Paris MoU Planning MLC, 2006 Crackdown

Photo: Port of Hamburg
Photo: Port of Hamburg

The Paris MoU on Port State Control is getting ready to launch a 3-month campaign intended to crack down on sub-standard working and living conditions on board ships by verifying compliance with Maritime Labour Convention, 2006.

The “Concentrated Inspection Campaign” will begin September 1 and run through November 30, 2016.

The Maritime Labour Convention (MLC), 2006 is widely known as the “seafarers’ bill of rights,” and establishes minimum working and living standards for all seafarers working on ship’s flagged in ratified countries. The convention also helps quality shipowners by ensuring a level-playing field in terms of providing decent working conditions to seafarers. 

During the campaign, Port State Control Officers (PSCOs) will use a list of 12 selected questions to ensure the required certificates and documentation are present with respect to MLC, 20016, in particular those related to the seafarers on board. Additional questions will be aimed at verification of records of the inspections of the accommodation, food and catering, and whether a safety committee has been established.

If 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. Of course if a detention takes place, ships and owners will be published in monthly detention lists.

The Paris MoU expects to carry out approximately 4,500 inspections during the three month period.

“Working and living conditions on board have always been a prime area of attention,” said Secretary General Richard Schiferli. “With the introduction of the MLC enforcement opportunities have greatly improved. Three years after the entry into force, the time is right to focus on the MLC during a concentrated inspection campaign”.

Every year, more than 18,000 inspections take place on board foreign ships in Paris MoU ports. The organization consists of 27 participating maritime Administrations and covers the waters of the European coastal States and the North Atlantic basin from North America to Europe. The United States does not participate in the organization.

The organization says results of the campaign will be analyzed and findings will be presented to the Port State Control Committee.