The Maritime Labour Convention (2006) provides comprehensive rights and protection at work for seafarers. The MLC forms the fourth pillar of international maritime regulation together with SOLAS, STCW and MARPOL. The MLC is often referred to as “The Seafarer’s Bill of Rights” and defines the requirements and conditions for the employment of seafarers on commercial yachts. The convention consists of five titles:
The MLC came into force on 20th August 2013, 12 months after reaching the required milestone of being ratified by 33% of the worlds gross tonnage and 30 countries.
The MLC applies to vessels ordinarily engaged in trade (Commercial Yachts) operating under the flag of a country that has ratified the MLC, or if the vessel is operating in the waters of a country that has ratified the MLC. The Convention does not apply to:
Pleasure Yachts are not subject to the MLC unless they choose to voluntarily comply with the convention.
Sarnia are audited annually by Lloyds Register and registered with the States of Guernsey to provide MLC-compliant employment and payroll services to any yacht requiring dedicated support.
These services can be provided to owners of yachts flagged in a wide range of jurisdictions. We have pre-approved Seafarer Employment Agreements (SEAs) for most flag states and can offer initial and ongoing MLC support if required.
As part of our crew employment and payroll service we undertake a full assessment of each yacht’s safe manning requirements and cross check these against the current qualifications held by the crew. Sarnia will prepare a report for the owner, along with any recommendations to ensure all safe manning requirements are met.
Each country ratifying the MLC must ensure its legislation meets or exceeds the minimum requirements set out in the text of the MLC. The maritime administration of each ratifying country will usually produce clear guidance and regulations for employers and seafarers to understand their rights under the MLC and flag state's legislation.
An MLC compliant Seafarer Employment Agreement (“SEA”) will detail the most common rights applicable to seafarers and employers.
Copies of the MLC text and other MLC related procedures and regulations should be made available for seafarers to read on-board. Copies may also be downloaded from our website here:
A few points to note about the MLC: