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Reviewed labour convention to protect seafarers from 2017

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ILO

ILO

Come next year, the seafarers would be enjoying the new provisions of the Maritime Labour Convention, which was recently reviewed to ensure better protection for the crew and their families in case of abandonment, death, and long-term disability.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) recently amended the convention to better protect seafarers. The amendments to the code of the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC 2006), which were adopted in 2014, will enter into force on January 18, 2017.

According to ILO, there was wide support for the new provisions, “with just two governments stating that they shall not be bound by the amendments, unless and until they subsequently notify their acceptance.”

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The 2014 amendments establish new binding international law to better protect seafarers against abandonment and provide for compensation for death or long-term disability – two crucial issues for the shipping industry.

“When they come into force, in January 2017, the 2014 amendments will require that a financial security system be in place to ensure that ship owners ensure compensation to seafarers and their families in the event of abandonment, death or long-term disability of seafarers due to an occupational injury, illness or hazard,” ILO said.

Mandatory certificates and other evidentiary documents will be required to be carried on board to establish that the financial security system is in place to protect the seafarers working on board, the organization added.

This is coming just as the Paris Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Port State Control is planned to launch a Concentrated Inspection Campaign (CIC) on the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC, 2006).

The aim of the CIC is to verify that the minimum standards for working and living conditions have been implemented on board.This inspection campaign will be held for a period of three months, commencing from 1 September 2016 and ending 30 November 2016.

The ship’s procedures and measures that are in place with respect to MLC 2006 will be checked in detail for compliance with the requirements during a regular Port State Control inspection.

Port State Control Officers (PSCOs) will use a list of 12 selected questions to ensure that the required certificates and documentation are present, in particular those related to the seafarers on board.

Additionally, there are questions aimed at verification of records of the inspections of the accommodation, food and catering, and whether a safety committee has been established.

When deficiencies are found, actions by the port State may vary from recording a deficiency and instructing the master to rectify it within a certain period of time to detaining the ship until serious deficiencies have been rectified.It is expected that the Paris MoU will carry out approximately 4,500 inspections during the CIC.


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