Under the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (‘MLC’):
- A foreign ship calling at a port may be inspected by an authorised officer to check whether the ship complies with the MLC.
- If a ship does not carry a Maritime Labour Certificate, it may have a detailed inspection.
- If a ship carries a valid Maritime Labour Certificate and Declaration of Maritime Labour Compliance the inspection must simply review the Certificate and Declaration.
- A more detailed inspection may be carried out if:
- The required documents are not produced, or maintained, or are falsely maintained, or the documents do not contain the information required by the MLC; or
- There are clear grounds for believing that the working and living conditions on the ship breach the MLC; or
there are reasonable grounds to believe that the ship has changed flag for the purpose of avoiding compliance with the MLC; or
- There is a complaint alleging that the working and living conditions on the ship do not conform with the MLC.
- A more detailed inspection must be carried out if the complaint concerns a serious matter or there is the possibility of a clear hazard to the safety, health or security of seafarers.
- The authorised officer can stop a ship leaving port if it would be unsafe for seafarers or if the problem is a serious breach of the MLC.
- All possible efforts must be made to avoid a ship being detained or delayed. Compensation must be paid to the shipowner where a ship is unduly detained or delayed.