The ILO Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 ("MLC
2006"), which was ratified by the United Kingdom on 7
August 2013, has been extended to the Cayman Islands and will enter
into force on 7 August 2014.
MLC 2006 came into force internationally on 20 August 2013 (the
"Commencement Date") for the 30
countries which ratified MLC 2006 on or before 20 August
2012. MLC 2006 is important because it creates a level
playing field for ship owners and seafarers. It addresses a
number of issues including, minimum age, ship owners'
obligations in relation to seafarers' contractual arrangements,
oversight of manning agencies, working hours and hours of rest,
health and safety, repatriation, crew accommodation, catering
standards and the welfare of seafarers generally. As a
result, it has become widely referred to as the
"seafarers' bill of rights".
Under MLC 2006, each ship will be required to carry a Maritime
Labour Certificate which should be issued to the ship by its
relevant flag state, following a satisfactory inspection for
compliance with MLC 2006. In addition, there is a separate
requirement for ship owners to prepare and maintain Part II of a
Declaration of Maritime Labour Compliance
("DMLC") identifying the measures to be
adopted by the ship owner to ensure compliance with the
requirements of MLC 2006 in respect of each ship. Part I of
the DMLC is to be prepared by the relevant flag state and should
set out details of the requirements to be met in order to ensure
compliance with MLC 2006 standards. The Maritime Labour
Certificate is prima facie evidence that the ship complies
with the requirements of the MLC 2006, to the extent set out in the
DMLC. Both the Maritime Labour Certificate and the DMLC are
subject to Port State Control inspection. Port State Control
enforcement of requirements under MLC 2006 is expected to commence
in earnest in August 2014.
Although MLC 2006 was not in force in the Cayman Islands on the
Commencement Date, the Cayman Islands Shipping Registry
("CISR") has been in full compliance
with the requirements of MLC 2006 since that date. As a
result, all Cayman flagged ships which were required by MLC 2006 to
be certified by the Commencement Date were inspected and issued
with Statements of Maritime Labour Compliance prior to that
date. In fact, the CISR has almost completed the inspection
of the entire Cayman Islands fleet ahead of the August 2014
international deadline imposed by MLC 2006. Once MLC 2006
comes into force in the Cayman Islands, Statements of Maritime
Labour Compliance issued by the CISR will be exchanged for Maritime
Labour Certificates. MLC 2006 compliance is already a
standard part of the process whenever a ship joins the Cayman
As at the date of publication of this update, 56 countries have
ratified MLC 2006. With this extension to the Cayman Islands,
the jurisdiction's shipping industry is closer to the goals set
by the International Labour Organisation in 2006; and MLC 2006
continues to have strong support from the maritime industry
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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