Following the unanimous adoption by the Special Tripartite Committee of the amendments to the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (the “Convention”), the International Labour Conference has approved the adoption of the amendments to the Convention on their 105th session in Geneva.
Harassment and bullying of seafarers
The first amendment concerns Regulation 4.3 of the Convention in an attempt to tackle issues of shipboard harassment and bullying of seafarers.
The International Chamber of Shipping (the “ICS”) and the International Transport Workers’ Federation (the “ITF”), having recognized the existence of such problem, have issued a guidance on Eliminating Shipboard Harassment and Bullying highlighting that harassment and bullying of seafarers can have adverse consequences on their productivity and teamwork which ultimately will affect the smooth operation of the vessel. The abovementioned guidance is now mentioned in Regulation 4.3 of the Convention as point of reference.
Extension of maritime labour certificate validity
The second amendment concerns Regulation 5.1 of the Convention whereby an extension is to be allowed by the Flag State of not more than 5 months regarding the issued maritime labour certificate. Such an extension is to be allowed only when the renewal inspection as has been successfully completed and the new certificate cannot be issued immediately to the ship.
The amendments are to take effect following the lapse of 2 years as of the decision of the Conference should less than 40% of ratifying Members representing no less than 40% of the world gross tonnage not express their disagreement to the amendments.
As of today there are a total of 77 countries which have ratified the Maritime Labour Convention 2006, which in terms of tonnage corresponds to roughly 91% of the world’s gross vessel tonnage.