In order to help employers ensure compliance with the ILO Maritime Labour Convention (MLC), which will enter into force in August 2013, the International Shipping Federation (ISF) has published new and comprehensive guidelines on the application of the ILO MLC.
The new ISF guide takes ship operators through their obligations under the ILO Convention and provides guidance to help them apply the ILO standards on board their ships in a practical manner.
This includes MLC requirements relating to seafarers’ contractual arrangements, oversight of manning agencies, work and rest hours, health and safety, crew accommodation, catering standards and new requirements concerning on board complaints procedures. Compliance with all relevant standards can also be checked with a detailed checklist which can be printed via an accompanying CD.
An important feature of the ISF Guidelines is the overview that it provides of the MLC certification process. This includes an example of the new Declaration of Maritime Labour Compliance (DMLC) as it might be completed by a shipping company, in order to demonstrate ongoing compliance as required by the ILO Convention. At the official launch of the Guidelines in London, ISF Chairman, Masamichi Morooka explained: “In large part, the Maritime Labour Convention is derived from existing ILO maritime standards and accepted good employment practice. However, the enforcement mechanism is new and the immediate challenge for shipping companies will be to get to grips with the new certification process.”
As an official social partner under the tripartite ILO process, ISF was responsible for negotiating the text of the new Convention on behalf of maritime employers worldwide with governments and seafarers’ trade unions.
“As one of the official ILO social partners, ISF has a special interest in wanting to ensure the Convention’s smooth implementation,” said Morooka.