Chapter III Responsibilities
Section 6 General affairs department (also known as Passengers department)
Seamen under the general affairs department refer to the following positions of all levels:
1. Pursers and clerks.
2. Doctors and nurses.
3. Head of meals, head steward, steward, head chef, sous-chef, kitchen workers and launderers.
4. Other seamen included in the general affairs department.
A passenger ship may create a passenger department in lieu of the general affairs department with the approval from the Maritime Administration. In addition to the members listed in the previous paragraph, the passenger department may also include professional managers, administration assistant managers, assistant meals managers or otherwise modify the staffing organization.
Personnel of the general affairs department (or passengers department) shall have the following responsibilities:
1. Pay seafarers’ wages and allowances.
2. Provide meals and beverages for both employed seafarers and passengers.
3. Manage cleanliness and hygiene in seafarer quarters, dining rooms, and cabins.
4. Provide medical treatment for seafarers and passengers who require it.
5. Check passengers’ tickets and compensate fares.
6. Arrange passengers’ seats, entertainment, news, and religion.
7. Handle passenger baggage and excess baggage charges.
8. Manage the safekeeping of valuables, onboard banking, and telecommunications.
9. Instruct passengers regarding survival and firefighting drills.
10. Care for passengers wearing life jackets and arrange survival boat occupancy.
11. Properly use and manage the materials required by the general affairs department.
12. Assume responsibility of the management, evaluation, and training of personnel in the general affairs department.
13. Other matters related to the general affairs department.
On board vessels without a general affairs or passenger department, the matters listed above shall be the responsibility of the chief mate or other designated personnel in accordance with relevant regulations.
The general affairs department shall comply with the chief mate’s instructions to handle matters for which it is responsible.
The passenger department shall comply with the master’s instructions to handle matters for which it is responsible; however, matters related to seamen shall be handled together with the chief mate.
The general ratings in vessels that implement a general ratings system refer to the following levels of seamen:
1. The generalist head.
2. The deputy generalist head.
3. The generalist.
4. The deputy generalist.
When a vessel is sailing or berthed in port, the deck department’s generalist shall comply with the orders of the chief mate or deck officer responsible for the navigational watch to form part of the watch keeping, engage in the cleaning and maintenance of the ship, participate in the loading and unloading of cargo, and help the general affairs department with its tasks whenever necessary.
When a vessel is sailing or berthed in port, the engine department’s generalist shall comply with the orders of the second engineer officer or engineer officer responsible for the engineering watch to form part of the watch keeping, help engineer officers with their regular tasks, and assist with maintenance and other relevant matters related to main and auxiliary machinery, boilers, and deck machinery.