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Maritime Labor Convention Enters Into Force

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

27 August 2013


The Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization has welcomed the entry into force of the landmark Maritime Labor Convention (MLC) on August 20, 2013.

Koji Sekimizu commented: "The entry into force of the MLC convention marks significant progress in the recognition of seafarers’ roles and the need to safeguard their well-being and their working conditions. This is a truly important landmark for seafarers; and for shipping, on which the global economy relies."

The MLC treaty, which has been ratified by 48 countries, aims to achieve decent work for the world's seafarers and secure economic interests in fair competition for quality shipowners.

The MLC is considered the "fourth pillar" of the most important maritime regulations covering international shipping, complementing three major conventions adopted by IMO: the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS); the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL); and the International Convention on Standards of Training, and Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW).

These three IMO treaties were first adopted in the 1970s and have each been ratified by more than 150 countries, representing more than 99 per cent of world merchant shipping.

The MLC was a collaborative effort by the IMO and the International Labor Organization. Both organizations have a long history of cooperation in protecting seafarers' rights having established joint ILO/IMO ad-hoc expert working groups on issues such as hours of work and rest, seafarers' medical examinations, fair treatment of seafarers in the event of a maritime accident, and liability and compensation regarding claims for death, personal injury and abandonment of seafarers.

The IMO’s STCW Convention was revised in 2010 and includes mirror provisions to the MLC requirements on such issues as hours of work and rest, where the two treaties overlap.

"IMO stands ready to support the implementation of MLC 2006 and looks forward to working with its member states on issues of mutual concern, as we have successfully done in the past," Sekimizu concluded.

TAGS: marine

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