The ITF and Seafarers
The ITF has been helping seafarers since 1896 and today represents the interests of seafarers worldwide, of whom over 600,000 are members of ITF affiliated unions. The ITF is working to improve conditions for seafarers of all nationalities and to ensure adequate regulation of the shipping industry to protect the interests and rights of the workers. The ITF helps crews regardless of their nationality or the flag of their ship.The ITF has opposed the system of Flags of Convenience (FOCs) for over 50 years. These flags, including the largest register in the world (Panama) allow shipowners, who have no genuine link to the flag state, to register their ships there in order to avoid the taxation and regulation which their own countries would impose.