Consultations on the Seafarers’ Identity Documents Convention (Revised), 2003 (No. 185)

The Seafarers’ Identity Documents Convention (Revised), 2003 (No. 185), is now beginning to develop in the manner envisaged by the International Labour Conference when it was adopted seven years ago. The purpose of the present consultations is to have an exchange of views between governments of member States that have ratified or are seriously considering ratification of Convention No. 185, together with the international organizations representing shipowners and seafarers, on any implementation problems that may have arisen and on ways of enabling the Convention to achieve its objectives. The participation of other interested governments would also be welcome. An important subject to be discussed will be the proposals for improving the technical aspects of the Convention’s implementation made recently by ISO–IEC JTC 1, a joint technical committee of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

It will be recalled that Convention No. 185 was adopted in 2003, by a fast-track procedure following the events of 11 September 2001, to replace the 45-year-old Seafarers’ Identity Documents Convention, 1958 (No. 108). After initial discussions in the International Maritime Organization (IMO) on improved security measures for the maritime industry, a decision was taken at the 283rd Session (March 2002) of the Governing Body to place on the agenda of the 91st Session (2003) of the International Labour Conference an item on “improved security of seafarers’ identification” with a view to the adoption of a Protocol to Convention No. 108 or other instrument, and Convention No. 185 was adopted by the Conference 15 months later. It has now been ratified by 18 ILO member States: Albania, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, France, Hungary, Indonesia, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Republic of Korea, Madagascar, Republic of Moldova, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Vanuatu and Yemen. One other ILO Member, Lithuania, has made a declaration of provisional application.