GENEVA (ILO News) ─ More than 300 senior representatives of seafarers and shipowners, along with governments, are to meet here between 15 and 26 September to discuss guidelines on flag-state and port-state inspection on board of ships under the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) adopted by the International Labour Organization (ILO) in 2006.
The MLC, 2006 consolidates nearly 70 maritime labour instruments adopted by the ILO since 1920 and contains provisions designed to help ensure that the requirements of the Convention can be implemented and enforced on ships worldwide.
Discussions on the guidelines will come in two sessions. In the first, on 15-19 September, guidelines will be discussed regarding flag-State inspections and focus on such issues as the precise requirements that are to be checked for compliance; what evidence will be needed by the inspector to certify compliance in the different areas to be inspected; and what actions should be considered in the case of non-compliance.
The second session, on 22-26 September, will address guidelines for port state control officers carrying out MLC inspections. Port-state inspections are carried out on foreign ships visiting a port of the country concerned to reinforce the flag-State inspections and also to protect shipowners that conform to the standards of the MLC, 2006 against unfair competition from substandard ships.
The MLC, 2006 will come into force 12 months after ratification by at least 30 ILO member States with a total share of at least 33 per cent of the world’s gross tonnage of ships. So far, Liberia, the Marshall Islands and the Bahamas have ratified it. Together they represent nearly 20per cent of the world’s gross tonnage. A large number of other countries in all regions have already taken steps toward ratification. In June 2007, the EU Council adopted a decision authorizing all EU member States to ratify the MLC, 2006 in the interest of the European Community before 31 December 2010.
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