MLC 2006 - The Advantages

August 14, 2013

The Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) will enter into force on 20 August, 2013.

The Convention applies to all ships other than warships, naval auxiliaries, fishing vessels, vessels of traditional build such as dhows and junks and vessels operating solely in inland or sheltered waters. Ships of 500 gt or over, engaged on international voyages, and ships of 500 gt or over flying the flag of a member state that has ratified the Convention and operating from a port or between ports in another member state must be certified.

The entry into force date for the Convention is not the same for every member state. Entry into force on 20 August, 2013, applies only to the first 30 countries that ratified the Convention. For countries that ratified after 20 August, 2012 or have still to ratify the Convention, the entry into force date will be 12 months after the date of ratification. A list of countries that have ratified the convention is available at

There are many advantages of this ILO Labour Convention not only for seafarer but also for ship owners and governments. Below you may view advantages of MLC according to the ILO website (MLC section)

Advantages For Seafarers

• A comprehensive set of basic maritime labour principles and rights as well as ILO fundamental rights
• Convention spells out in one place and clear language seafarers' basic employment rights
• Seafarers better informed of their rights and of remedies available
• Improved enforcement of minimum working and living conditions
• Right to make complaints both on board and ashore
• Clear identification of who is the shipowner with overall responsibility, for the purposes of this Convention

Advantages for Shipowners

• A more level playing field to help ensure fair competition and to marginalize substandard operations
• Will benefit from a system of certification, including a certification system possible for ships less than 500 GT, if the Shipowner so requests
• A more socially responsible shipping industry
• A better protected and more efficient workforce
• Help ensure that ships are operated safely and securely with few problems and few delays in ports
• New Convention contains minimum standards that are well within the current industry practice and should easily be met by most shipowners

Advantages For Governments

• Simplification of reporting obligations (One Convention rather than many)
• Wider powers of enforcement on all ships
• Improved quality of shipping services
• Improved protection of the environment
• Additional flexibility with firmness of rights and flexible as how to implement, making the Convention easier to ratify and implement
• Certification system mandatory only for ships over 500 GT
• Protection against unfair competition from substandard ships through "No more favourable treatment" for ships of non-ratifying countries
• Implementation of mandatory requirements through measures that are substantially equivalent, except for Part V
• Advantages given to ships of ratifying countries

(Article reproduced with kind permission of Safety4Sea)

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