In May 2013, the Committee of the Paris Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control (Paris MoU) adopted amendments to the Memorandum to include the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC) as a relevant instrument. This makes the MLC requirements officially subject to port state control (PSC), with the potential for more detailed inspections, expanded inspections and the possibility of detention in serious cases of non-compliance or where hazardous conditions exist.
What this means for PSC inspections in the Paris MoU region
Members of the Paris MoU who ratified the MLC on or before 20 August, 2012, are entitled to conduct PSC inspections including the MLC requirements from 20 August, 2013. The following states will start to inspect MLC requirements as part of PSC inspections: Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Latvia, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, the Russian Federation, Spain and Sweden.
Members of the Paris MoU who have ratified the MLC after 20 August, 2012, will be entitled to inspect MLC requirements as part of port state control 12 months after the date of ratification. Until this time, these states will continue to inspect against the requirements of ILO Convention 147 (the Merchant Shipping (Minimum Standards) Convention, 1976) and the Protocol of 1996 to this Convention.
Through Resolution XVII, the ILO invited member States of the Paris MoU to take a pragmatic approach to allowing ships to operate without a Maritime Labour Certificate (and Declaration of Maritime Labour Compliance) for a period of one year commencing 20 August, 2013. Despite this, some states have indicated they will take a robust approach to inspections with respect to the MLC.
Ships from non-ratifying states should not receive any more favourable treatment than ships from states that have ratified the MLC. Ships from non-ratifying states will receive a more detailed inspection to ensure compliance with the MLC.