- The Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (‘MLC’) applies to seafarers working on a ship of a country that has ratified the MLC.
- The MLC entered into force on 20 August 2013 in the following 30 countries: Antigua and Barbuda; Australia; Bahamas; Benin; Bosnia; Bulgaria; Canada; Croatia; Cyprus; Denmark; Kiribati; Latvia; Liberia; Luxembourg; Marshall Islands; Netherlands; Norway; Palau; Panama; Philippines; Poland; Russian Federation; Singapore; Spain; St Kitts & Nevis; St Vincent & Grenadines; Sweden; Switzerland; Togo; and Tuvalu.
- For any country that ratifies the MLC after 20 August 2012, the MLC will enter into force 12 months after the date that the country’s ratification is registered.
- A list of countries that have ratified, and the date of entry into force for each country, as well as other national information (click on the country name) is available on the MLC 2006 website (www.ilo.org/mlc) under the ‘MLC database.’
- Seafarer is defined as any person who is employed or engaged or works in any capacity on board a ship to which the MLC applies.
- This includes anyone working on board: not just the crew involved in navigating or operating the ship but also, for example, persons working in hospitality positions that provide a range of services for passengers on cruise ships or yachts.
- The MLC also seeks to protect seafarers operating under the flag of a country that has not ratified the MLC. This is the concept of the ‘no more favourable treatment clause’ which means that ships under the flag of a country that has not ratified the MLC will be inspected in the port of a ratifying country.
- The MLC applies to all ships, whether publicly or privately owned, which are ordinarily engaged in commercial activity.
- The MLC does not apply to ships navigating only in inland or sheltered waters, or areas where port regulations apply.
- The MLC also does not apply to ships engaged in fishing; or ships of traditional build such as dhows or junks; or to warships or naval auxiliaries.
- If there is any doubt as to whether a category of persons, or a category of ships, is covered by the MLC, the situation has to be clarified by consultation between the State authorities and the relevant shipowner and seafarer organisations.
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