New rules come into force today (Wednesday) to help protect seafarers onboard vessels if they are abandoned.
As from 18th January, the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC) requires ship owners to have insurance to assist crew members. All ships, to which the Convention applies, whose flag states have ratified the MLC, must have the insurance certificate onboard and on show in English.
The provisions have been welcomed by the ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) with its President, Paddy Crumlin, stating: “At last the fundamental idea that those who send seafarers to sea have a responsibility for them is enshrined in regulation.
“This provision has been a long time coming and, just as with the MLC itself, the ITF is proud to have been involved since its conception, working alongside the ILO, governments and shipping organisations.”
ITF General Secretary Steve Cotton added: “These new provisions are deeply significant, and a worthy addition to the hugely significant MLC itself. All parties must now work together to ensure that they are put into action, and address those areas in the world where there’s an absence of MLC ratification.”
He added: “It’s important that seafarers understand what the changes mean. We recommend that they check that there is a valid insurance certificate onboard and realise that if abandonment does occur that they must raise the alarm right away.”