With the launch of International Labour Organization’s Maritime Labour Convention (MLC), I have received numerous queries from various sources in the maritime community. It is clear that many shipowners/operators will have a whole slew of new responsibilities to match up to. As part of its education efforts, the International Shipping Federation employers’ organization has published new guidelines to help operators to ensure compliance with MLC, which will enter into force in August 2013.
With the clock ticking, the guide takes shipping companies through their obligations under the ILO convention and illustrates how to apply ILO standards on board ships in a practical manner. This includes MLC requirements relating to seafarers’ contractual arrangements, oversight of manning agencies, work and rest hours, health and safety, crew accommodation, catering standards and new requirements concerning on board complaints procedures.
Compliance with all relevant standards can also be matched to a detailed checklist that can be printed via an accompanying CD. Also provided is an overview of the MLC certification process. This includes an example of the new Declaration of Maritime Labour Compliance (DMLC) as it might be completed by a shipping company. The DMLC is a key element of the convention and ultimately the policing mechanism, as flag State surveyors will be paying close heed to what shipowners claim to do. The DMLC details the measures adopted to ensure ongoing compliance with the requirements and the measures proposed to ensure there is continuous improvement.
In essence the DMLC is a checklist which sees the owner state quite how they intend to ensure that not only are MLC requirements followed but how. Think SMS for labor issues.
The MLC is truly a game changer…for those that play by the rules.
If you are interested in contact me regarding the MLC, you may do so by contacting me at firstname.lastname@example.org.