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 Reporter September 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

Decade Old India Shipping Summit Makes History

In ten years, India Shipping Summit held consistently in Mumbai, has sailed on a robust growth course despite the worldwide witnessing recessionary waves buffeting any endeavors to grow and gain.

Liebherr to Deliver RTGs to Mayotte and Manila

Liebherr confirms orders for variable speed RTGs and electric RTGs. DPWorld Asian Terminals Inc. has placed an order with Liebherr Container Cranes for a further 5 RTGs at its Manila facility.

U.S. Navy Contracts 12 Rapid Response Skimmers

Kvichak Marine won a US Navy contract for 12 30-ft.Rapid Response Skimmers (RRS) for delivery over the next 18 months, with options for up to 30 additional skimmers to be delivered through 2019.

Ports

UN: Ship Inspections near Somalia for Arms, Charcoal

The United Nations Security Council authorized the inspection of boats suspected of carrying illegal shipments of charcoal or weapons to and from Somalia on Friday,

UN Authorizes Ship Inspections Near Somalia For Arms, Charcoal

The United Nations Security Council authorized the inspection of boats suspected of carrying illegal shipments of charcoal or weapons to and from Somalia on Friday,

Liebherr to Deliver RTGs to Mayotte and Manila

Liebherr confirms orders for variable speed RTGs and electric RTGs. DPWorld Asian Terminals Inc. has placed an order with Liebherr Container Cranes for a further 5 RTGs at its Manila facility.

News

Decade Old India Shipping Summit Makes History

In ten years, India Shipping Summit held consistently in Mumbai, has sailed on a robust growth course despite the worldwide witnessing recessionary waves buffeting any endeavors to grow and gain.

USCG to Ensure Safety During World Series

The Coast Guard and local agencies are working to ensure the safety of boaters and baseball fans during World Series games at AT&T Park this weekend. The

Areva-Siemens Raises Claim Over Finnish Reactor Delays

The French-German consortium Areva-Siemens , the supplier of Finland's much-delayed Olkiluoto-3 nuclear reactor, has increased its claim against Finnish utility Teollisuuden Voima (TVO),

Maritime Safety

USCG to Ensure Safety During World Series

The Coast Guard and local agencies are working to ensure the safety of boaters and baseball fans during World Series games at AT&T Park this weekend. The

Navy to Commission Submarine North Dakota

The Navy will commission its newest attack submarine North Dakota, during a ceremony Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014, at Submarine Base New London in Groton, Connecticut.

UN: Ship Inspections near Somalia for Arms, Charcoal

The United Nations Security Council authorized the inspection of boats suspected of carrying illegal shipments of charcoal or weapons to and from Somalia on Friday,

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Security Naval Architecture Pod Propulsion Port Authority Ship Repair Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | 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: 0.3928 sec (3 req/sec)