When we think of regulations in 2014, the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006, or MLC, jumps to mind. Over the past 12 months, The Crew Report covered various aspects of the complex convention:
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) released a Marine Information Note (MIN) on substantially equivalent accommodation for superyachts under the MLC. Read the story here.
Crew financial security has been improved as a result of the MLC. Read the story here.
2014 has not, however, been solely about MLC.
The IMO is developing a draft Polar Code of mandatory safety practices for vessels cruising in polar waters. Read the story here.
Those in the regatta circuit were met with the news of the ban of elastic and wool bands for spinnaker hoists. Read the story here.
We approached seafarers’ union Nautilus International about how regulations had affected crew in 2014. For Andrew Linnington, head of communications at Nautilus International, the biggest regulatory topic of 2014 has been, without a doubt, the MLC. “The initial statistics from the first year of policing the MLC demonstrate the importance of the measure for the superyacht sector.
“From the inspection feedback that we have seen from Port State Control authorities, flag states and the International Transport Workers’ Federation with details of the results of inspections since the MLC came into effect in August last year, it is [easy] to find some recurring themes. Some of the most common problems uncovered during these checks have been deficient Seafarer Employment Agreements, late payment of wages, no risk assessments for noise, vibration and chemical handling, poor hours of work and rest records [and] lack of awareness of on-board complaints procedures.”
Linnington points towards the Isle of Man Ship Registry’s carrying out of 373 MLC inspections in the 12 months following its introduction and the fact that, of these, 152 vessels were found with deficiencies, and 33 of these were yachts. “We are very familiar with many of the problems that have been uncovered, but the convention now gives a firm framework in which to check for compliance,” says Linnington.
He adds, “It’s also interesting to note the recent comments from Morpho Luxury Asset Management about charter yachts over 500gt – even those chartered for only a couple of days a year – now being subject to the MLC. This shows the convention is becoming increasingly important in the sector.”
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