ICS launches third edition of guidelines on MLC

The new book includes MLC updates on mandatory arrangements for crew welfare. Credit: ICS

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has launched the third edition of its book, Guidelines on the application of the ILO Maritime Labour Convention, which covers amendments made to Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) that entered into force since 2013.

The new book includes MLC updates on mandatory arrangements for owners to cover any potential costs of seafarer abandonment, measures to prevent harassment and bullying, changes to employment agreements to address piracy, and new ICS and International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) welfare guidelines. The section on welfare provision has been fully updated in line with increasing digitalisation and the changes in technology that affect the seafarer’s workplace.

“The new guidelines provide a framework to help all involved in the industry understand how the MLC works. They help companies develop their own MLC standards and incorporate them in their working practices,” said Natalie Shaw, director of employment affairs at ICS. “It is strongly recommended that every master should have a copy of the updated guidelines on board and companies should also have copies in their shore-based offices.”

A copy of the full MLC guidelines and a number of other useful documents are included to help shipowners meet the requirement to carry a copy of the convention on board. In addition, the book includes information on common issues arising from the inspection processes and procedures used by various Port State Control (PSC) authorities.

ICS said the book is useful for “anyone involved with the employment of seafarers, including shipping companies, ship managers, and crewing agents”, adding that it is of particular use to chief executives, senior managers, masters, and senior officers serving on board, as well as for DPAs.