare of workers in the transport sector, including air, land, and sea. Often, people forget the crucial ‘workers’ component of the ITF title, which is in fact its core commitment to labor rights. The ITF encompasses several sections, including those representing fishers, seafarers on cruise ships, and the often-overlooked women and youth in the industry.

National Flag vs. Flag of Convenience Vessels

Peralta highlighted the distinction between National Flag vessels and Flag of Convenience (FOC) vessels. National Flag vessels are registered in the same country as their owner, adhering to that nation’s regulations and standards. In contrast, FOC vessels are registered in a different country from the owner’s, often to exploit lower taxes, standards, and audits. This practice has led to various challenges in ensuring fair labor conditions for seafarers.

Role of ITF Inspectors

ITF Inspectors play a crucial role in safeguarding seafarers’ rights, particularly on FOC vessels. They conduct inspections to assess work and living conditions, encouraging owners to adopt Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs) that enhance labor standards and provide additional protections. Inspectors also address welfare concerns, wage issues, and instances of harassment or bullying. They report violations to vessel owners, manning agencies, port states, and flag states, ensuring accountability and compliance with international labor standards.

ITF Seafarers’ Trust and Grants

The ITF Seafarers’ Trust is a charitable organization dedicated to improving the welfare of seafarers worldwide. Recognized organizations can apply for grants through the Trust’s website for various purposes, including welfare services, healthcare projects, research, and scholarships. The Trust emphasizes collaboration with unions and focuses on projects that benefit seafarers directly. The application process for grants ranges from two weeks to six months, depending on the size and scope of the project.

Utilizing the ITF Seafarers’ App

Peralta encouraged the students to utilize the ITF Seafarers’ App, a valuable tool for accessing information about their rights and reporting issues they encounter on board. The app enhances connectivity between seafarers and ITF Inspectors, facilitating prompt assistance and support.


Peralta’s presentation underscored the ITF’s commitment to advocating for seafarers’ rights and improving their working conditions. This presentation helped students understand the ITF’s priorities and how partnerships might be appropriate to advocate for the rights of seafarers around the globe.


NAMMA members receive a print copy of The MARE Report, NAMMA’s annual magazines for seafarer’s welfare professionals