On the 25th of November 1991 on the premises of the Ministry of Merchant Marine in Moscow, a union constituent conference was held. Representatives of seafarers working at the largest shipping companies of the country the Seafarers Union of Russia. This  event opened a new page in the history of the independent trade Union movement.

 The SUR became a legal successor to the USSR Inter-republic union of seafarers. The first version of the SUR Constitution was adopted at the conference. Mr. Victor Nekrasov became the first SUR chairman (president).

Nowadays SUR organizes about 77,000 seafarers.  The SUR has its offices in all maritime regions of Russia. Five labour inspectors work in the organization. The SUR has a centralized legal service. More than 400 vessels are covered by collective agreements.

The SUR is represented in the following international Maritime organizations.