HomeLibraryMaritime ResourcesChanges You Can Expect as the ILO Maritime Labor Convention Takes Effect

Changes You Can Expect as the ILO Maritime Labor Convention Takes Effect


The International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC 2006) officially took effect in August 2013. Many employees aboard ships are wondering how this convention might affect them and their working conditions.

What is the MLC 2006 and whom does it affect?

The MLC 2006 helps promote fair competition for the global shipping industry and sets standards concerning all aspects of work and life for seamen in hopes of protecting them from injury. It’s a very important for both seafarers and ship owners.

“Maritime transport is the backbone of international trade and the driving force for globalization. But for the world’s 1.5 million seafarers, there have never been a clear set of rules and standards. The MLC 2006 changes that,” informs the ILO in its videoFull steam ahead for the Maritime Labour Convention.

While the United States isn’t one of the countries that have adopted the MLC 2006, many American workers might still feel the effect. If an American ship enters a foreign port in a country that has adopted the convention, it will still be inspected and will be expected to be in compliance with the international maritime convention’s standards.

Possible Changes You May See in the Near Future

In other words, the U.S. may not be party to the convention, but many of our ships will still have to comply. To help our ships with this task, the U.S. Coast Guard drafted the Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC) which outlines practices that US ships might be expected to adhere to at foreign ports.

The publication covers a slew of guidelines that U.S. ship owners can follow to ready their ships for the upcoming global impact that the MLC 2006.

The areas that both the convention and the NVIC cover include:

  • minimum working age;
  • maximum hours of work and minimum rest times;
  • details about seafarer employment agreements;
  • standards for payment of wages and paid annual leave;
  • repatriation at the end of contract;
  • availability of onboard medical care;
  • health and safety protocols  and guidelines for lodging and meals;
  • accident prevention guidelines; and
  • seafarers’ complaint procedures.

So, what changes might seafarers expect to see? If your employer decides to voluntarily abide by the provisions, you may see any number of changes related to the areas above. For instance, you might see a change in your hours, improved working and living conditions onboard, and training sessions to teach workers about new complaint procedures or safety protocols.

When Seafarers are Exposed to Dangerous Conditions

When there are hazardous or substandard working conditions, risk of injury increases dramatically. The ILO aims to make working conditions safer for seafarers around world with the implementation of these new standards.

For more information on how your job might be affected by the new convention, speak to your employer. But if you’ve recently suffered an injury at work because of your employer’s negligence, contact a maritime attorney.

In fact, if you’ve been injured on the job, we encourage you to look into all possible forms of financial restitution. Contact us at The Young Firm for a free consultation, and let us see how we might be of assistance. Call 866-715-3664 today.



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