Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC, 2006)

Entry into force: 20 Aug 2013

Preamble

The General Conference of the International Labour Organization,

Having been convened at Geneva by the Governing Body of the International Labour Office, and having met in its Ninety-fourth Session on 7 February 2006, and

Desiring to create a single, coherent instrument embodying as far as possible all up-to-date standards of existing international maritime labour Conventions and Recommendations, as well as the fundamental principles to be found in other international labour Conventions, in particular:

- the Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29);
- the Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention, 1948 (No. 87);
- the Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention, 1949 (No. 98);
- the Equal Remuneration Convention, 1951 (No. 100);
- the Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, 1957 (No. 105);
- the Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention, 1958 (No. 111);
- the Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138);
- the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182); and

Mindful of the core mandate of the Organization, which is to promote decent conditions of work, and

Recalling the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, 1998, and

Mindful also that seafarers are covered by the provisions of other ILO instruments and have other rights which are established as fundamental rights and freedoms applicable to all persons, and

Considering that, given the global nature of the shipping industry, seafarers need special protection, and

Mindful also of the international standards on ship safety, human security and quality ship management in the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974, as amended, the Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972, as amended, and the seafarer training and competency requirements in the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978, as amended, and

Recalling that the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, 1982, sets out a general legal framework within which all activities in the oceans and seas must be carried out and is of strategic importance as the basis for national, regional and global action and cooperation in the marine sector, and that its integrity needs to be maintained, and

Recalling that Article 94 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, 1982, establishes the duties and obligations of a flag State with regard to, inter alia, labour conditions, crewing and social matters on ships that fly its flag, and

Recalling paragraph 8 of article 19 of the Constitution of the International Labour Organisation which provides that in no case shall the adoption of any Convention or Recommendation by the Conference or the ratification of any Convention by any Member be deemed to affect any law, award, custom or agreement which ensures more favourable conditions to the workers concerned than those provided for in the Convention or Recommendation, and

Determined that this new instrument should be designed to secure the widest possible acceptability among governments, shipowners and seafarers committed to the principles of decent work, that it should be readily updateable and that it should lend itself to effective implementation and enforcement, and

Having decided upon the adoption of certain proposals for the realization of such an instrument, which is the only item on the agenda of the session, and

Having determined that these proposals shall take the form of an international Convention;

adopts this twenty-third day of February of the year two thousand and six the following Convention, which may be cited as the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006.


General Obligations
Article I

1. Each Member which ratifies this Convention undertakes to give complete effect to its provisions in the manner set out in Article VI in order to secure the right of all seafarers to decent employment.
2. Members shall cooperate with each other for the purpose of ensuring the effective implementation and enforcement of this Convention.


Definition and scope of application
Article II

1. For the purpose of this Convention and unless provided otherwise in particular provisions, the term:
(a) competent authority means the minister, government department or other authority having power to issue and enforce regulations, orders or other instructions having the force of law in respect of the subject matter of the provision concerned;
(b) declaration of maritime labour compliance means the declaration referred to in Regulation 5.1.3;
(c) gross tonnage means the gross tonnage calculated in accordance with the tonnage measurement regulations contained in Annex I to the International Convention on Tonnage Measurement of Ships, 1969, or any successor Convention; for ships covered by the tonnage measurement interim scheme adopted by the International Maritime Organization, the gross tonnage is that which is included in the REMARKS column of the International Tonnage Certificate (1969);
(d) maritime labour certificate means the certificate referred to in Regulation 5.1.3;
(e) requirements of this Convention refers to the requirements in these Articles and in the Regulations and Part A of the Code of this Convention;
(f) seafarer means any person who is employed or engaged or works in any capacity on board a ship to which this Convention applies;
(g) seafarers' employment agreement includes both a contract of employment and articles of agreement;
(h) seafarer recruitment and placement service means any person, company, institution, agency or other organization, in the public or the private sector, which is engaged in recruiting seafarers on behalf of shipowners or placing seafarers with shipowners;
(i) ship means a ship other than one which navigates exclusively in inland waters or waters within, or closely adjacent to, sheltered waters or areas where port regulations apply;
(j) shipowner means the owner of the ship or another organization or person, such as the manager, agent or bareboat charterer, who has assumed the responsibility for the operation of the ship from the owner and who, on assuming such responsibility, has agreed to take over the duties and responsibilities imposed on shipowners in accordance with this Convention, regardless of whether any other organization or persons fulfil certain of the duties or responsibiities on behalf of the shipowner.
2.Except as expressly provided otherwise, this Convention applies to all seafarers.
3.In the event of doubt as to whether any categories of persons are to be regarded as seafarers for the purpose of this Convention, the question shall be determined by the competent authority in each Member after consultation with the shipowners' and seafarers' organizations concerned with this question
4. Except as expressly provided otherwise, this Convention applies to all ships, whether publicly or privately owned, ordinarily engaged in commercial activities, other than ships engaged in fishing or in similar pursuits and ships of traditional build such as dhows and junks. This Convention does not apply to warships or naval auxiliaries.
5. In the event of doubt as to whether this Convention applies to a ship or particular category of ships, the question shall be determined by the competent authority in each Member after consultation with the shipowners' and seafarers' organizations concerned.
6. Where the competent authority determines that it would not be reasonable or practicable at the present time to apply certain details of the Code referred to in Article VI, paragraph 1, to a ship or particular categories of ships flying the flag of the Member, the relevant provisions of the Code shall not apply to the extent that the subject matter is dealt with differently by national laws or regulations or collective bargaining agreements or other measures. Such a determination may only be made in consultation with the shipowners' and seafarers' organizations concerned and may only be made with respect to ships of less than 200 gross tonnage not engaged in international voyages.
7. Any determinations made by a Member under paragraph 3 or 5 or 6 of this Article shall be communicated to the Director-General of the International Labour Office, who shall notify the Members of the Organization.
8. Unless expressly provided otherwise, a reference to this Convention constitutes at the same time a reference to the Regulations and the Code.


Fundamental rights and principles
Article III

Each Member shall satisfy itself that the provisions of its law and regulations respect, in the context of this Convention, the fundamental rights to:

(a) freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining;
(b) the elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labour;
(c) the effective abolition of child labour; and
(d) the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.


Seafarers' Employment and Social Rights
Article IV

1. Every seafarer has the right to a safe and secure workplace that complies with safety standards.
2. Every seafarer has a right to fair terms of employment.
3. Every seafarer has a right to decent working and living conditions on board ship.
4. Every seafarer has a right to health protection, medical care, welfare measures and other forms of social protection.
5. Each Member shall ensure, within the limits of its jurisdiction, that the seafarers' employment and social rights set out in the preceding paragraphs of this Article are fully implemented in accordance with the requirements of this Convention. Unless specified otherwise in the Convention, such implementation may be achieved through national laws or regulations, through applicablecollective bargaining agreements or through other measures or in practice.


Implementation and Enforcement Responsibilities
Article V

1. Each Member shall implement and enforce laws or regulations or other measures that it has adopted to fulfil its commitments under this Convention with respect to ships and seafarers under its jurisdiction.
2. Each Member shall effectively exercise its jurisdiction and control over ships that fly its flag by establishing a system for ensuring compliance with the requirements of this Convention, including regular inspections, reporting, monitoring and legal proceedings under the applicable laws.
3. Each Member shall ensure that ships that fly its flag carry a maritime labour certificate and a declaration of maritime labour compliance as required by this Convention.
4. A ship to which this Convention applies may, in accordance with international law, be inspected by a Member other than the flag State, when the ship is in one of its ports, to determine whether the ship is in compliance with the requirements of this Convention.
5. Each Member shall effectively exercise its jurisdiction and control over seafarer recruitment and placement services, if these are established in its territory.
6. Each Member shall prohibit violations of the requirements of this Convention and shall, in accordance with international law, establish sanctions or require the adoption of corrective measures under its laws which are adequate to discourage such violations.
7. Each Member shall implement its responsibilities under this Convention in such a way as to ensure that the ships that fly the flag of any State that has not ratified this Convention do not receive more favourable treatment than the ships that fly the flag of any State that has ratified it.


Regulations and Parts A and B of the Code
Article VI

1. The Regulations and the provisions of Part A of the Code are mandatory. The provisions of Part B of the Code are not mandatory.
2. Each Member undertakes to respect the rights and principles set out in the Regulations and to implement each Regulation in the manner set out in the corresponding provisions of Part A of the Code. In addition, the Member shall give due consideration to implementing its responsibilities in the manner provided for in Part B of the Code.
3. A Member which is not in a position to implement the rights and principles in the manner set out in Part A of the Code may, unless expressly provided otherwise in this Convention, implement Part A through provisions in its laws and regulations or other measures which are substantially equivalent to the provisions of Part A.
4. For the sole purpose of paragraph 3 of this Article, any law, regulation, collective agreement or other implementing measure shall be considered to be substantially equivalent, in the context of this Convention, if the Member satisfies itself that:
(a) it is conducive to the full achievement of the general object and purpose of the provision or provisions of Part A of the Code concerned; and
(b) it gives effect to the provision or provisions of Part A of the Code concerned.


Consultation with Shipowners' and Seafarers' Organizations
Article VII

Any derogation, exemption or other flexible application of this Convention for which the Convention requires consultation with shipowners' and seafarers' organizations may, in cases where representative organizations of shipowners or of seafarers do not exist within a Member, only be decided by that Member through consultation with the Committee referred to in Article XIII.


Entry into Force
Article VIII
1. The formal ratifications of this Convention shall be communicated to the Director-General of the International Labour Office for registration.
2. This Convention shall be binding only upon those Members of the International Labour Organization whose ratifications have been registered by the Director-General.
3. This Convention shall come into force 12 months after the date on which there have been registered ratifications by at least 30 Members with a total share in the world gross tonnage of ships of at least 33 per cent.
4. Thereafter, this Convention shall come into force for any Member 12 months after the date on which its ratification has been registered.


Denunciation
Article IX

1. A Member which has ratified this Convention may denounce it after the expiration of ten years from the date on which the Convention first comes into force, by an act communicated to the Director-General of the International Labour Office for registration. Such denunciation shall not take effect until one year after the date on which it is registered.
2. Each Member which does not, within the year following the expiration of the period of ten years mentioned in paragraph 1 of this Article, exercise the right of denunciation provided for in this Article, shall be bound for another period of ten years and, thereafter, may denounce this Convention at the expiration of each new period of ten years under the terms provided for in this Article.


Effect of Entry into Force
Article X

This Convention revises the following Conventions:
Minimum Age (Sea) Convention, 1920 (No. 7)
Unemployment Indemnity (Shipwreck) Convention, 1920 (No. 8)
Placing of Seamen Convention, 1920 (No. 9)
Medical Examination of Young Persons (Sea) Convention, 1921 (No. 16)
Seamen's Articles of Agreement Convention, 1926 (No. 22)
Repatriation of Seamen Convention, 1926 (No. 23)
Officers' Competency Certificates Convention, 1936 (No. 53)
Holidays with Pay (Sea) Convention, 1936 (No. 54)
Shipowners' Liability (Sick and Injured Seamen) Convention, 1936 (No. 55)
Sickness Insurance (Sea) Convention, 1936 (No. 56)
Hours of Work and Manning (Sea) Convention, 1936 (No. 57)
Minimum Age (Sea) Convention (Revised), 1936 (No. 58)
Food and Catering (Ships' Crews) Convention, 1946 (No. 68)
Certification of Ships' Cooks Convention, 1946 (No. 69)
Social Security (Seafarers) Convention, 1946 (No. 70)
Paid Vacations (Seafarers) Convention, 1946 (No. 72)
Medical Examination (Seafarers) Convention, 1946 (No. 73)
Certification of Able Seamen Convention, 1946 (No. 74)
Accommodation of Crews Convention, 1946 (No. 75)
Wages, Hours of Work and Manning (Sea) Convention, 1946 (No. 76)
Paid Vacations (Seafarers) Convention (Revised), 1949 (No. 91)
Accommodation of Crews Convention (Revised), 1949 (No. 92)
Wages, Hours of Work and Manning (Sea) Convention (Revised), 1949 (No. 93)
Wages, Hours of Work and Manning (Sea) Convention (Revised), 1958 (No. 109)
Accommodation of Crews (Supplementary Provisions) Convention, 1970 (No. 133)
Prevention of Accidents (Seafarers) Convention, 1970 (No. 134)
Continuity of Employment (Seafarers) Convention, 1976 (No. 145)
Seafarers' Annual Leave with Pay Convention, 1976 (No. 146)
Merchant Shipping (Minimum Standards) Convention, 1976 (No. 147)
Protocol of 1996 to the Merchant Shipping (Minimum Standards) Convention, 1976 (No. 147)
Seafarers' Welfare Convention, 1987 (No. 163)
Health Protection and Medical Care (Seafarers) Convention, 1987 (No. 164)
Social Security (Seafarers) Convention (Revised), 1987 (No. 165)
Repatriation of Seafarers Convention (Revised), 1987 (No. 166)
Labour Inspection (Seafarers) Convention, 1996 (No. 178)
Recruitment and Placement of Seafarers Convention, 1996 (No. 179)
Seafarers' Hours of Work and the Manning of Ships Convention, 1996 (No. 180).


Depositary Functions
Article XI

1. The Director-General of the International Labour Office shall notify all Members of the International Labour Organization of the registration of all ratifications, acceptances and denunciations under this Convention.
2. When the conditions provided for in paragraph 3 of Article VIII have been fulfilled, the Director-General shall draw the attention of the Members of the Organization to the date upon which the Convention will come into force.


Article XII

The Director-General of the International Labour Office shall communicate to the Secretary-General of the United Nations for registration in accordance with Article 102 of the Charter of the United Nations full particulars of all ratifications, acceptances and denunciations registered under this Convention. Special Tripartite Committee


Special Tripartite Committee
Article XIII

1. The Governing Body of the International Labour Office shall keep the working of this Convention under continuous review through a committee established by it with special competence in the area of maritime labour standards.
2. For matters dealt with in accordance with this Convention, the Committee shall consist of two representatives nominated by the Government of each Member which has ratified this Convention, and the representatives of Shipowners and Seafarers appointed by the Governing Body after consultation with the Joint Maritime Commission.
3. The Government representatives of Members which have not yet ratified this Convention may participate in the Committee but shall have no right to vote on any matter dealt with in accordance with this Convention. The Governing Body may invite other organizations or entities to be represented on the Committee by observers.
4. The votes of each Shipowner and Seafarer representative in the Committee shall be weighted so as to ensure that the Shipowners' group and the Seafarers' group each have half the voting power of the total number of governments which are represented at the meeting concerned and entitled to vote.


Amendment of this Convention
Article XIV

1. Amendments to any of the provisions of this Convention may be adopted by the General Conference of the International Labour Organization in the framework of article 19 of the Constitution of the International Labour Organisation and the rules and procedures of the Organization for the adoption of Conventions. Amendments to the Code may also be adopted following the procedures in Article XV.
2. In the case of Members whose ratifications of this Convention were registered before the adoption of the amendment, the text of the amendment shall be communicated to them for ratification.
3. In the case of other Members of the Organization, the text of the Convention as amended shall be communicated to them for ratification in accordance with article 19 of the Constitution.
4. An amendment shall be deemed to have been accepted on the date when there have been registered ratifications, of the amendment or of the Convention as amended, as the case may be, by at least 30 Members with a total share in the world gross tonnage of ships of at least 33 per cent.
5. An amendment adopted in the framework of article 19 of the Constitution shall be binding only upon those Members of the Organization whose ratifications have been registered by the Director-General of the International Labour Office.
6. For any Member referred to in paragraph 2 of this Article, an amendment shall come into force 12 months after the date of acceptance referred to in paragraph 4 of this Article or 12 months after the date on which its ratification of the amendment has been registered, whichever date is later.
7. Subject to paragraph 9 of this Article, for Members referred to in paragraph 3 of this Article, the Convention as amended shall come into force 12 months after the date of acceptance referred to in paragraph 4 of this Article or 12 months after the date on which their ratifications of the Convention have been registered, whichever date is later.
8. For those Members whose ratification of this Convention was registered before the adoption of an amendment but which have not ratified the amendment, this Convention shall remain in force without the amendment concerned.
9. Any Member whose ratification of this Convention is registered after the adoption of the amendment but before the date referred to in paragraph 4 of this Article may, in a declaration accompanying the instrument of ratification, specify that its ratification relates to the Convention without the amendment concerned. In the case of a ratification with such a declaration, the Convention shall come into force for the Member concerned 12 months after the date on which the ratification was registered. Where an instrument of ratification is not accompanied by such a declaration, or where the ratification is registered on or after the date referred to in paragraph 4, the Convention shall come into force for the Member concerned 12 months after the date on which the ratification was registered and, upon its entry into force in accordance with paragraph 7 of this Article, the amendment shall be binding on the Member concerned unless the amendment provides otherwise.


Amendments to the Code
Article XV

1. The Code may be amended either by the procedure set out in Article XIV or, unless expressly provided otherwise, in accordance with the procedure set out in the present Article.
2. An amendment to the Code may be proposed to the Director-General of the International Labour Office by the government of any Member of the Organization or by the group of Shipowner representatives or the group of Seafarer representatives who have been appointed to the Committee referred to in Article XIII. An amendment proposed by a government must have been proposed by, or be supported by, at least five governments of Members that have ratified the Convention or by the group of Shipowner or Seafarer representatives referred to in this paragraph.
3. Having verified that the proposal for amendment meets the requirements of paragraph 2 of this Article, the Director-General shall promptly communicate the proposal, accompanied by any comments or suggestions deemed appropriate, to all Members of the Organization, with an invitation to them to transmit their observations or suggestions concerning the proposal within a period of six months or such other period (which shall not be less than three months nor more than nine months) prescribed by the Governing Body.
4. At the end of the period referred to in paragraph 3 of this Article, the proposal, accompanied by a summary of any observations or suggestions made under that paragraph, shall be transmitted to the Committee for consideration at a meeting. An amendment shall be considered adopted by the Committee if:
(a) at least half the governments of Members that have ratified this Convention are represented in the meeting at which the proposal is considered; and
(b) a majority of at least two-thirds of the Committee members vote in favour of the amendment; and
(c) this majority comprises the votes in favour of at least half the government voting power, half the Shipowner voting power and half the Seafarer voting power of the Committee members registered at the meeting when the proposal is put to the vote.
5. Amendments adopted in accordance with paragraph 4 of this Article shall be submitted to the next session of the Conference for approval. Such approval shall require a majority of two-thirds of the votes cast by the delegates present. If such majority is not obtained, the proposed amendment shall be referred back to the Committee for reconsideration should the Committee so wish.
6. Amendments approved by the Conference shall be notified by the Director-General to each of the Members whose ratifications of this Convention were registered before the date of such approval by the Conference. These Members are referred to below as the ratifying Members . The notification shall contain a reference to the present Article and shall prescribe the period for the communication of any formal disagreement. This period shall be two years from the date of the notification unless, at the time of approval, the Conference has set a different period, which shall be a period of at least one year. A copy of the notification shall be communicated to the other Members of the Organization for their information.
7. An amendment approved by the Conference shall be deemed to have been accepted unless, by the end of the prescribed period, formal expressions of disagreement have been received by the Director-General from more than 40 per cent of the Members which have ratified the Convention and which represent not less than 40 per cent of the gross tonnage of the ships of the Members which have ratified the Convention.
8. An amendment deemed to have been accepted shall come into force six months after the end of the prescribed period for all the ratifying Members except those which had formally expressed their disagreement in accordance with paragraph 7 of this Article and have not withdrawn such disagreement in accordance with paragraph 11. However:
(a) before the end of the prescribed period, any ratifying Member may give notice to the Director-General that it shall be bound by the amendment only after a subsequent express notification of its acceptance; and
(b) before the date of entry into force of the amendment, any ratifying Member may give notice to the Director-General that it will not give effect to that amendment for a specified period.
9. An amendment which is the subject of a notice referred to in paragraph 8(a) of this Article shall enter into force for the Member giving such notice six months after the Member has notified the Director-General of its acceptance of the amendment or on the date on which the amendment first comes into force, whichever date is later.
10. The period referred to in paragraph 8(b) of this Article shall not go beyond one year from the date of entry into force of the amendment or beyond any longer period determined by the Conference at the time of approval of the amendment.
11. A Member that has formally expressed disagreement with an amendment may withdraw its disagreement at any time. If notice of such withdrawal is received by the Director-General after the amendment has entered into force, the amendment shall enter into force for the Member six months after the date on which the notice was registered.
12. After entry into force of an amendment, the Convention may only be ratified in its amended form.
13. To the extent that a maritime labour certificate relates to matters covered by an amendment to the Convention which has entered into force:
(a) a Member that has accepted that amendment shall not be obliged to extend the benefit of the Convention in respect of the maritime labour certificates issued to ships flying the flag of another Member which:
(i) pursuant to paragraph 7 of this Article, has formally expressed disagreement to the amendment and has not withdrawn such disagreement; or
(ii) pursuant to paragraph 8(a) of this Article, has given notice that its acceptance is subject to its subsequent express notification and has not accepted the amendment; and
(b) a Member that has accepted the amendment shall extend the benefit of the Convention in respect of the maritime labour certificates issued to ships flying the flag of another Member that has given notice, pursuant to paragraph 8(b) of this Article, that it will not give effect to that amendment for the period specified in accordance with paragraph 10 of this Article.


Authoritative Languages
Article XVI

The English and French versions of the text of this Convention are equally authoritative.