The International Bargaining Forum (IBF) was established in 2003 as the mechanism by which maritime employers, represented by the Joint Negotiating Group (JNG), and seafarers unions, represented by the International Transport-Workers’ Federation (ITF) could negotiate over the wages and conditions of employment of seafarers serving on ships to which ITF Special Agreements apply.

The JNG consists of IMEC, the International Mariners Management Association of Japan (IMMAJ), the Korean Shipowners Association (KSA) and the Taiwanese company Evergreen and allows for the coordination of the views of employers from across the world.

IMEC also coordinates the application of IBF agreements on behalf of its members through local negotiations.

IBF Seafarers’ Support (Welfare) Fund

The IBF Seafarers’ Support Fund (previously known as the Welfare Fund) was created exclusively to support the welfare of seafarers aboard vessels covered by IBF agreements.

In 2003 IMEC successfully negotiated for a proportion of JNG members’ contributions to the ITF Assistance, Welfare and Protection Fund to be paid into the IBF Welfare Fund for this purpose.

Applications for grants are made to support seafarer welfare aboard their vessels in the provision of resources such as:

  • entertainment facilities
  • DVD libraries
  • Newslink services
  • events (e.g. Christmas parties for seafarers and their families)
  • the provision of sports and gym equipment.

IBF Seafarers’ Support Fund Applications

The 2022 Fund is now open for applications. The guidance notes may be downloaded here.

IMEC members are able to apply for a 18% rebate of money paid to the ITF International Assistance, Welfare and Protection Fund during the year 2021.

The IBF Welfare Fund 2022 is open from 1 April 2022 until 31 March 2023.

To apply, please complete the application form and return to: Hilary Ho.

Here is a summary of all funds, which are available to IMEC members.