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MLC 2006 Regulation 4.4 - Access to Shore-Based Welfare Facilities to Ensure that Seafarers Working on Board a Ship have Access to Shore-Based Facilities and Services to Secure their Health and Well-Being

{reg 4 4 seafarer welfare ashore

MLC 2006 Regulation 4.4 deals with access to shore-based welfare facilities for seafarers. The MLC, 2006 emphasizes the importance of access to shore-based facilities for seafarers’ welfare. The provisions in Regulation 4.4 and the Code do not require that the port State take responsibility for operating such services.

However it has an obligation to designate them and encourage their establishment and, where they exist, their regulation to ensure accessibility for all seafarers. The MLC, 2006 does not require a specific legal form for implementation

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mlc2006 seafarer welfare ashore

MLC 2006 Regulation 4.4 Access to Shore-Based Welfare Facilities for Seafarers (Summary)


Purpose: To ensure that seafarers working on board a ship have access to shore-based facilities and services to secure their health and well-being



  • The Convention encourages the establishment of port-based welfare facilities. They should be easily accessible to you regardless of your nationality, race, color, sex, religion, political opinion, social class and the flag of your ship. Ideally they should include meeting and recreation rooms and facilities for sport, education, religious needs and personal counseling.
  •  In the interests of your health and well-being, every effort should be made by the people responsible in port and on board your ship to allow you to take shore leave as soon as possible after arrival in port.
  • You should be informed of the facilities available to you and be advised of any local laws or customs that, if broken, could endanger your freedom.
  • There should be welfare boards to make sure that the welfare services provided are adequate.
  • In case you get into difficulty in a foreign port, you should have access to your consul (if there is one) and there should be good cooperation between your consulate and the local authorities.
  • If you are detained, your case should be dealt with promptly and lawfully. You can seek assistance and protection either from the country of your nationality or from the flag State of your vessel, so you should make sure both are immediately informed if you are detained abroad.

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

Regulation 4.4; Code Standard A4.4 and Guideline B4.4


MLC 2006 Regulation 4.3 - Access to Shore-Based Welfare Facilities

Purpose: To ensure that seafarers working on board a ship have access to shore-based facilities and services to secure their health and well-being
  1. Each Member shall ensure that shore-based welfare facilities, where they exist, are easily accessible. The Member shall also promote the development of welfare facilities, such as those listed in the Code, in designated ports to provide seafarers on ships that are in its ports with access to adequate welfare facilities and services.
  2. The responsibilities of each Member with respect to shore-based facilities, such as welfare, cultural, recreational and information facilities and services, are set out in the Code.

Standard A4.4 - Access to Shore-Based Welfare Facilities

  1. Each Member shall require, where welfare facilities exist on its territory, that they are available for the use of all seafarers, irrespective of nationality, race, colour, sex, religion, political opinion or social origin and irrespective of the flag State of the ship on which they are employed or engaged or work.
  2. Each Member shall promote the development of welfare facilities in appropriate ports of the country and determine, after consultation with the shipowners’ and seafarers’ organizations concerned, which ports are to be regarded as appropriate.
  3. Each Member shall encourage the establishment of welfare boards which shall regularly review welfare facilities and services to ensure that they are appropriate in the light of changes in the needs of seafarers resulting from technical, operational and other developments in the shipping industry.

Guideline B4.4 - Access to Shore-Based Welfare Facilities

Regulation 4.4 Guideline B4.4 PDF

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

LAST UPDATED ON Dec 14, 2019

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