InterManager, the international association of in-house and third party ship managers, is calling on flag States to exercise tolerance and flexibility in the weeks and months following the entry into force of the Maritime Labour Convention.
A poll of its member companies shows that InterManager members are ready to meet the needs and demands of the MLC when it enters into force on August 20th this year.
However, the association remains concerned that, as the MLC requires total commitment from its global stakeholders, restraint and a common interpretation of the rules needs to be seen from inspecting authorities when vessels start to visit the world’s ports following the August 20 start date.
Gerardo Borromeo, President of InterManager, said: “There is need for all flag state and port state authorities to exercise maximum tolerance and flexibility when the convention comes into force this August. Only 40 States around the world have so far ratified the MLC so there are many States still in the process of ratifying or may even be a considerable ways from ratifying. This poses great concern to ship managers and crew managers who are immediately impacted by this convention. It is equally important that all States ensure their respective flag and port state control inspectors are prepared to meet the unique demands of the MLC.
“InterManager welcomes the entering into force of MLC but remains concerned that many of the world’s major ports which our members’ vessels visit, lie within the borders of countries which have yet to ratify the MLC such as the US, Korea, UK, Italy and Japan. We need a common interpretation of the rules to ensure there is a smooth entry into force of this important convention,” he added.
InterManager members are committed to the smooth and efficient operation of their managed fleets and so it is essential that ships are able to enter and depart loading and discharging ports as quickly as possible. “Because not all flag administrations have approved the convention, it is important that the shipping industry can be assured of minimum disruption to vessel operations following the entry into force of the MLC this August,” Mr Borromeo said.
He concluded: “We are urging the major trading nations to move with more urgency to get themselves into the picture regarding MLC. InterManager will work with all the stakeholders to ensure the smooth transition into force of this crucial piece of shipping legislation.”