ICS releases updated guidelines on Maritime Labor Convention

The following is text of a news release from the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS):

(LONDON) — Responding to changing regulations, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has launched of the third edition of its "Guidelines on the Application of the ILO Maritime Labor Convention," the only fully up-to-date guide to the Maritime Labor Convention (MLC) for all involved with the employment of seafarers.

Focused on today’s MLC, the publication covers all amendments made to the convention since it entered into force in 2013. It also contains practical advice, information and key learnings from industry bodies at the heart of the shipping community. 

“These new guidelines provide a framework to help all involved in the industry understand how the MLC works," said Natalie Shaw, director of employment affairs at ICS. "Companies can use them to assist in developing their own policies and procedures and incorporate them in their working practices. 

“Every master should have a copy of the updated guidelines on board and companies should also have copies in their shore-based offices. Indeed many shipowners seem to agree, as we have already presold the first print run of the guidelines, prior to official launch,” she said.

New in Edition 3:
• Mandatory arrangements for the provision of financial security to address cases of seafarer abandonment.
• Changes to employment agreements to address piracy.
• Measures to prevent harassment and bullying.
• New ICS/ International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) welfare guidelines.
• Implementation of health and safety provisions.

The new guidelines contain helpful information on common issues arising from the inspection processes and procedures used by various Port State Control (PSC) authorities in addition to support materials developed by various parties, including the International Labor Organization (ILO) and ITF.  The section on welfare provision has been fully updated in line with increasing digitalization and the changes in technology that affect the seafarer’s workplace. A copy of the full MLC guidelines and a number of other useful documents are included, helping shipowners meet the requirement to carry a copy of the convention on board.

A complementary digital version is also included, containing a portfolio of additional information to assist shipowners to effectively apply the MLC on board their vessels.   

The guidelines are available from maritime booksellers, or visit the ICS website.

By Professional Mariner Staff