20th August 2012:
MLC receives 30th ratification: Comes into force next year!
Today, the International Labour Organization received the 30th ratification of the Maritime Labour Convention 2006, paving the way for ILO MLC 2006 to come into force in exactly one year from today.

The Convention sets out seafarers' rights to decent conditions of work on a wide range of subjects, and aims to be globally applicable, easily understandable, readily updatable and uniformly enforced. It has been designed to become a global instrument known as the "fourth pillar" of the international regulatory regime for quality shipping, complementing the key Conventions of the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

The MLC will affect super-yachts in three key areas: increased accommodation and recreational facilities for crew, MLC substantial equivalence for The Large Yacht Codes in which provisions affecting yachts between 200-500gt have been proposed, and the arrival of the Seafarer Employment Agreement (SEA) for all seafarers working on commercial yachts, which will replace all existing employment contracts aboard.

Each State is tasked not only with ensuring that ships flying its flag meet the ‘decent work’ requirements set out in the Convention, but also with certifying that those ships comply with the requirements relating to labour conditions. There will also be a mechanism that records seafarers’ complaints, as well as a reporting mechanism that spots failures no matter where a ship travels.