Financial Security for Seafarers in Force - Global Trade Magazine
  January 25th, 2017 | Written by

Financial Security for Seafarers in Force

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  • New obligations under the Maritime Labor Convention require shipowners to have insurance to cover seafarers.
  • Treaty amendments are based on guidelines developed by a joint IMO/ILO working group.
  • Treaty amendments will provide better protection for seafarers and their families.

New obligations under the Maritime Labor Convention which require shipowners to have compulsory insurance to cover abandonment of seafarers, as well as claims for death or long-term disability of seafarers, came into force last week.

IMO Secretary General Kitack Lim welcomed that development on January 18.

The provision of financial security in case of abandonment of seafarers, and shipowners’ responsibilities for contractual claims for personal injury to, or death of seafarers is a standing agenda item for the International Maritime Organization’s legal committee.

The 2014 amendments to the Maritime Labor Convention, which comes under the auspices of the International Labor Organization (ILO), are based on guidelines which were developed by a joint IMO/ILO working group, which reported to both IMO’s legal committee and ILO’s governing bodies.

“These amendments, which will provide better protection for seafarers and their families,” said Lim “They are the fruit of successful collaboration between IMO and ILO to ensure better working conditions and better protection should things go wrong. I am very pleased to see these amendments enter into force today for the parties to the Maritime Labor Convention, all of which are also IMO member states.”

The 2014 amendments to the MLC 2006 require that a certificate or other documentary evidence of financial security has to be issued by the financial security provider of the shipowner. This certificate has to be carried on board the ship.

“Seafarers make global trade possible and it is vital that we all work together to ensure their rights are protected,” said Lim. “It has often been said that the Maritime Labor Convention represents the fourth pillar when it comes to the most important maritime treaties as it complements the IMO treaties covering safety: the SOLAS treaty, for pollution prevention; the MARPOL treaty, for training of seafarers; the STCW treaty.”

The amendments were developed over nearly a decade of discussion in a Joint IMO/ILO Ad Hoc Expert Working Group on Liability and Compensation regarding Claims for Death, Personal Injury and Abandonment of Seafarers.

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