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The Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC), Also Known as the Seafarers Bill of Rights, Sets out the Minimum Rights for the Seafarer

mlc 2006 legal primer

Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC 2006) is an international agreement that revised and replaced most of the existing International Labour Organization (ILO) maritime labor instruments and recommendations adopted since 1920. MLC 2006 consolidates and updates more than 68 international labor standards related to the maritime sector adopted over the last 80 years.

MLC 2006 was entered into force on August 20, 2013 and addresses a wide range of matters including shipping companies obligations regarding seafarers contractual arrangements, oversight of manning agencies, working hours, health and safety, crew accommodation, catering standards, and seafarers welfare. The adoption of MLC in 2006 was the product of five years work carried out as a tripartite process involving governments, seafarers’ trade unions and ship-owners organizations.

Every ship over 500 gross tonnage operating in international waters or between ports of different countries has to have a Maritime Labor Certificate in compliance with the MLC. Ships below 200 GT, that are not carrying out international voyages, can be excluded by the flag State from some of the requirements if they are already covered by national laws.

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seafarers bill of rights

MLC 2006 Guidelines, Regulations and Code



The MLC 2006 Convention comprises of three different and related parts - the Articles, the Regulations and the Code. Regulations and Code are organized into general areas under five Titles.

Title 1: Minimum Requirements for Seafarers to Work on a Ship

Title 2: Conditions of Employment

Title 3: Accommodation, Recreational Facilities, Food and Catering

Title 4: Health Protection, Medical Care, Welfare and Social Security Protection

Title 5: Compliance and Enforcement

  • Regulation 5.1 - Flag State Responsibilities
  • Regulation 5.2 - Port State Responsibilities
  • Regulation 5.3 - Labour-Supplying Responsibilities 

Disclaimer: For general information purpose only - please check with ILO MLC 2006 for the latest requirements and accurate info

LAST UPDATED ON Dec 10, 2019

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