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MLC 2006
What is MLC 2006?
The Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC 2006) is an international labour convention, adopted by the International Labour Organization (ILO). It is in full force as from 20 August 2013.


The MLC 2006 applies to all ships, whether publicly or privately owned, engaged in commercial activities. The MLC 2006 does not apply to:
-    ships that navigate exclusively in inland waters or waters within, or closely adjacent to sheltered waters or areas where port regulations apply;
-    ships engaged in fishing in similar pursuits and ships of traditional build such as dhows and junks;
-    warships or naval auxiliaries.

The MLC 2006 applies to all seafarers on all shipis covered by the MLC 2006. That’s why this new convention is of great importance and that’s why it is called “the 4th pillar” in the international maritime regulations. The other three “pillars” are SOLAS, MARPOL and STCW.


Certification applies to ships of:
(a) 500 GT or over, engaged in international voyages; and  
(b) 500 GT or over, flying the flag of a Member and operating from a port, or between ports, in another country.
“international voyage” means a voyage from a country to a port outside such a country.

Ship inspection and certification

Generally, the ship must be certified for compliance with the requirements for the 14 areas of seafarers’ working and living conditions set out in the convention:
1.    Minimum age
2.    Medical certification
3.    Qualification of seafarers
4.    Seafarers’ employment agreements
5.    Use of any licensed or certified or regulated private recruitment and placement service
6.    Hours of work or rest
7.    Manning levels for the ship
8.    Accommodation
9.    On-board recreational facilities
10.    Food and catering
11.    Health and safety and accident prevention
12.    On-board medical care
13.    On-board complaint procedures
14.    Payment of wages

A Flag State must also verify that its ships meet all MLC 2006 requirements, even if the requirement is not the one that must be certified. For ships that do not have to be certified, the Flag State must still verify compliance for all the same requirements as a certified ship.
The documents that are issued by the Flag State, or by an authorized RO, are the:
•    Maritime Labour Certificate (MLC)
and a
•    Declaration of Maritime Labour Compliance (DMLC).

The DMLC has two parts:
DMLC Part I:
Shall be drawn up by the Flag State   
•    List of matters to be inspected in accordance with the 14 items
•    Reference to the relevant national requirements
•    Refer to ship-type specific requirements under national legislation
•    Record any substantially equivalent provisions
•    Record exemption granted by the Flag State  
Shall be drawn up by the shipowner   
•    Measures for compliance with the convention and national requirements
•    Measures to ensure ongoing compliance and continuous improvement