UK ratifies Maritime Labour Convention


The UK Ship Register has confirmed the UK’s ratification of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC), which took place on 7th August 2013.  Subject to completion of parliamentary procedures, the new Merchant Shipping (Maritime Labour Convention) (Survey and Certification) Regulations 2013 will come into force on 15th August.

MCA will then be in a position to issue MLC certification documents to those UK ships which have been satisfactorily inspected by MCA against MLC standards and completed any outstanding actions, by the time the MLC comes into force internationally on 20th August 2013. The UK standards implementing the MLC are published in MSN 1848(M).

Reaching the position where the UK could ratify the MLC has been a lengthy process, involving a number of Government departments including DWP and BIS, as well as extensive consultation with and contributions from the UK Chamber of Shipping, Nautilus International, the RMT union and other stakeholders.

Ratification is good for the UK shipping industry because the MLC raises the bar for ships of all flags, where living and working conditions are concerned, and so helps to provide a level playing field for ships of well-regulated flags such as the UK. It has also presented MCA with the opportunity to update legislation on seafarer living and working conditions, some of which goes back to the early 1970s.

All the implementing legislation is expected to be in place by the autumn of this year. Queries should be sent to: