Specialist marine insurance intermediary Seacurus has called for proper enforcement of Port State Control regulations in the lead-up to adoption of amendments to the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 designed to protect abandoned seafarers and seafarers injured in occupational accidents.

The MLC amendments are scheduled to enter force in early 2017, at which point those countries which have ratified MLC 2006 will be bound by those amendments unless 40 per cent of ratifying nations reject the new provisions in writing.

Before then, however, on 20 August 2014, an ILO resolution agreed by member states in 2006 comes into effect whereby full Port State Control (PSC) can be applied by nations which are a party to MLC 2006, regardless of whether or not the ships being inspected are flagged with nations which have ratified the convention. This is the so-called ‘no more favourable treatment’ clause which seeks to ensure a level playing field whereby ships of countries which have ratified MLC 2006 will not be placed at a competitive disadvantage. 

Seacurus managing director Thomas Brown says, “This rigorous inspection programme may force shipowners to demonstrate to PSC inspectors that the crew managers and seafarer recruitment and placement services with whom they work can confirm compliance with Regulation 1.4 of MLC 2006 by providing evidence of a system of financial security to cover seafarers’ monetary loss in the event of their employers’ contractual default.

“It is to be hoped that this regulation, if properly enforced by PSC, will offer a degree of protection to those at sea over the next two and a half years, while the industry prepares for the now inevitable regulatory requirement in 2017.”