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Maritime Labour Convention (MLC)-2006

The International Labour Organization adopted the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 with the objective to certify the working and living condition of all ships over 500 GT in international trade.

The Flag State will remain fully responsible implementing and enforcing the Convention through national measures, but may delegate inspection and certification to recognized organizations (RO). The MLC certification process will be similar to ISM and ISPS for ships, and the certificate will have 5 years validity and the process will include interim, initial and intermediate inspections.

The ILO's Maritime Labour Convention (MLC), 2006 provides comprehensive rights and protection at work for the world's more than 1.2 million seafarers.  The Convention aims to achieve both decent work for seafarers and secure economic interests in fair competition for quality shipowners. As an estimated 90% of world trade is carried on ships seafarers are essential to international trade and the international economic and trade system.  The new labour standard consolidates and updates more than 68 international labour standards related to the Maritime sector adopted over the last 80 years.  

The Convention sets out seafarers' rights to decent conditions of work on a wide range of subjects, and aims to be globally applicable, easily understandable, readily updatable and uniformly enforced. It has been designed to become a global instrument known as the "fourth pillar" of the international regulatory regime for quality shipping, complementing the key Conventions of the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

The decision by the ILO to move forward to create this major new Maritime Labour  Convention was the result of a joint resolution in 2001 by the international seafarers’ and ship owners’ organizations, also supported by governments.  They pointed out that the shipping industry is “the world’s first genuinely global industry” which “requires an international regulatory response of an appropriate kind – global standards applicable to the entire industry”.

List of the 36 maritime Conventions and 1 Protocol which will be revised by the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 after its entry into force:

To come into force, the MLC had to be ratified by at least 30 member States with a total share in the world gross tonnage of ships of 33 per cent. This milestone was reached on 20 August 2012. The MLC will thus come into force on 20 August 2013.

The Maritime Labour Convention, once it enters into force, will revise the following 36 Conventions and 1 Protocol:

  1. Minimum Age (Sea) Convention, 1920 (No. 7)
  2. Unemployment Indemnity (Shipwreck) Convention, 1920 (No. 8)
  3. Placing of Seamen Convention, 1920 (No. 9)
  4. Medical Examination of Young Persons (Sea) Convention, 1921 (No. 16)
  5. Seamen's Articles of Agreement Convention, 1926 (No. 22)
  6. Repatriation of Seamen Convention, 1926 (No. 23)
  7. Officers' Competency Certificates Convention, 1936 (No.53)
  8. Holidays with Pay (Sea) Convention, 1936 (No. 54)
  9. Shipowners' Liability (Sick and Injured Seamen) Convention, 1936 (No. 55)
  10. Sickness Insurance (Sea) Convention, 1936 (No. 56)
  11. Hours of Work and Manning (Sea) Convention, 1936 (No. 57)
  12. Minimum Age (Sea) Convention (Revised), 1936 (No. 58)
  13. Food and Catering (Ships' Crews) Convention, 1946 (No. 68)
  14. Certification of Ships' Cooks Convention, 1946 (No. 69)
  15. Social Security (Seafarers) Convention, 1946 (No. 70)
  16. Paid Vacations (Seafarers) Convention, 1946 (No. 72)
  17. Medical Examination (Seafarers) Convention, 1946 (No. 73)
  18. Certification of Able Seamen Convention, 1946 (No. 74)
  19. Accommodation of Crews Convention, 1946 (No. 75)
  20. Wages, Hours of Work and Manning (Sea) Convention, 1946 (No. 76)
  21. Paid Vacations (Seafarers) Convention (Revised), 1949 (No. 91)
  22. Accommodation of Crews Convention (Revised), 1949 (No. 92)
  23. Wages, Hours of Work and Manning (Sea) Convention (Revised), 1949 (No.93)
  24. Wages, Hours of Work and Manning (Sea) Convention (Revised), 1958 (No. 109)
  25. Accommodation of Crews (Supplementary Provisions) Convention, 1970 (No 133)
  26. Prevention of Accidents (Seafarers) Convention, 1970 (No. 134)
  27. Continuity of Employment (Seafarers) Convention, 1976 (No. 145)
  28. Seafarers' Annual Leave with Pay Convention, 1976 (No. 146)
  29. Merchant Shipping (Minimum Standards) Convention, 1976 (No. 147)
  30. Protocol of 1996 to the Merchant Shipping (Minimum Standards) Convention, 1976 (No. 147)
  31. Seafarers' Welfare Convention, 1987 (No. 163)
  32. Health Protection and Medical Care (Seafarers) Convention, 1987 (No. 164)
  33. Social Security (Seafarers) Convention (Revised), 1987 (No. 165)
  34. Repatriation of Seafarers Convention (Revised), 1987 (No. 166)
  35. Labour Inspection (Seafarers) Convention, 1996 (No. 178)
  36. Recruitment and Placement of Seafarers Convention, 1996 (No. 179)
  37. Seafarers' Hours of Work and the Manning of Ships Convention, 1996 (No. 180)