Finally and just in the nick of time Stephen Hammond MP, the Minister for Shipping has announced that the UK has actually ratified the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC)!
It comes into force later this month!
Earlier this year there wereconcerns that if MLC 2006 was not ratified in time it could seriously affect the running of super yachts under Red Ensign registers.
Long bypassed by the super yacht industry it was not until the realisation that much of it would be significantly affected the industry can now at last give a sigh of relief.
The MLC 2006 covers such matters as:
- Health and welfare
- Port state control
- Seafarer employment terms and conditions
It consolidates and updates more than 68 international labour standards in the maritime sector, sets minimum standards for crew living and working conditions.
In a press statement the UK’s Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) said: “The ratification of the Maritime Labour Convention has been a lengthy process that involved a number of government departments including DWP, FCO and BIS alongside extensive contributions from the UK Chamber of Shipping, Nautilus International, the RMT union and other stakeholders. It presented us with the opportunity to update legislation.”
Mark Towl, vessel policy manager at the MCA, has stated “The UK Register has eight yachts over 500 tonnes that will need certification and 85 yachts under 500 tonnes that may apply for voluntary certification. We have set the sheltered water qualification for yachts in domestic voyages at 60 miles, which is larger than some other countries that have ratified. We have done this to reduce the burden on the operation of yachts on domestic voyages.”
The UK’s adoption has also been extended to include both Gibraltar and the Isle of Man, which has more than 100 large commercial yachts registered
Unlike those two registers which have been included with the UK ratification because they asked to be so, the Cayman Islands, by far the largest of super yacht registries, has yet to do the same.