Passport is one of the most important travel document seafarers need no matter what nationality you have. Did you know that some ports like Singapore and Indonesia require at least six months of passport validity in order not to be penalized with a fee or denied repatriation? The hard part of it is the payment for the penalty will be shouldered by the seafarer. It is very unfair for the seafarers but that is the reality.
That’s why most manning agencies require seafarers to have at least 18 months of passport validity to avoid that scenario. For example, the current penalty fee at Indonesian ports is worth $500 from previously $165 is way too much for the seafarers. I think it is better that the penalty should be paid by the Principal/Owner/Manning Agency because there are some cases that they still send seafarers even though they already knew that the passport validity of the crew will not have enough 6 months allowance upon the completion of the contract duration. That situation occurs especially during urgent times like when the manning agency does not have enough available crews to deploy.
Did you experience this kind of problem on-board the vessel? If you do, please share your experiences at the comment section below to inform your fellow seafarers.