Seafarers protected under new MLC provisions for abandonment, death and long-term disability

19th January 2017

The latest amendments to the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC) require ship owners to have insurance to provide compensation to seafarers and their families in the case of abandonment, death or long-term disability due to an occupational injury, illness or hazard.

Under the new provisions, which came into force yesterday, ships whose flag states have ratified the MLC must carry mandatory certificates and other evidence on board to establish that a financial security system is in place.

Seafarers in danger of abandonment can contact the insurance company, which will cover up to four months’ outstanding wages and entitlements in line with the seafarer’s employment agreement, along with reasonable expenses such as repatriation, medical care, and food and drinking water (more information can be found here). The new requirement of the MLC is expected to prevent cases where seafarers remain stranded in port for long periods when ship owners abandon their crews without paying wages or repatriating them.

Payment of outstanding claims to seafarers or their families in cases of death or long-term disability resulting from their employment will also be expedited.

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