New Laws Could Mean North Sea Vessel Detentions

Posted by Michelle Howard
Thursday, August 07, 2014
Katie Williams

North Sea supply vessels and support ships could be detained in port if they are found to be failing to comply with a new maritime law which today comes into effect in the U.K., a legal expert has warned.

The Maritime Labor Convention (MLC) is an international agreement which safeguards the employment rights, working conditions and health care of seafarers working across the globe. The Convention applies to seagoing commercial ships and holds ship owners responsible for ensuring seafarers receive basic levels of pay, sick pay, holiday entitlement and medical care.

While most U.K. operators are already compliant with MLC criteria, some vessels operating in the North Sea and others navigating through U.K. waters under other national flags may not adhere to the same standards.

Katie Williams, a shipping and maritime law specialist at Pinsent Masons in Aberdeen, said in such cases the U.K.’s enforcement body, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, could order the detention of ships docking at Aberdeen Harbor and other U.K. ports.

She said, “The Maritime Labor Convention consolidates what has been in place in the U.K. for some years, but a major change is that for the first time it has an enforcement mechanism with real ‘teeth’.

“Many shipping companies and charterers have invested significant time and effort in trying to ensure that they will comply with the new regime, however the Maritime and Coastguard Agency will be looking to set down a marker that they intend to rigorously apply the new laws.

“It would be a nightmare scenario for a boat which is chartered at thousands of pounds a day to be detained in port, but it is feasible that in extreme circumstances this could happen.”

Sixty three nations have signed up to the MLC and so far maritime authorities have ordered vessel detentions in at least 10 cases involving ships in Canada, Denmark, the Russian Federation and Spain, which were sailing under the flags of Cyprus, Liberia, the Netherlands, Panama and Tanzania.

There is also a risk that British-flagged vessels could face detention in foreign ports where a complaint has been made by a crew member and local port authorities have taken a different interpretation of the Convention.

“There is a possibility that a vessel which would be viewed as compliant in the U.K. is detained in a foreign port in circumstances in which we would find difficult to understand and this could lead to expensive delays,” Williams said.

Pinsent Masons also warned that while the Convention does protect seafarers and makes owners and operators more accountable, it also opens up another avenue for complaints to be lodged.

Williams added, “Traditionally grievances or disputes over wages or other working terms would have been a private employment issue between seafarer and employer, but this law creates a new and specific complaints procedure which can be directed squarely at ship owners or operators who will face the same obligations as the employer.

“The MLC is something of a revolution in seafarer’s employment rights and ship owners and vessel operators should seek specialist advice on existing contractual and commercial relationships and new obligations they must now address.”
 

Maritime Today


The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter May 2016 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

NASSCO Lays Keel for Jones Act Tanker Liberty

U.S. shipbuilder General Dynamics NASSCO hosted a keel laying ceremony on Thursday, May 26 for the Liberty, one of three new ECO Class Jones Act tankers under a

DSC Dredge Receives President’s E-Star Award

DSC Dredge, LLC, based in Reserve, La., has received the 2016 President’s “E-Star” Award for exports.   In a ceremony held on May 16, 2016, at the U.S. Department

TT Club Reports Robust Financial Results for 2015

TT Club has announced its financial results for the year ended December 31, 2015, and AM Best affirms its A- (Excellent) rating for the 10th consecutive year.   Knud Pontoppidan,

Legal

Portugal PM Warns Lisbon Dock Workers to End Strike

Portugal's prime minister warned Lisbon dock workers on Friday that his patience was running out after a strike that has lasted a month, paralysing the city's ports.

Gender Identity Spat Sinks Spending Bill

The rancorous political debate over sexual identity unexpectedly prompted the Republican-controlled House of Representatives to rejected an energy and water spending

Hercules Offshore Filing for Bankruptcy Again

Hercules Offshore Inc said it planned to file for prepackaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy, just six months after the rig contractor emerged from bankruptcy protection.

Ports

Portugal PM Warns Lisbon Dock Workers to End Strike

Portugal's prime minister warned Lisbon dock workers on Friday that his patience was running out after a strike that has lasted a month, paralysing the city's ports.

Gender Identity Spat Sinks Spending Bill

The rancorous political debate over sexual identity unexpectedly prompted the Republican-controlled House of Representatives to rejected an energy and water spending

Asia-N.Europe Box Freight Rates Soar 37 pct

Freight rates for shipping containers from ports in Asia to Northern Europe jumped 37 percent to $720 per 20-foot container (TEU) in the week ending on Friday,

News

US Hospital Ship Aids South Korean Sailor

A U.S. hospital ship conducted a medical evacuation, or “medevac”, May 27 to assist an ailing Republic of Korea sailor aboard a Republic of Korea Navy (ROK-N) submarine.

Details El Faro's Sinking Emerge from US Probe

U.S. investigators on Friday concluded two weeks of hearings into the sinking of cargo ship El Faro in a hurricane last fall that included reports the vessel had

NASSCO Lays Keel for Jones Act Tanker Liberty

U.S. shipbuilder General Dynamics NASSCO hosted a keel laying ceremony on Thursday, May 26 for the Liberty, one of three new ECO Class Jones Act tankers under a

Maritime Safety

US Hospital Ship Aids South Korean Sailor

A U.S. hospital ship conducted a medical evacuation, or “medevac”, May 27 to assist an ailing Republic of Korea sailor aboard a Republic of Korea Navy (ROK-N) submarine.

IACS Recommendations for Emergency Response

Following a further round of discussions on 'Places of Refuge' at the IMO last week, prompted by a submission from the EU Member States, the European Commission,

P&I Club warns on Enclosed Space Entry & Testing

The London P&I Club says it continues to see cases of injuries and fatalities associated with entry into enclosed onboard spaces, including cargo holds on bulk

Crewboats

Seacat Services Secures Burbo Bank Charter Deal

DONG Energy has awarded  offshore energy support vessel operator Seacat Services with the supply contract for all crew transfer services at its 258MW Burbo Bank

Østensjø Rederi Orders Another Wind Farm Vessel

Rolls-Royce has signed a contract with shipyard Astilleros Gondan in Spain to design and equip a second Service Operation Vessel for ship owner Østensjø Rederi.

Incat Crowther Designs Fast Crewboat for CMS

Construction is underway for the second 70m Catamaran crew boat sister ship to the Muslim Magomayev, designed by Incat Crowther. Muslim Magomayev is a first-of-type

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Port Authority Salvage Ship Simulators Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1406 sec (7 req/sec)