1. 2014 Amendments to the Convention
Amendments to the Code of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC) implementing Regulations 2.5, 4.2 and the appendices, will enter into force on 18 January 2017. The amendments relate to financial security of seafarers in cases of abandonment (Regulation 2.5) and contractual claims for compensation in the event of a seafarer’s death or long term disability due to an occupational injury, illness or hazard (Regulation 4.2).
Details of the amendments can be found on the ILO website:
As of 18 January 2017, each ship must carry on board a certificate, or other documentary evidence of financial security to comply with these new provisions. Information regarding contents of the certificate or other documentary evidence is provided in the new Appendix A2-1 and A4-1 of the MLC, 2006.
It should be noted that Regulation 4 of the Merchant Shipping (Maritime Labour Convention) (Shipowners’ Liabilities and Repatriation) Regulations 2014 (S.I. No. 375 of 2014) provides that shipowners must ensure that there is in force a contract of insurance or other form of financial security adequate to ensure that the shipowner will be able to meet any liabilities with regard to compensation in the event of death or long term disability to seafarers arising from occupational injury, illness or hazard. The shipowner must also ensure that proof of such financial security is carried on board the ship and displayed in a prominent position on board the ship.
Shipowners should ensure that an amended DMLC Part II, with the updated provisions relating to the 2014 amendments, is duly certified by the Competent Authority or Recognised Organisation, as appropriate. This should be done at the earliest opportunity and no later than the first MLC Renewal Inspection due after 18 January 2017, at which time compliance with these new provisions will be inspected.
The Department will follow the recommendations in the ILO resolution on transitional measures: http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/—ed_norm/—normes/documents/genericdocument/wcms_360943.pdf
The International Group of Protection and Indemnity Clubs have issued a Circular to their 13 clubs. Within this comprehensive guidance is a format for a certificate or documentary evidence that will indicate that the shipowner is complying with the amendments. http://static.igpandi.org/igpi_website/media/article_attachments/MLC_Circular_and_FAQ_wOxOEdY.pdf
The certificate or documentary evidence should be posted in a prominent position on board the vessel, e.g. officers and crew mess room.
2. Seafarer Employment Agreement
Regulation 2.1 and Standard A2.1 of MLC, 2006 provide that each Member State shall require ships that fly its flag to ensure that seafarers are provided with a Seafarer Employment Agreement signed by both the seafarer and the shipowner providing them with decent working and living conditions on board the ship.
The Merchant Shipping (Maritime Labour Convention) (Seafarer Employment Agreement and Wages) Regulations 2014 (S.I. No. 373 of 2014) implement the provisions of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 relating to seafarer employment agreements. Regulation 6 provides that the Minister may, at any time, specify in a Marine Notice, the format to be used for a seafarer employment agreement. In keeping with those provisions, a Pro Forma copy of a Seafarer Employment Agreement can be found in Annex 1 of this notice, detailing the minimum contents required.