Under the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (’MLC’) private seafarer recruitment and placement agencies must:
- not operate any form of blacklists or other means to prevent seafarers from getting employment for which they are qualified;
- not impose any fees or other charges to the seafarer, except the cost of a medical certificate, the national seafarer’s book, and a passport or other personal travel document and the cost of visas shall be borne by the shipowner;
- keep an up-to-date register of all seafarers recruited or placed through them;
- ensure that seafarers are informed of their rights and duties under their employment agreements prior to being engaged, and that they can examine their employment agreements before and after they are signed, and that they receive a copy;
- verify that the seafarers are qualified;
- verify as far as practicable that the shipowner has the means to protect seafarers from being stranded in a foreign port;
- respond to any complaint concerning their activities; and
- establish a system of insurance or equivalent measure to compensate seafarers for any breach of obligation by the recruitment agency or the shipowner.
See Regulation 1.4 and 5.3 of the MLC.
For more information
See the ILO Frequently Asked Questions (section C5.2) at http://www.ilo.org/global/standards/maritime-labour-convention/what-it-does/faq/WCMS_177371/lang–en/index.htm