GENEVA (ILO News) – On 18 January 2013, the Government of Malta deposited with the International Labour Office the instrument of ratification of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC, 2006). Malta becomes the 34th ILO member State and the 12th EU member State to ratify this landmark Convention, which sets out decent working and living conditions for seafarers while creating conditions of fair competition for shipowners. Malta has under its flag vessels totalling 45.6 million gross tons representing 4.3 per cent of the world tonnage of ships.
In transmitting the instrument of ratification, H.E. Dr. John Paul Grech, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Malta to the United Nations in Geneva, stated: "As a small archipelagic State at the heart of the Mediterranean, Malta has traditionally regarded the shipping sector as vital for its economic development. Today, Malta takes pride in having the largest ship register in the European Union and featuring since 2006 in the “White List” of the Paris MoU that endorses the flag’s good reputation. The ratification of the MLC, 2006, which bears further witness to Malta’s commitment to quality shipping and enhanced protection of seafarers, marks the end of a long process of preparation, including the amendment of the Merchant Shipping Act in 2010 in full consultation with our social partners. As a major player in the global shipping industry constantly seeking to improve the efficiency of its shipping services in a highly competitive environment, Malta hails the forthcoming entry into force of the MLC, 2006 and stands confidently ready to implement its provisions in the interest of the Maltese flag, responsible operators and above all the men and women working on board Maltese vessels”.
In receiving the instrument of ratification of the MLC, 2006 by Malta, the Director-General, Mr Guy Ryder, stated: “It is with pleasure that I welcome Malta, the world’s 7th largest ship register, among the States parties to the Maritime Labour Convention. With Malta’s ratification, two thirds of the world’s merchant fleet are now formally bound by the Convention, an extraordinary coverage some seven months before the entry into force of the Convention in August of this year.”
With Malta’s ratification, 34 ILO members representing 68.2 per cent of the world gross tonnage of ships have now ratified the MLC, 2006. The MLC, 2006 will enter into force on 20 August 2013, that is 12 months after the date on which it was ratified by 30 Members with a total share in the world gross tonnage of ships of at least 33 per cent.