Panama as the fourth and Norway as the fifth flag state have now ratified the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC, 2006). The convention comes into force when both a minimum of 33 % of the world’s gross tonnage as well as 30 states have ratified MLC. Liberia, Marshall Islands and Bahamas had already ratified the convention. Together the five flags represent 43 % of the world’s shipping tonnage. The coming into force of the convention is expected for 2011.
By then some 50,000 ships must be certified and through that ensure their compliance with the international requirements for the working and living conditions of seafarers on board. The certification of the MLC, 2006 applies to all vessels of 500 GT or above in international voyages. Classification society Germanischer Lloyd offers a comprehensive MLC certification package to help shipowners prepare and achieve certification in time.
Adopted by the International Labour Organization (ILO) in 2006, the Maritime Labour Convention, deals with the working and living environment of seafarers on seagoing ships. The new convention provides a comprehensive framework with mandatory requirements as well as voluntary guidelines. It covers inspection on issues such as age, qualification, hours of work and rest, the existence of seafarers’ employment agreements, evidence of payment of wages, manning levels and availability of accommodations and recreational facilities for seafarers, medical care as well as food and catering.
To help shipowners identify necessary improvements Germanischer Lloyd offers a self-assessment tool. In addition, with a gap analysis on board, GL can determine what needs to be improved before the ship fulfils the requirements of MLC, 2006. The GL Academy provides seminars and workshops on MLC, 2006.
Certification is only possible once the convention is in force. To document compliance with the requirements well in advance, GL offers clarification of flag state requirements, review of the Declaration of Labour Compliance and initial inspections on board as well as the issuance of the MLC Statement of Compliance. GL will be prepared for a smooth transition from the MLC Statement of Compliance to the Flag State Certificate.