Maritime & Coastguard Agency issues MLC Guidance

The UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has issued a Marine Guidance Note providing stakeholders with guidance on the five titles of the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) 2006 and the regulations applying to UK ships.

The purpose of this Marine Guidance Notice is to explain the UK’s understanding of key terms used in the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC).The UK intends to implement the MLC fully and without departing from the intention of those who drafted the Convention.

In transposing the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC) into UK law, it has been necessary to make some changes to the exact words used in the Convention text, in order to achieve the results intended by the Convention. This includes the wording used for some of the definitions – quoted from the Merchant Shipping (Maritime Labour Convention) (Survey and Certification) Regulations 2013.

This has caused some confusion, with some readers believing that because the words have changed, the UK legislation must mean something different from the MLC. This is not the case. The MLC text had to be in a form that was agreeable to representatives from many countries and so was not written with the UK legal system in mind. It is therefore not always as clear or precise as UK law demands. Any changes made to the wording of definitions from the MLC have been made in order to ensure that the UK legislation can be enforced as the drafters of the MLC intended.



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