MLC2006 - FAQs
The Maritime Labour Convention - 2006
A1. What is the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC, 2006)?
It is a comprehensive international labour Convention that was adopted by the International Labour Conference of the International Labour Organization (ILO), under article 19 of its Constitution, at a maritime session in February 2006 in Geneva, Switzerland. It sets out seafarers' rights to decent conditions of work and helps to create conditions of fair competition for shipowners. It is intended to be globally applicable, easily understandable, readily updatable and uniformly enforced. The Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC, 2006) has been designed to become a global legal instrument that will be the ―fourth pillar of the international regulatory regime for quality shipping, complementing the key Conventions of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) such as the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974, as amended (SOLAS), the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping, 1978, as amended (STCW) and the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 73/78 (MARPOL).
The MLC, 2006 contains a comprehensive set of global standards, based on those that are already found in the maritime labour instruments (Conventions and Recommendations), adopted by the ILO between 1920 and 1996. It brings all, except four, of the existing maritime labour instruments (International Labour Standards (ILS)) together in a single Convention that uses a new format, with some updating, where necessary, to reflect modern conditions and language. The Convention ―consolidates and revises the existing international law on all these matters. Why was a new Convention needed?
On ships flying the flags of countries that do not exercise effective jurisdiction and control over them, as required by international law, seafarers often have to work under unacceptable conditions, to the detriment of their well-being, health and safety and the safety of the ships on which they work. Since seafarers' working lives are spent outside the home country and their employers are also often not based in their country, effective international standards are necessary for this sector. Of course these standards must also be implemented at a national level, particularly by governments that have a ship registry and authorize ships to fly their countries' flags (called ―flag States). This is already well recognized in connection with ensuring the safety and security of ships and protecting the marine environment. It is also important to understand that there are many flag States and shipowners that take pride in providing the seafarers on their ships with decent conditions of work. These countries and shipowners face unfair competition in that they pay the price of being undercut by shipowners which operate substandard ships. The decision by the ILO to move forward to create the maritime labour Convention was the result of a joint resolution in 2001 by the international seafarers' and shipowners' organizations, later supported by governments. They pointed out that the shipping industry is ―the world's first genuinely global industry which ―requires an international regulatory response of an appropriate kind – global standards applicable to the entire industry. The industry called on the ILO to develop ―an instrument which brings together into a consolidated text as much of the existing body of ILO instruments as it proves possible to achieve as a matter of priority ―in order to improve the relevance of those standards to the needs of all the stakeholders of the maritime sector. It was felt that the very large number of the existing maritime Conventions, many of which are very detailed, made it difficult for governments to ratify and to enforce all of the existing international labour standards. Many of the existing maritime labour Conventions were out of date and did not reflect contemporary working and living conditions on board ships. Many had low levels of ratification. In addition, there was a need to develop a more effective enforcement and compliance system that would help to eliminate substandard ships and that would work within the wellestablished international system for enforcement of the international standards for ship safety and security and environmental protection adopted in the framework of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The MLC, 2006 was designed to specifically address these concerns. More protection of seafarers will be achieved by the early ratification and national level implementation of the new Convention by the vast majority of ILO members active in the maritime sector.
A2. What are the two basic aims of the MLC, 2006
The basic aims of the MLC, 2006 are:
- to ensure comprehensive worldwide protection of the rights of seafarers (the Convention is sometimes called the seafarers‘ Bill of Rights);
- to establish a level playing field for countries and shipowners committed to providing decent working and living conditions for seafarers, protecting them from unfair competition on the part of substandard ships.
A3. How will the MLC, 2006 protect more of the world's seafarers?
In the first place, the MLC, 2006 is designed to achieve a higher level of ratification than previous Conventions [see A18. Why is the MLC, 2006 likely to achieve the aim of near universal ratification?] covering even seafarers working on ships that have not ratified the Convention [see A4. What is meant by the ―no more favorable treatment clause?]. It will also cover all persons working at sea (now estimated at over 1.2 million). Until now it had not been clear that all of these people, particularly for example, those that work on board ships but are not directly involved in navigating or operating the ship, such as many personnel that work on passenger ships, would be considered seafarers [see B1. Who is protected by the MLC, 2006?].
The MLC, 2006 also aims to establish a continuous ―compliance awareness at every stage, from the national systems of protection up to the international system [see C5. Title 5 Compliance and enforcement]. This starts with the individual seafarers, who – under the MLC, 2006 – have to be properly informed of their rights and of the remedies available in case of alleged non-compliance with the requirements of the Convention and whose right to make complaints, both on board ship and ashore, is recognized in the Convention. It continues with the shipowners. Those that own or operate ships of 500 GT and above, engaged in international voyages or voyages between foreign ports, are required to develop and carry out plans for ensuring that the applicable national laws, regulations or other measures to implement the MLC, 2006 are actually being complied with. The masters of these ships are then responsible for carrying out the shipowners' stated plans, and for keeping proper records to evidence implementation of the requirements of the Convention. As part of its updated responsibilities for the labour inspections for ships of 500 GT or above that are engaged in international voyages or voyages between foreign ports, the flag State (or a recognized organization on its behalf) will review the shipowners' plans and verify and certify that they are actually in place and being implemented. Ships will then be required to carry a maritime labour certificate and a declaration of maritime labour compliance on board. Flag States will also be expected to ensure that national laws and regulations implementing the Convention's standards are respected on smaller ships that are not covered by the certification system. Flag States will carry out periodic quality assessments of the effectiveness of their national systems of compliance, and their reports to the ILO under Article 22 of the Constitution (see Report Form) will need to provide information on their inspection and certification systems, including on their methods of quality assessment. This general inspection system in the flag State (which is founded on ILO Convention No. 178) is complemented by procedures to be followed in countries that are also or even primarily the source of the world's supply of seafarers [see C5.3.a. What are labour-supplying responsibilities?], which will similarly be reporting under Article 22 of the ILO Constitution. The system is further reinforced by voluntary measures for inspections in foreign ports (port State control).
A4. What is meant by the “no more favorable treatment” clause?
Article V, paragraph 7 of the MLC, 2006 contains what is often called the ―no more favourable treatment clause. It seeks to ensure a ―level playing field under which the ships of countries that have ratified the Convention will not be placed at a competitive disadvantage as compared with ships flying the flag of countries that have not ratified the MLC, 2006. Although it appears that Article V, paragraph 7 could conceivably apply in various situations, in practice it relates essentially to the context of port State control under Regulation 5.2.1, with respect to ships flying a foreign flag and calling at a port of a ratifying country [see C5.2. Port State responsibilities].
A5. What is new in the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC, 2006)?
There are several novel features in the MLC, 2006 as far as the ILO is concerned. The whole structure of the Convention differs from that of traditional ILO Conventions. It is organized into three main parts: the Articles coming first set out the broad principles and obligations. They are followed by the more detailed Regulations and Code (with two parts: Parts A and B) provisions. The Regulations and the Standards (Part A) and Guidelines (Part B) in the Code are set out in five Titles, which essentially cover the same subject matter [see A6. What are the subjects of the ―Titles?] as the existing 37 maritime labour Conventions and associated Recommendations, updating them where necessary. There are a few new subjects, particularly in the area of occupational safety and health to meet contemporary concerns, such as the effects of noise and vibration on workers or other workplace risks, but in general the Convention aims at maintaining the standards in the current instruments at their present level, while leaving each country greater discretion in the formulation of their national laws establishing that level of protection. The provisions relating to flag State inspection, including the use of ―recognized organizations builds upon the existing ILO maritime labour inspection Convention (No. 178). The potential for inspections in foreign ports (port State control) in Title 5 is based on existing maritime Conventions, in particular Convention No. 147 – the Merchant Shipping (Minimum Standards) Convention, 1976 and the Conventions adopted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the regional port State control agreements (PSC MOU). However, the MLC, 2006 builds upon them to develop a more effective approach to these important issues, consistent with other international maritime Conventions that establish standards for quality shipping with respect to issues such as ship safety and security and protection of the marine environment. One of the most innovative aspects of the MLC, 2006, as far as ILO Conventions are concerned, is the certification of seafarers‘ living and working conditions on board ships.
A6. What are the subjects of the “Titles”?
The Regulations of the MLC, 2006 and the Standards (Part A) and Guidelines (Part B) in its Code are integrated and organized into general areas of concern 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
A7. Does the MLC, 2006 directly apply to shipowners, ships and seafarers?
The MLC, 2006 is an international legal instrument and does not, therefore, apply directly to shipowners, ships or seafarers. Instead like all international law, it relies on implementation by countries through their national laws or other measures [see A.8 What measures must a country take to ensure that the MLC, 2006 is properly applied?]. The national law or other measures would then apply to shipowners, seafarers and ships. The MLC, 2006 sets out the minimum standards that must be implemented by all countries that ratify it. These standards must be reflected in the national standards or requirements and are subject to the usual oversight role taken by the Committee of Experts under the ILO supervisory system (a system established under the Constitution of the ILO) (supervisory system (a system established under the Constitution of the ILO))
A8. What measures must a country take to ensure that the MLC, 2006 is properly applied?
Article IV, paragraph 5 of the MLC, 2006 provides that implementation of the seafarers‘ employment and social rights under the Convention may be achieved through national laws or regulations, through applicable collective bargaining agreements or through other measures or in practice, unless the Convention specifies otherwise by, for example, requiring countries to adopt national laws and regulations to implement certain provisions of the Convention.
Thus, each country is free to decide whether a particular MLC, 2006 provision should be contained in a law (such as an Act of Parliament or a Congress) or in a regulation or other subsidiary legislation, such as administrative orders or official marine notices. Or, a country may decide – in cases where the MLC, 2006 does not specifically require legislation – that certain matters could be dealt with better through other legal measures or through collective bargaining agreements. Or perhaps, where an MLC, 2006 provision essentially relates to action to be taken by the governments themselves, through internal administrative instructions. In some cases, a country might decide that no further legal measures need to be devised because, for example, a seafarer‘s rights under the MLC, 2006 is already adequately covered by the general law applied by the national courts.
A9. What is the Code of the MLC, 2006?
The MLC, 2006 is organized into three main parts: the Articles, coming first, set out the broad principles and obligations. The Articles are followed by the Regulations and the Code, which relate to the areas of seafarers‘ working and living conditions covered by the Convention and to inspection and compliance. The Regulations, which are written in very general terms, are complemented by the more detailed Code. The Code has two parts: Part A contains Standards and Part B Guidelines. The provisions in the Regulations and the Standards (Part A) and Guidelines (Part B) in the Code have been vertically integrated in the Convention: in other words, they have been arranged and linked together according to their subject matter: thus each of the Titles in the MLC, 2006 [see A6. What are the subjects of the ―Titles?] consists of various Regulations covering a particular aspect of the subject, each Regulation being followed first by the Part A Standards and then by the Part B Guidelines that relate to the same aspect.
A10. What is the difference between Articles, Regulations, Standards and Guidelines?
All the provisions of the MLC, 2006, whatever their name, must be complied with by ratifying countries or, in the case of its Guidelines, taken into consideration by them [see A12. What is the status of the Guidelines in Part B of the Code?]. The main difference between these provisions is that the Articles contain more general statements of principles, obligations and rights with the specific details set out in the Regulations and the Code. The Articles also contain provisions relating to the legal aspects of the operation and application of the Convention such as definitions, amendments and entry into force and the establishment of the Special Tripartite Committee under Article XIII. The difference between the Regulations and the Standards and Guidelines is that the Regulations are normally worded in very general terms, with the details of implementation being set out in the Code (i.e., the Standards and the Guidelines).
A11. What is a “substantially equivalent” provision?
The MLC, 2006 provides in Article VI, paragraphs 3 and 4, that in some circumstances a national provision implementing the rights and principles of the Convention in a manner different from that set out in Part A of the Code will be considered as ―substantially equivalent if the Member concerned ―satisfies itself that the relevant legislation or other implementing measure ―is conducive to the full achievement of the general object and purpose of the provision or provisions of Part A of the Code concerned and ―gives effect to the provision or provisions of Part A of the Code concerned. The Member's obligation is principally to ―satisfy itself, which nevertheless does not imply total autonomy, since it is incumbent on the authorities responsible for monitoring implementation at the national and international levels to determine not only whether the necessary procedure of ―satisfying themselves has been carried out, but also whether it has been carried out in good faith in such a way as to ensure that the objective of implementing the principles and rights set out in the Regulations is adequately achieved in some way other than that indicated in Part A of the Code. It is in this context that ratifying members should assess their national provisions from the point of view of substantial equivalence, identifying the general object and purpose of the MLC, 2006 Code, Part A provision concerned (in accordance with paragraph 4(a)) and determining whether or not the proposed national provision could, in good faith, be considered as giving effect to the Part A provision (as required by paragraph 4(b)). Any substantial equivalents that have been adopted must be stated in Part I of the declaration of maritime labour compliance that is carried on board ships that have been certified [see C5.1.k. How detailed should Part I of the declaration of maritime labour compliance (DMLC) be?].
A12. What is the status of the Guidelines in Part B of the Code?
Countries that ratify the MLC, 2006 must adopt national laws or take other measures to ensure that the principles and rights set out in the Regulations are implemented in the manner set out by the Standards set out in Part A of the Code (or in a substantially equivalent manner [see A11. What is a ―substantially equivalent provision?] When deciding on the details of their laws or other implementing measures [see A.8 What measures must a country take to ensure that the MLC, 2006 is properly applied?], the ratifying countries must give due consideration to following the Guidelines set out in Part B of the Code. Provided that they have given this due consideration, ratifying countries may implement the mandatory provisions in a different way, more suited to their national circumstances. In this case, the government concerned may be asked to explain to the ILO supervisory bodies why it has decided not to follow the guidance in Part B of the Code .A country‘s implementation of Part B will not be verified by port State inspectors.
A13. What was the reason for having the Part B Guidelines?
The special status given to Part B of the Code [see A12. What is the status of the Guidelines in Part B of the Code?] is based on the idea of firmness on principles and rights combined with flexibility in the way those principles and rights are implemented. Without this innovation, the MLC, 2006 could never aspire to wide-scale ratification: many of the provisions of existing maritime labour Conventions, which relate to the method of implementing basic seafarers' rights (rather than to the content of those rights), have been transferred to the non-mandatory Part B Guidelines of the Code as their placement in the mandatory Regulations and Part A (Standards) could have resulted in clear obstacles to ratification.
A14. What is the status of the 2008 ILO Guidelines, for flag State inspections and port State control officers?
The two sets of Guidelines, adopted in 2008, the Guidelines for flag State inspections under the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 11 and the Guidelines for port State control officers carrying out inspections under the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 12 provide authoritative guidance since they were prepared by tripartite meetings of experts to assist countries to implement Title 5 of the MLC, 2006. But they do not have any special legal status. They should not be confused with the Guidelines found in Part B of the Code of the MLC, 2006, which must be given due consideration by ratifying countries [see A12. What is the status of the Guidelines in Part B of the Code?].
International guidelines, as well as the related national flag State inspection and certification systems and national guidelines for flag State inspectors, are important aspects of implementation of the MLC, 2006 and essential to ensuring widespread harmonized implementation of the MLC, 2006.
A15. Does the MLC, 2006 require countries to comply with the ILO’s “fundamental Conventions”?
The ILO's Governing Body has identified eight international labour Conventions as ―fundamental, covering subjects that are considered as fundamental principles and rights at work: freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining; the elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labour; the effective abolition of child labour; and the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation. These Conventions are listed in the Preamble to the MLC, 2006. Countries that ratify the MLC, 2006 are required, under Article III, to satisfy themselves that the provisions of their national legislation respect those fundamental rights, in the context of the MLC, 2006. They are not however required by the MLC, 2006 to observe the provisions of the fundamental Conventions themselves or to report to the ILO on the measures they have taken to give effect to those Conventions. Countries that have ratified the fundamental Conventions are, of course, in any event obliged to report to the ILO on the measures that they have taken to give effect to their obligations under those Conventions in all the sectors of work, including the maritime sector.
A16. How does the MLC, 2006 make it easier for countries to ratify it and to implement its requirements?
Both the Constitution of the ILO (ILO Constitution) 13 and many ILO Conventions seek to take account of national circumstances and provide for some flexibility in the application of Conventions, with a view to gradually improving protection of workers, by taking into account the specific situation in some sectors and the diversity of national circumstances. Flexibility is usually based on principles of tripartism, transparency and accountability. When flexibility with respect to a Convention is exercised by a government it usually involves consultation with the workers' and employers' organizations concerned, with any determinations that are made reported to the ILO by the government concerned. This is seen as a necessary and important approach to ensuring that all countries, irrespective of national circumstances, can engage with the international legal system and that international obligations are respected and implemented, to the extent possible, while also making efforts to improve conditions. This is particularly important for an international industry such as shipping. The MLC, 2006 generally follows this approach as well as also providing for additional flexibility, relevant to the sector, at a national level. The Convention seeks to be ―firm on rights and flexible on implementation. A major obstacle to the ratification of existing maritime labour Conventions is the excessive detail in many of them. The MLC, 2006 sets out the basic rights of seafarers to decent work in firm statements, but leaves a large measure of flexibility to ratifying countries as to how they will implement these standards for decent work in their national laws.
The areas of flexibility in the MLC, 2006 include the following:
- unless specified otherwise in the Convention, national implementation may be achieved in a variety of different ways, and not necessarily through legislation [see A.8 What measures must a country take to ensure that the MLC, 2006 is properly applied?];
- many of the details in existing Conventions which had created difficulties for some governments interested in ratifying the Convention have been placed in Part B of the Code [see A12. What is the status of the Guidelines in Part B of the Code?];
- in certain circumstances, implementation of the mandatory standards in Part A of the Code (other than Title 5) may also be achieved through measures which are ―substantially equivalent [see A11. What is a ―substantially equivalent provision?];
- in certain circumstances, the application of details in the Code may be relaxed for some smaller ships – less than 200 gross tonnage (GT) that do not go on international voyages [see B7. Can a ratifying country make exemptions from certain provisions of the MLC, 2006?];
- while all ships covered by the Convention must be inspected for compliance with its requirements [see C5.1.g. Must all ships be inspected?], flag State administrations are not required to certify ships less than 500 GT unless the shipowner concerned requests certification [see C5.1.j. Must all ships be certified under Regulation 5.1.3?];
- the MLC, 2006 expressly recognizes that some flag States may make use of recognized organizations such as classification societies to carry out aspects of the ship inspection and certification system on their behalf [see C5.1.b. Can a flag State delegate its responsibilities?];
A17. Is the MLC, 2006 already applicable?
The MLC, 2006 is not yet binding under international law for the countries that have ratified it. Under Article VIII, it will enter into force12 months after the date on which there have been registered ratifications by at least 30 Members of the ILO with a total share in the world gross tonnage of ships of at least 33 per cent. This is a higher than the usual ratification level (for ILO Conventions), and intended to assure greater actual impact. It reflects the fact that the enforcement and compliance system established under the Convention needs widespread international cooperation in order to be effective. Since many of the obligations under the Convention are directed to shipowners and flag States it is important that ILO Members with a strong maritime interest ratify the Convention. As of January 2012 the MLC, 2006 has been ratified by  countries representing more than  per cent of the world gross tonnage of ships although seven more ratifications are needed to trigger entry into force 12 months later, numerous private sector actors and countries have moved forward ahead of the international legal situation and have begun to inspect and, if required, certify ships.
A18. Why is the MLC, 2006 likely to achieve the aim of near universal ratification?
There are a number of indicators suggesting that near universal ratification will be achieved: one is the unprecedented vote in favour of the Convention. It was adopted by the International Labour Conference by a record vote of 314 in favour and none against (two countries (four votes) abstained for reasons unrelated to the substance of the Convention), after detailed review by over 1,000 participants drawn from 106 countries. This almost unprecedented level of support reflects the lengthy international tripartite consultation that took place between 2001 and 2006 and the unswerving support that had been shown by the governments and workers and employers who worked together since 2001 to develop the Convention text. It has been designed to achieve near universal ratification because of its blend of firmness on rights and flexibility with respect to approaches to implementation of the more technical requirements and because of the advantages it gives to the ships of countries that ratify it. Finally, the ships of ratifying countries that provide decent working conditions for their seafarers will have an advantage as they will be protected against unfair competition from substandard ships [see A4. What is meant by the ―no more favorable treatment clause?]. By benefitting from a system of certification they will, henceforth, avoid or reduce the likelihood of lengthy delays related to inspections in foreign ports.
A19. What will happen to the maritime labour Conventions adopted before 2006?
The existing ILO maritime labour Conventions will be gradually phased out as countries that have ratified those Conventions ratify the MLC, 2006, but there will be a transitional period when some Conventions will be in force in parallel with the MLC, 2006. Countries that ratify the MLC, 2006 will no longer be bound by the existing Conventions when the MLC, 2006 comes into force for them. Countries that do not ratify the MLC, 2006 will remain bound by the existing Conventions they have ratified, but those Conventions will be closed to further ratification. Entry into force of the MLC, 2006 will not affect the four maritime Conventions that are not consolidated in the MLC, 2006 [see A20. Which ILO Conventions are consolidated in the MLC, 2006?]. They will remain binding on States that have ratified them irrespective of the MLC, 2006. The ILO maritime Conventions dealing with fishing and dock workers are also not affected by the MLC, 2006.
A20. Which ILO Conventions are consolidated in the MLC, 2006?
The 36 Conventions and one Protocol that are consolidated in the MLC, 2006 are listed in its Article X. This list consists of all the previous maritime Conventions, adopted since 1920, except the Convention addressing seafarers' identity documents of 2003 (Convention No. 185) and the 1958 Convention that it revises (Convention No. 108), as well as the Seafarers' Pension Convention, 1946 (No. 71) and the (outdated) Minimum Age (Trimmers and Stokers) Convention, 1921 (No. 15).
A21. How can the MLC, 2006 be updated?
The MLC, 2006 has two types of amendment procedures. Both types of amendment procedures – under Article XIV for the Convention as a whole, and Article XV for amendments only to the Code. The Article XIV express ratification procedure is close to the present ILO procedure for revising Conventions. The part of the Convention which is expected to need updating from time to time, namely the Code [see A9. What is the Code of the MLC, 2006?] relating to the technical and detailed implementation of the basic obligations under the Convention, can be amended under an accelerated procedure (―tacit acceptance) provided for in Article XV. This procedure, which is based to a certain extent on a procedure already well established in another agency of the United Nations, the International Maritime Organization (IMO), will enable changes to the Code to come into effect, for all or almost all ratifying countries, within three to four years from when they are proposed. This will result in a Convention that is kept more up to date than the existing ones. A ratifying Member will not be bound by an amendment to the Code entering into effect in accordance with Article XV of the Convention, if it expresses formal disagreement within a period of normally two years.
A22. What is the Special Tripartite Committee?
Article XIII of the MLC, 2006 provides for the establishment of a Special Tripartite Committee by the ILO‘s Governing Body. The mandate of this Committee is to ―keep the working of this Convention under continuous review. The Committee will consist of two representatives nominated by the Government of each country that has ratified the Convention, and the representatives of Shipowners and Seafarers appointed by the Governing Body after consultation with the ILO‘s Joint Maritime Commission (JMC). The Committee has an important role with respect to amendments to the Code [see A9. What is the Code of the MLC, 2006?]. If faults are identified in the working of the Convention, or if the Convention needs to be updated, the Special Tripartite Committee will, in accordance with Article XV of the Convention, have the power to adopt amendments [see A21. How can the MLC, 2006 be updated?]. The Committee will also play an important consultative role under Article VII for countries that do not have shipowners‘ or seafarers‘ organizations to consult when implementing the MLC, 2006.
A23. What is the status of the Preamble and the Explanatory Note in the MLC, 2006?
The Preamble to the MLC, 2006, like preambles in other international instruments provides information regarding the aspiration and intentions of the drafters of the Convention, however the preamble does not contain any binding legal obligations. The Explanatory Note to the Regulations and Code of the Maritime Labour Convention, which is placed after the Articles, is also not binding but is there, as its title suggests, to provide an explanation that will help countries to better understand the relationship between the differing parts of the Convention and the nature of the obligations under each part of the MLC, 2006
A24. What is meant by the term “Member”?
The Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC, 2006) like other ILO legal instruments uses the terms ―member or ―each member throughout the MLC, 2006. The terms are used by the International Labour Organization (ILO) to refer to countries that are members of the ILO. In the context of this Convention a reference to ―Member or ―Each Member should be understood as referring to countries that have ratified the Convention, unless the Convention clearly refers to ―any Member of the Organization (as in paragraph 2 of Article XV, for example).
A25. Who is the competent authority?
The MLC, 2006 defines the term ―competent authority in Article II, paragraph 1(a) as ―the minister, government department or other authority having power to issue and enforce regulations, orders or other instructions having the force of law in respect of the subject matter of the provision concerned. It is a term used to indicate the department(s) of a government with responsibility for implementing the MLC, 2006. Practices could vary between countries and often more than one department or agency (e.g., labour or maritime or social security) could be involved in implementing aspects of the MLC, 2006 in a country and could therefore be the ―competent authority for the particular issue.