Marine Management System

Maritime Labour Convention (MLC 2006)

ILO Maritime Labour Convention, 2006

The ILO Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC 2006) was internationally entered into force on 20 August 2013 after the required number of countries ratified the convention on 20 August 2012. For those Member States who had not ratified the Convention by 20 August 2012, the Convention will come into force 12 months after the individual State ratifies the Convention.

The Convention applies to all ships. Every ship of 500 GT or more that is engaged in international voyages or operates from a port or between two ports of another Member State must be certificated in accordance with MLC 2006. Class ARS has already undertaken inspections and issue MLC 2006 certificates as Recognised Organization acting on behalf of Flag Authorities. MLC 2006 Certificate must be attached by a Declaration of Maritime Labour Compliance (DMLC). DMLC Part I is issued from the Administration. DMLC Part II is verified and endorsed from HRS on behalf of Flag Authorities.

The ships which are not obliged to be certified, must on the other hand implement MLC 2006 and  be in a position to prove proper implementation. Administrations must verify compliance for all the same requirements as a certified ship. The shipowners of these ships are encouraged to either proceed to voluntary certification or apply to Class ARS for a Maritime Labour Compliance Statement issuance.

MLC 2006 (The Regulations and the Code) is organized into general areas under five Titles:

Title 1. Minimum requirements for seafarers to work on a ship
Title 2. Conditions of employment
Title 3. Accommodation, recreational facilities, food and catering
Title 4. Health protection, medical care, welfare and social security protection
Title 5. Compliance and enforcement

Each Title contains groups of provisions related to a particular right or principle (or enforcement measure in Title 5), with connected numbering. The first group in Title 1, for example, consists of Regulation 1.1, Standard A1.1 and Guideline B1.1, related to minimum age.
The Convention has three underlying purposes:
(a) to lay down, in its Articles and Regulations, a firm set of rights and principles;
(b) to allow, through the Code, a considerable degree of flexibility in the way Members implement those rights and principles; and
(c)  to ensure, through Title 5, that the rights and principles are properly complied with and enforced.

This Convention revises a large number of ILO Conventions

  • Minimum Age (Sea) Convention, 1920 (No. 7)
  • Unemployment Indemnity (Shipwreck) Convention, 1920 (No. 8)
  • Placing of Seamen Convention, 1920 (No. 9)
  • Medical Examination of Young Persons (Sea) Convention, 1921 (No. 16)
  • Seamen’s Articles of Agreement Convention, 1926 (No. 22)
  • Repatriation of Seamen Convention, 1926 (No. 23)
  • Officers’ Competency Certificates Convention, 1936 (No. 53)
  • Holidays with Pay (Sea) Convention, 1936 (No. 54)
  • Shipowners’ Liability (Sick and Injured Seamen) Convention, 1936 (No. 55)
  • Sickness Insurance (Sea) Convention, 1936 (No. 56)
  • Hours of Work and Manning (Sea) Convention, 1936 (No. 57)
  • Minimum Age (Sea) Convention (Revised), 1936 (No. 58)
  • Food and Catering (Ships’ Crews) Convention, 1946 (No. 68)
  • Certification of Ships’ Cooks Convention, 1946 (No. 69)
  • Social Security (Seafarers) Convention, 1946 (No. 70)
  • Paid Vacations (Seafarers) Convention, 1946 (No. 72)
  • Medical Examination (Seafarers) Convention, 1946 (No. 73)
  • Certification of Able Seamen Convention, 1946 (No. 74)
  • Accommodation of Crews Convention, 1946 (No. 75)
  • Wages, Hours of Work and Manning (Sea) Convention, 1946 (No. 76)
  • Paid Vacations (Seafarers) Convention (Revised), 1949 (No. 91)
  • Accommodation of Crews Convention (Revised), 1949 (No. 92)
  • Wages, Hours of Work and Manning (Sea) Convention (Revised), 1949 (No. 93)
  • Wages, Hours of Work and Manning (Sea) Convention (Revised), 1958 (No. 109)
  • Accommodation of Crews (Supplementary Provisions) Convention, 1970 (No. 133)
  • Prevention of Accidents (Seafarers) Convention, 1970 (No. 134)
  • Continuity of Employment (Seafarers) Convention, 1976 (No. 145)
  • Seafarers’ Annual Leave with Pay Convention, 1976 (No. 146)
  • Merchant Shipping (Minimum Standards) Convention, 1976 (No. 147)
  • Protocol of 1996 to the Merchant Shipping (Minimum Standards) Convention,1976 (No. 147)
  • Seafarers’ Welfare Convention, 1987 (No. 163)
  • Health Protection and Medical Care (Seafarers) Convention, 1987 (No. 164)
  • Social Security (Seafarers) Convention (Revised), 1987 (No. 165)
  • Repatriation of Seafarers Convention (Revised), 1987 (No. 166)
  • Labour Inspection (Seafarers) Convention, 1996 (No. 178)
  • Recruitment and Placement of Seafarers Convention, 1996 (No. 179)
  • Seafarers’ Hours of Work and the Manning of Ships Convention, 1996 (No. 180).

The working and living conditions of seafarers that must be inspected and approved by the flag State before certifying a ship in accordance with Standard A5.1.3,paragraph 1 of the MLC Code:

  • Minimum age
  • Medical certification
  • Qualifications of seafarers
  • Seafarers’ employment agreements
  • Use of any licensed or certified or regulated private recruitment and placement service
  • Hours of work or rest
  • Manning levels for the ship
  • Accommodation
  • On-board recreational facilities
  • Food and catering
  • Health and safety and accident prevention
  • On-board medical care
  • On-board complaint procedures
  • Payment of wages


Download MLC 2006 Convention here.

Download Amendments of 2014 to the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 here.