International classification society Bureau Veritas has moved ahead of the Maritime Labor Convention 2006 and set up a system to audit and certify manning agencies for seafarers.
"Shipowners and managers need to be able to demonstrate they are working with properly run seafarer recruitment and manning offices," explained Claude Maillot, director, ships in service, Bureau Veritas. "When the Maritime Labour Convention comes into force it will be a requirement for organizations recruiting and placing seafarers to conform to the standards set down. We have had a Code for Approved Seafarer Manning Offices since 1998, and building on that experience and the requirements of the MLC 2006 we have now launched a new service for the assessment of Seafarer Recruitment and Placement Systems (Seafarer Manning Offices). It will enable the best manning agencies to demonstrate their readiness for the MLC implementation, and will help owners and managers to ensure they get the right crews."
The Standard for Quality Management System of Seafarer Manning Offices is available in BV Guidance Note N° 6001. This Guidance Note provides that an Attestation of Compliance may be issued to the Seafarer Manning Office after satisfactory assessment of the quality system and confirmation that the requirements of the BV standard have been met. Copies of the standard are downloadable from www.veristar.com.
Bureau Veritas has already issued its first Statement of Compliance under the MLC to Danish shipowner Herning Shipping a.s. Issuance of a Statement of Compliance comes after a thorough review and inspection, in line with the requirements of the convention.