Specialist marine insurance intermediary Seacurus has welcomed the agreement to include in the Maritime Labour Convention unpaid crew wages in the event of abandonment, and has called for the earliest possible implementation of draft proposals to amend the Convention accordingly.
Agreement was reached between ship owners, governments, seafarers, NGOs and other organisations meeting at the special Tripartite Committee of the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) at the International Labour Organisation (ILO) headquarters in Geneva this month. At the meeting, all parties were willing to see abandonment provisions included in the Convention. Draft amendments were duly finalised and accepted almost unanimously.
Thomas Brown, Managing Director of Seacurus, said: “This is a decision which should be welcomed by all parties in the maritime industry. Now that it has been taken, it is in everybody’s interest to press ahead without delay.
“It was encouraging to note the pragmatic approach adopted by all parties at the STC meeting. The amendments will now be submitted to the International Labour Conference in June, after which a prescribed period will be set for member states to register any disagreement to the changes. The amendments will come into force six months thereafter. The meeting in Geneva discussed the prescribed period being one year, and it is to be hoped that this will be confirmed in June.
“The requirement for cover will be mandatory on all ship owners, thereby eliminating any uncertainty. Moreover, such cover already exists in the form of the CrewSEACURE policy created last year by Seacurus which provides indemnification in the event of the financial default of seafarers’ employers, and offers recompense in respect of unpaid crew wages. The policy will enable all employers of seafarers to meet their regulatory obligations under MLC 2006. The cover is available now, and it is affordable.
“Any attempt at unreasonable delay in implementing the MLC amendments should be strongly resisted.”