2013 represents a landmark year for the world’s seafaring community. With growing noise in the industry, reflected in the media, around the importance of improving welfare standards for the unsung heroes of the global supply chain; the introduction of the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC 2006) this August is testament to the work now being done to further illuminate the role of the seafarer at a regulatory level.
From 20th August, 60% of vessels will be required to meet the standards set out by the International Labor Organisation’s MLC 2006 legislation. This aims to establish a minimum set of working and living conditions for seafarers, guaranteeing them a safe, secure and healthy working environment. This will be crucial to operators as failure to meet the Convention’s requirements can result in severe fines and the detention of their vessels.
MLC 2006 will enter into force in 36 countries, replacing 40 existing conventions and 29 regulations. For the first time there will be a set of clearly defined standards for ship owners to comply with. Furthermore, the Convention is written simply, ensuring that seafarers will understand and be aware of their rights.
This will bring additional complexities for elements such as ship supply and in turn, opportunities for providers. Legislation around catering, for example, states that each vessel should serve food of ‘appropriate quality, nutritional value and quantity that adequately covers the requirements of the ship and takes into account the differing cultural and religious backgrounds’.
Improving communications access for seafarers is an issue that is continuing to attract attention and the role that social media plays in ensuring contact with friends and family whilst at sea is a topical talking point for the industry.
The International Maritime Organisation (IMO)’s Day of the Seafarer campaign takes place on 25 June 2013, which aims to further unite the seafaring community with the wider shipping industry, supply chain and beyond. ‘Thank you seafarer’ is the perennial message behind the IMO’s Day of the Seafarer Campaign, which takes place on 25 June 2013 and BLUE is looking forward to supporting the IMO on this campaign.
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